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I have a strange problem with a few MPEG files (.mp4 and .mpg).

These files have been living on my hard disk for quite a long time. I also have recently copied them into a new disk, not having the earlier store suffered any kind of damage (I had a broken disk but it was another one, so I just recreated partition layout).

I'm not sure about when it started to happen, if it happened gradually or suddenly, but...

The problem

I can start to play these video files, but I can't finish all the play. The video interrupts at a certain point. Video playback is deterministic, which is one or more of the following will always happen given the same video:

  • VLC sees a way much shorter video (i.e. I knew it was 5min, VLC sees 1:01)
  • Seeking, in VLC or MPC, stops the video; instead simply watching it without interruption leads to natural end of playback
  • Video after a fixed time point is not available, no matter what
  • Audio plays fine, video starts to skip more and more frames, until both audio and video are unavailable

The non-diagnosis

It's very difficult to say if it's a problem with the file system or something else. I remember the old drive didn't suffer any failure, and the current file system is said being OK by chkdsk.

The question

Is there a way to recover these broken files? Perhaps without doing a file recovery operation on the whole drive, which should be pointless (file system entries are intact)

share|improve this question
Can you try remuxing the files into, say MKV? With ffmpeg, e.g. ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -c copy -map 0 output.mkv. Does that print any obvious errors? Do the remuxed files play? (What operating system are you on, actually?) – slhck May 9 '13 at 20:37
I'm on Windows 7 – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ May 9 '13 at 20:44
I have tried with Bigasoft converter. The conversion stops at the deterministic point. I think that the old drive did suffer a failure and the copied file brought that failure with it. So now I think those files are irrecoverable. Anyway, they were not worth a backup – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ May 15 '13 at 23:15

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