Thread: Possible to recover file if camera crashed while writing it?

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  1. #1 Possible to recover file if camera crashed while writing it? 
    Senior Member AndreasOberg's Avatar
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    I had a crash when I did a long take and upon reboot the file was not there (as suspected). Which was a bit of a shame since it was amazing sunset backlit and penguin babies running and playing for several minutes, which never happened again on the trip.

    I was wondering is there a way of actually recovering such a file?

    This procedure could work but have not tried it myself so would be good to hear if anyone tried:

    1. Remove the SSD and do not use it any more
    2. Use a recovery software like EaseUS that will be able to dig up files that are not visible by Red or the operating system. Then I could imagine that at least some of the files could be available, maybe not the last Red file section it was writing but the ones before. So imagine we have
    file001.red
    file002.red
    file003.red
    file004.red *crash* I could imagine that this file cannot be recovered but 1,2,3 possibly could.

    Thoughts?
    Andreas
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  2. #2  
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    easiest way is redundead, and the last file where the crash happens wont be readable
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member AndreasOberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Andriessen View Post
    easiest way is redundead, and the last file where the crash happens wont be readable
    Hi Robert, I tried Redundead on an SSD where I lost almost all clips, the file structure was destroyed when the camera crashed. Redundead could not recover anything, however Easeus could thankfully find all files. I also noticed that Easeus finds all the prerecord files for every folder that would not be visible otherwise, so it seems that it can find files that are not normally there.

    What we begun doing is simply avoid longer takes, after a minute we stop and start record.
    Andreas
    Last edited by AndreasOberg; 02-08-2020 at 04:47 AM.
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  4. #4  
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    Interested in an answer here myself
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member AndreasOberg's Avatar
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    I may do a crash test myself even though it is a bit scary. This basically means pulling out the battery while you are recording to a disk and then see if it can be recovered.
    What you would have to do in the field then is to stop using the card. Also I would recommend having recover software with you in the field so you can directly test this. I just got my macbook a few days before our shot so I did not have time to install it this time, lesson learned.

    So I can say that I managed to safely recover all the files on the card and Redundead could not do this. I used EaseUs before and really liked it.
    However it will not recover the folder names so I had to rename these manually which was a PAIN. I may write a program to do this in the future. Davinci does not like if the foldernames are wrong for example.

    Just an explanation of what actually happens when a card becomes corrupted. When not doing wildlife I'm in charge of post production for year-long projects for clients like Microsoft and Apple and we have to be very careful how we work with data, thankfully the methods are the same with video.

    On every harddrive you have first:
    - DATA. These are chunks of data spread out on the harddrive
    - a List that knows where all the Data is placed. So File 1 in the list will point to Data1 on the drive.
    - When you delete a file what you are doing the computer is really just setting File 1 in the list to 0 so it no longer points to Data 1. However this data is still on the disk and can still be recovered. For this reason you can recover data if you accidentally formatted the card for example.

    What happens when Red is writing to a file and it crashes is this
    1. If only Data is being updated then the card will be fine and look like normal
    2. If the List is being saved to then the list will be broken and corrupt, this means it can no longer find the Data files on the disk. This is not good, it means the data must be recovered by software. Sometimes Windows or OS can just fix this themselves but sometimes it cannot.

    In more advanced file structure like NTFS or mac format the list will have multiple backups so if List1 is corrupted there will be one or several other lists that can replace List1 when the computer restarts. Sadly Fat32 does NOT have such backups. And this is why SD cards for cameras are so fragile. For this reason I would never use ExFat for external harddrives.

    Thankfully with file recovery software it is quite easy to recover these cases. I have never had a case when i could not recover a lost file structure, it is still scary of course.
    I have only had one case where a Red card could not be recovered and this is because the controller on the card was blown. So basically you have an electrical broken component. This is nearly impossible to fix. Possibly it could have been recovered by replacing the controller card but the actual crystal structure on the SSD may also have been damaged and then you have no chance of recovery.

    Andreas
    www.ObergWildlife.com- Natural History Filmmaking
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