I use two cameras: a Nikon d750 and a Nikon d850. I have recently started using RAW format in slot 1 and JPEG format in slot 2 as backup. The 850 takes great photos, but the files are huge. One photo I was looking at yesterday was 61 megabytes. That adds up in a hurry.

I have been using Adobe programs to process the pictures: Bridge, Lightroom Classic, and Photoshop. I also have a free software program called FastStone, which is pretty good for some purposes but not as powerful as Adobe products.

However, for the last 2 or three months, when I open files in Bridge or Lightroom, about 5 to 10 percent of the files appear damaged, with multi-colored horizontal lines obscuring parts or all of the picture. The same pictures look fine in FastStone. These damaged pictures do odd things. Sometimes the thumbnails in Lightroom or Bridge look good, but when I open them to develop them, they look good for a second or two and then go bad. Sometimes a picture will look good during one work session and then bad during a subsequent session. I have also called up old pictures from 2014, before I began using Adobe products. These pictures have always looked good, but now a few of them are corrupted.

I have talked to camera people. I bought new sd cards with faster read/write speeds (300/299 mbs). That made no difference. I bought a new sd card reader, upgrading from 2.0 to 3.0. That made no difference. I have started downloading directly from my camera with an hdmi cable. That made no difference. I have tried downloading directly to Onedrive. I have downloaded through Bridge and Lightroom. I have downloaded using Nikon Transfer software. Nothing makes any difference.

I have had online chats with Adobe customer reps on two occasions. They made some adjustments to the software. The problem persists. Adobe's latest theory is that my external hard drive, where I store my pictures, has some flaws. Adobe recommended that I backup all of my files and then reformat my external hard drive. I'm not sure that is the right solution. Another person theorized that our monitor may be the problem. But the monitor works well for everything but those few pictures.

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    If you had to distill your issue to a single-sentence question, what would it be? I ask because as written, the title of your question is merely an adjective and a plural noun. If you think of the realm of possibility that "corrupted files" could possibly pertain to, your question doesn't stand out at all. Please edit your question with a descriptive title to help people see your question, and possibly get more/better answers. Thanks, and welcome to photo.stackexchange.com. =) – scottbb Jun 19 at 21:31
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    "latest theory is that my external hard drive, where I store my pictures, has some flaws" – That's possible. Could be the computer itself as well (corrupt memory). Have you tried using a different computer and hard drive? – xiota Jun 19 at 21:49
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    This "question" has no question. – xiota Jun 19 at 21:56
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    Possible duplicate of Why are my RAW images corrupt but the previews okay? – mattdm Jun 19 at 22:06

The behavior you are seeing is totally consistent with corrupted RAW files. These files contain a JPEG preview, which is what you are seeing a) in the image viewer software and b) when the RAW files are loading — that software shows you the JPEG preview as a fast first result and then shows its own interpretation. So, there's nothing magical or really strange going on. There are just data errors which are enough to disrupt the RAW files but either happen to not affect the embedded previews or affect them in a way that's less obvious.

Since you have done some reasonable things to rule out card and initial transfer problems, the theory that it's a hard drive problem seems likely. Or possibly the cable connecting that drive. A memory error would likely result in crashes and other problems.

Hopefully, you have a backup. You should use that backup to validate your files. I wouldn't bother reformatting that drive — why trust it again? (But now this all really becomes an issue for SuperUser.

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    It's not clear that OP has done anything to rule anything out. OP could be trying to open the same old files that are already corrupted, rather than taking new ones. OP has two cameras, but doesn't mention if the problem occurs with only one or both, so camera problem has not been ruled out. Bad memory could result in erroneous data being written. What's more likely, hard drive problem or faulty memory chip? (I suspect bad hard drive is more common, but bad memory is more insidious, which could present as OP describes.) – xiota Jun 19 at 22:01
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    I'd say faulty hard drive, because bad RAM would likely also manifest itself in frequent program crashes and other glitches. – mattdm Jun 19 at 22:02
  • OP doesn't mention computer crashes one way or another, so faulty memory can't necessarily be ruled out. When I still used Windows, I had what was likely a bad motherboard or memory (unknown to me at the time). Windows crashed all the time (which isn't unusual for Windows). When Windows became unbootable, I switched completely to Linux (had been playing with dual booting). Linux was stable, but bad data was intermittently written to disk. Eventually the motherboard completely died. – xiota Jun 19 at 22:09
  • I guess. Still, I'll bet you dollars to donuts on this one. :) – mattdm Jun 19 at 22:16
  • Yeah, of things that go bad, hard drives rank pretty high. But OP states "I have tried downloading directly to Onedrive", which presumably bypasses the external drive (but introduces its own problems as well). – xiota Jun 19 at 22:22

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