My Galaxy Grand Prime + phone was running out of space so I transferred all my WhatsApp media to my SD card. After some time (a few hours I think), many of these photos and videos became unviewable. I even hooked up my phone to my PC and transferred some of those faulty photos there but I cannot view these photos even on my Windows 10 PC. When I tried opening the photo with the Photos program, I saw the message "It appears we don't support this file format."

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I have no idea why this is happening. How did the media get corrupted?


When I open my files using Notepad, I see this:

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hexed.it shows the following output when I open the file there:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps the little red squiggly line is confusing your PC.;) (whats the point of that, by the way.) Are the files in question from both the galaxy and whatsapp or just whatsapp ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 8, 2020 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the section on the page in the link below titled "Transfer photos from Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime to PC or Mac with the SD memory card" shed any light? howto-android.com/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Oct 8, 2020 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlaskaMan Thank you for the response. The files were originally WhatsApp photos and videos. I transferred ALL the WhatsApp photos and videos from my phone to the external micro SD card on my phone. Sometime later, I see many of the photos and videos are not opening. \$\endgroup\$
    – a_sid
    Oct 8, 2020 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ My problem is the same as the one described in this post: forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-s5/… \$\endgroup\$
    – a_sid
    Oct 8, 2020 at 18:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The poster at the Android Central link followed up with "Turns out it was my sd card. The card I had purchased came up as a fake when I tested it with 2 different programs. I returned it and got a new one and everything is working fine now." So have you eliminated the SD card as the problem? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Oct 8, 2020 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


As Mark Ransom states:

Definitely no question that your files have become corrupted. Now the only question is how.

It appears space was allocated on the card and filled with 0xFF instead of image data. This can occur when media are removed before all data has been written. If you no longer have access to the original files, there is nothing you can do to recover them. To prevent this from happening in the future, use the "eject" or "safely remove" option before removing cards.

If you do use the "safely remove" options before removing the card, but the problem persists, you could have a faulty or fake card. You may need to contact the manufacturer for warranty replacement. If the card is a fake, you will have to replace it yourself. Fake cards often report having more space than they have. They simply discard data that doesn't fit into the working area.

What is baffling is that this did not happen to ALL of my WhatApp media. Some photos and videos are working fine. But those are the ones I opened and viewed on my phone before transferring them to the external SD card.

Which files were or weren't saved just depends on whether they were written before the card was removed. Files are typically cached when they are used. Cached files are most likely to be written to card first and more likely to be preserved.

  • \$\begingroup\$ To prevent this from happening in the future, use the "eject" or "safely remove" option before removing cards. I transferred my media from my from my phone's memory to my phone's external SD card. I saw that a few hours later, many of the images and videos got corrupted. I did not do anything to this sd card before the corruption occurred. \$\endgroup\$
    – a_sid
    Oct 23, 2020 at 2:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Besides, I did not come across the "eject" and "safely remove" commands at anytime during the transfer. I just moved the files from their default location to my SD card's folder. I did not encounter options of this kind. \$\endgroup\$
    – a_sid
    Nov 17, 2020 at 7:45

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