Before the rush

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by evan-pak

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I have a number of raw images which were restored after deletion, when I open them in image viewer they seem to be fine, but if I open them in Photoshop image seem to be corrupted. How is it possible and is there a way to extract this uncorrupted image?

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Raw files typically contain both previews (jpegs) as well as the raw sensor data. If a file corruption occurs it is often that only somewhere in the middle or the end of the file some bytes have the value 0 where they shouldn't. Thus the preview might be fine but not the true raw part of the image. – Unapiedra Jul 24 '13 at 12:08
Opening the file in a HEX editor is often informative but in this case I couldn't find any hints what might be corrupted. – Unapiedra Jul 24 '13 at 12:17
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If the data is corrupted, there isn't necessarily a whole lot that can be done to help you since part of the data is gone (unless it got distorted in some kind of a pattern that you can identify and reverse). CR2 stores a preview jpeg in addition to the RAW data, so your viewer is simply looking at the JPEG rather than the RAW data. The RAW data on the other hand is corrupt and likely unrecoverable.

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Although the RAW file is probably shot, the JPG can be extracted and saved. One of the easiest ways to do this is with IrfanView, a handy little free utility. Using IrfanView, I was able to save a JPG w/ resolution 1936 x 1288 -- I'm not sure how this compares to full resolution of your RAW file, and it's not going to have all the data that the original RAW did, obviously, but it'll at least get some form of picture back for you.

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