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Well here's a weird problem:

I have a folder of JPEG images on my harddrive, and burned a handful of them to a CD using the built-in Windows 7 CD burner software.

Now, I can't open those files anymore (Get an error about a corrupt JPG header in Photoshop), either the originals or the ones on the CD! I blame this on the CD burning process because all the ones burned to the CD do not open, and all the photos not burned to the CD still open.

Has this happened to anybody before?

Any ideas how to get my photos back?


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While I was waiting for an answer I tried a variety of trial photo recovery programs with no luck. If you open the photos in a hex editor they're pretty jacked up. Neither header or footer bytes are there, and all the exif information is missing. Could a contention issue in Windows 7 really have corrupted the files? That sounds... bad. In college, in my Operating Systems 101 class one of the first things we learned how to program were semaphores. Does Microsoft need a refresher? – Erik W Sep 19 '10 at 1:50
Run chkdsk on the drive. Back up the folder before you do. – Moab Sep 19 '10 at 17:08

You could use something like jpeg-repair on your hard disk files (check these steps).
they seem to have jpeg recovery schemes at a price
-- tho, I expect some freeware/opensource may also be around to attempt that.

There is also an eHow article on How to Repair a Damaged JPEG File.
You can use JPEGSnoop to analyze the state of your jpg files.

But, I can't see how burning them to a CD would damage them.
I see two possibilities,

  1. Something else tried to work on them in your backup process
  2. You have hard disk corruption
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This sounds like the sort of thing a virus would do. Is your scanning up-to-date?

I can't see this as a normal consequence of CD burning because there's no requirement at all to write anything to the disk version of the jpg. Disk corruption would seldom be so selective but it's worth checking since SOMETHING unusual is going on.

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I have Symantec with Friday's definitions... it could be disk corruption but I haven't had any problems with any other files. – Erik W Sep 19 '10 at 6:42

What is the speed rating of the CD media that you used? Did you burn at a higher speed than the CDs were rated at?

Burning too slow also can cause problems. I usually go for a mid-rate burning speed.

It was years ago since I have had that sort of corruption on music CDs, where the last few tracks did not play properly (CDs burn from the inside towards the outside, where the angular velocity is the greatest), as I no longer use the highest speeds.

More explanation here.

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But it corrupted the original files – Erik W Sep 19 '10 at 6:41

Try right clicking one of the 'corrupted' photos and go to Properties > Previous Versions tab (depending on your version of Win7, I think). Can you restore them there?

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That would have worked great had I not turned it off for performance reasons :) I have my only nightly backup that runs but unfortunately this happened within the course of a day – Erik W Sep 19 '10 at 15:38

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