I had some issues with my computer and sent it out for repairs to a reputable dealer. So far everything came back perfect. I sent it in to be cleaned up and to try and recover some photos that were there but I was not able to open. Now the photos are there but it is saying that they are not supported or that they are corrupt. Is there any way to get these photos back to be viewed. A lot of them now are in "bmp" and I have tried to use an online converter but it does not work. Any assistance or direction would be greatly appreciated. Charlie

  • probably they are corrupted beyond repair, but it would help if you attached a sample file for us. – ths Mar 25 '16 at 16:03
  • Thank you for replying. I am new here - how do I attach a sample? – Charlie B. Mar 25 '16 at 16:05
  • well, you have to upload it to some file hosting site and provide a link to it here. – ths Mar 25 '16 at 16:08
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    Possible duplicate of Is there a way to recover corrupted JPEG files? – mattdm Mar 25 '16 at 17:51

possibly with some software expertise. BMPs use no compression, or very simple RLE compression, so it might be possible to repair the images one by one with some loss of information. Were they converted by you to "bmp" format?

  • No they were not - not sure how it happened. – Charlie B. Mar 25 '16 at 17:55
  • so are they just named "bmp" now? are you sure they were converted , not just renamed and are you sure they are your pictures? one option would be to look at the start of each file and see if they match what a bmp or a jpg should look like. – Markus Mikkolainen Mar 25 '16 at 22:55

Have you tried copying one of the files, changing the file extension to .jpg (or whatever type of file they were before you had the problem) and seeing if they will then open properly? Some data recovery programs will misidentify what type of file a photo is. For instance, I once had to recover data that had been accidently deleted from a drive. The recovery software identified all of the Canon raw files as tiffs and attached the tiff file extension. All I had to do was change the file extensions back to .cr2 and they functioned perfectly again.


Underlying theory:

With an uncompressed image format, like BMP, any partial digital data you can correctly recover from a file will directly translate into pixels you can recover.

With an RLE compressed file, it is almost the same, though there are some exceptions about uniformly colored (or maybe patterned) areas in the image - unlikely to be found in a photograph though.

With JPEG and other "complex" compression types, the digital data in the file is strongly interdependent - some pieces of data will make ABSOLUTELY no sense to you or any software unless another piece of data is also available. This will worsen recoverability.


Both formats are well documented publicly. If there is significant value potentially lost, try to get some knowledgeable and/or professional (data recovery firm, systems administrator, computer programmer) to help you.


If a BMP file seems to be completely unreadable, verify that it isn't still a JPEG file that some horse renamed to .BMP!

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