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In an unfortunate moment I decided to move some CR2 files from a CF card onto my PC (Windows 10) instead of copying the files. As expected the files were moved to the PC and removed from the CF card.

After the process finished some files seem to be corrupt. Some of the files were moved correctly, while other files show up as taking up up to 2.6 gb on the file system. File inspection further reveals that the file size is reported as 2.6 gb while the size on disk is reported as 4 kb. The total reported space is even larger than my actual hard drive. I can't open the corrupted files in any program and no thumbnail is generated for them.

Did anyone experience such a behavior before? Is there any chance to fix the corrupted files?

Thanks in advance for any help!

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    \$\begingroup\$ IMHO more of a problem with the PC disk. Worth a chkdsk or equivalent to check its status (but make backups first). A question better suited for SuperUser anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Aug 31, 2022 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I note that when I copy files to the disk they show up as 2.6 GB while they are being copied, then the size is corrected once the copy is over. That might be a clue. Maybe they were not closed properly at the end of the move. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2022 at 0:44

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Is there any chance to fix the corrupted files?

There might be a slim chance that would be very involved, but I wouldn't bet on success. It seems like you may be having issues with the hard drive in question. Any attempt to recover data from a corrupted/damaged hard drive would be the same for pretty much any kind of data, not just photos.

You have a much greater chance of recovering the "erased" files from your memory card, assuming you haven't reused it and overwritten the image data stored on it.

If you have not used the card again since transferring the images, they're still on the card. They're just not listed in the card's "table of contents". Even if you have reused the card to take a small number of images, most or all of the erased images may still be there due to the way memory card controllers do wear leveling. If you have formatted the card but not done a low level format the image data should still be there. Unfortunately, a low level format overwrites every memory location on the card.

Any good data recovery software can recover from the card any "deleted" images that have not been overwritten. For more please see this answer to a related question.

Some recovery applications, particularly those optimized for image recovery, will see Canon raw files as TIFFs. All you need to do is change the file extensions back to .cr2 (using a bulk file renamer is easy and quick) and they should work perfectly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer. I figured as much and didn't use the CF card again. I was able to recover the files from the CF card using the free Revuva recovery tool as proposed in the related question. I'm still not sure what happened during moving the files, but I guess, as another comment said, the files may not have been closed after writing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fgop
    Sep 18, 2022 at 16:57
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Before using the card again, I would try to save any images that may be found on the card with a file recovery program.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ good point, but this is actually a comment rather than an answer, and should be posted as such \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Sep 2, 2022 at 10:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ I tried it first but my comment was not accepted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Teromaa
    Sep 2, 2022 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the comment! I figured as much and didn't use the card again. Let's hope I can recover the files. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fgop
    Sep 18, 2022 at 15:59

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