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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to Recover a Lost or Damaged JPEG

First, Thorsten Lemke of www.lemkesoft.com deserves HUGE Kudos for showing me personally how to do the 'recovery'. A textual description would be all you get from most people. He took the time to send me a MOVIE.

If you have corrupted photos, you can sometimes still extract the smaller built in preview thumbnail that is in a JPEG. So you still have the photo, just smaller and of course lower resolution.

I've posted the movie and steps here.

It shows how to use his software, GraphicConverter, to extract a thumbnail preview from a JPEG.

It's hard to se in the video, but basically you select "Convert and Modify" under the File menu, then change the function to "Extract EXIF Jpeg Previews" and batch convert.

I got to this point by using Prosoft Engineering's Data Rescue II. I recovered these files from a Compact Flash card attached with a USB card reader to my Macbook.

So, the JPEGs had mangled data which shows up as the grey bars in the pictures you see in the movie. BUT the preview data contained in the file was good.

I lost big pictures, I can at least recover a smaller version, and I get to keep that.

In summary, we used Data Rescue II to undelete the files, then GraphicConverter to extract the thumbnails as a new (albeit smaller and lower resolution) JPEG. Voila.

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