I have a problem showing .NEF files on windows 7 image viewer. First I can see all my .NEF files thumbnails correctly on windows explorer, but once I double click one of it, it show the photos correctly just for one second and it shrink leaving a black area like the screen shoot below leaving vertical line as shown in the second screen capture.

the weird behavior, that error occurred recently with my new transferred photos only ... while my old RAW files shows without any problem. I thought maybe the SD RAM is corrupted but Nikon Capture NX2 can read my RAW file and convert it to JPG format without any problem.

please note that I didn't updated to my Nikon Camera firmware and I didn't installed anything new over my Windows system.

This is the exact picture shows over windows image viewer jut for one second enter image description here

this is the end result of viewing the photo enter image description here enter image description here

the problem maybe in the .NEF codec I Installed from a while from Microsoft called Microsoft Camera Codec Pack or maybe in the codec installed with Nikon capture NX2 or the codec that is provided by Nikon as a separated installer ...

my question is:

  1. why that error occurred with the new photo I have just transferred only?
  2. how to solve it?
  3. could you please guide me to get a better .NEF codec?
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure this NEF file is not broken? For me seems like you see the preview and when you try to see the real image it can't decode it (because is broken) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think so, because all my 300 transfer files could not be broken all of them!!. also my Nikon Capture NX2 show the files without any problem. in thumbnail and full screen mode. The problem is in my windows image viewer. \$\endgroup\$
    – hsawires
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I forgot to say that when I uninstalled all my NEF codec, windows cant display the thumbnails neither the the full version of my NEF files ... just only my new transfered file ... the old files shows very well without the NEF codec !!!!? \$\endgroup\$
    – hsawires
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 16:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Try to open these new files with some independent software like Photoshop, Lightroom and check if all details/pixels are in place \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 16:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I see two options: something change in the format and software can't recognize it. Or the files are broken. You can make two tests: 1. change the storage card in camera with new, take few photos and test again. 2. Try to open the photos with other software (no PS or LR) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


thanks to Mr. Romeo and User 35658 and Happy new year too all of you :)

after a lot of experiments I figure out the problem.

The problem where in Nikon Transfer Utility. I used to use it and I did't have any problem with it, but it seems like a corruption happened to the software and it affect all my RAW photos transfered from the camera to my PC.

I figure out that after I change the SD RAM and the USB cable and even the card reader. but once I started transfer my photos with windows import image/video utility I got my photos correctly and it can be opened by Nikon Capture NX2 as well as photoshop and Lightroom.

now I am reporting this problem to Nikon hope they can fix it.


Use the NEF codec from Nikon if you don't need support for other camera brands. You'll probably have to use the menued preview option (or right-click and use the context menu) to open the files in Windows Photo Viewer, but you will be able to use Photo Viewer and see thumbnails in Explorer.


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