Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My brother in law took some pictures for me of my daughter after she was born.

When I open up the pictures or look at the previews, they all look like this (with the bottom half gray):

Gray Image

At first I thought that the images were just corrupted, but after playing around with them I noticed something odd.

If I right click on the image and select rotate clockwise (or counter clockwise), I can see the whole image for a second. Like this:

Rotated Full

But after a second the thumbnail looks like this:

Rotated with Gray

If it can access the full image for a second, is there a chance I can get the full image restored? Or somehow save it off? (These pictures are non-recoverable otherwise.)

share|improve this question
What format are the images in? Have you tried loading them in other programs (paint)? – Pubby Oct 8 '11 at 5:38
@vaccano I have answered similar topic with more details… – maytham-ɯɐɥʇʎɐɯ Nov 11 '15 at 22:12

These are most likely JPEG images. I have seen this in rare cases when the image was not fully copied over and left corrupted.

Check out this article to see if it will help you fix/understand what's going on.

share|improve this answer

While kobaltz has the reason down, they didn't specify a source of the problem. Assuming your photos were taken with a digital camera recording on to removable media (SD card, CF card, etc), this photo corruption is caused by a failing or faulty storage media.

I've experienced this on a low end SD card where the image would look normal while Windows Photo Viewer rendered the image, but as soon as it finished, instead of grey space, there were colours and distortion all over the image.

Sadly, from what I know, you can't really fix this, as the images were saved incorrectly. I'm certain that with a bit of Google-fu, though, you could find something that could perhaps salvage some of your images.

share|improve this answer

If you have an image editing software like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, try opening the file in that and make a minor adjustment (nothing that will change the picture drastically). Then SAVE AS the photo back to the same location, overwriting the original file. In many cases, it will properly write the data that was missing from the original corrupt file. I had to do this with about 50 photos when I had a bad segment on my camera's SD card.

Also - make sure you reformat the card in your camera as it sounds like you have a problem with your SD card.

share|improve this answer

protected by Community Jun 30 '15 at 17:43

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.