Westminster fountain at sunset

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I have 2GB XD card that contains a few hundreds photos taken with my Finepix Z5. I have lost the USB cable, so I use a card adapter plugged in my PC to retrieve the pics. But some photos are unreadable, although I can view them on the camera.

When viewing them with a hex editor, I see that they have been incorrectly saved: the header is in the middle of the file instead of the beginning, there's no image end tag ff d9 at the end but some occurence in the middle, etc. Is that a known issue, and is there a way to fix them?

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This is no help to you now, but in my experience xD cards are much more prone to corruption than SD or CF cards. This is due to the cost-saving design inherited from the laughably named "SmartMedia" (it's actually not smart). I've had xD media corrupted from just copying files and not writing anything and then ejecting uncleanly. (That could theoretically cause any card to glitch, but xD is the only place I've seen it happen, and on multiple occasions.) –  mattdm Dec 6 '11 at 2:41

3 Answers 3

Some cameras store a thumbnail of pictures and only display those thumbnails when reviewing on the camera. If that is the case with your camera, it is more likely that the actual picture got corrupted (even though the thumbnails appear fine).

Since you can view some images on your PC and not others, it also lets me to believe that those pictures are corrupted. I do not know any ways to fix corrupted pictures.

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It sounds like an issue with your card reader. The internal card reader in my laptop does something similar, corrupting any large file (not just pictures) when copying then from a card to the hard drive.

You could try to verify this by copying some pictures (e.g. full-sized-straight-out-of-someone's-camera pictures you download from the Internet) onto an SD card (preferably with a different reader or from a different computer), then try to copy them back with your reader. You could also try copying pictures from your camera onto another computer with another reader (e.g. at work or at a friend's house or Internet cafe, or at one of those print-your-own-photo machines at drug stores (common here in the US, but I'm not sure how common they are in France)) and see if the pictures are corrupted there.

It may also be worth spending a few dollars to buy a new USB cable for your camera; a used or third-party cable should work just fine and be relatively cheap and easy to obtain.

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I doubt anyone will have a direct answer for why exactly your camera or memory card has corrupted the images. We do have two previously asked questions that address how to recover deleted images.

As another user pointed out, the camera may be looking at a thumbnail preview and not the full image. Try out some of the recovery software to see if you can pull the images to your PC and work on them from that aspect.

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