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Is there a way of rescuing corrupt data?


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#1 Sam Leary

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:22 AM

Hi Folks

I recently did a shoot using my Sony EX1 and a 16GB SanDisk card in an MxR-Express card34 adapter. I have not been able to get the footage off this card.
* XD Cam Transfer does not work (various error messages)
* XD Cam EX Clip Browser does not work.
* Putting the card directly into my Mac's express card slot does not work.
* Connecting the camera loaded with card via USB does not work.

I tried to make a backup copy of the BPAV folder onto an external drive and that operation would not complete because some data could not be read.

The camera asks to Restore Media whenever I power it on with this card in the slot, which it does without a hitch. The thing that gives me hope is that when I expand the clip, all seems well, and the camera can playback the clip without a hitch. It's when I try to get the card to interface with my computer - whether via express slot or the camera's USB connection, using any of the usual software - that I run into problems.

I've never had this problem before. I've always used the real Sony cards and had no problems. This was my first outing with a non-Sony card, though this card has successfully worked in the EX1 previously. (It just chose an important shoot to have a fit.)

Has anyone experienced this? Can my footage be rescued?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:02 AM

You're not pulling the card out while the camera is still turned on are you?
also I would recommend trying the card in a PC as well which can be not as temperamental. this has helped me with CF and SD cards from DSLRs before.
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:10 PM

The thing that gives me hope is that when I expand the clip, all seems well, and the camera can playback the clip without a hitch. It's when I try to get the card to interface with my computer - whether via express slot or the camera's USB connection, using any of the usual software - that I run into problems.


If the card won't interface with the computer properly but the footage is playing back properly on the EX1 camera, all you need is a video capture card (AJA, Blackmagic Desig, Motu, etc) that has HD SDI input and voila! your footage is ready to be captured directly to most FCP codecs. True, it is not as convenient as using XDCAM transfer on your own computer and you will have to find someone who has such equipment (not a problem in any larger metro area) and pay for the service, but it may save the day.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 28 January 2010 - 02:14 PM.

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#4 Sam Leary

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:33 PM

You're not pulling the card out while the camera is still turned on are you?
also I would recommend trying the card in a PC as well which can be not as temperamental. this has helped me with CF and SD cards from DSLRs before.


Oh no no no! I don't do that. No, something a bit odd happened while it was recording. I had this camera capturing a wide shot and I left it to run on its own while I did other stuff on my EX 3. At one point I glanced over to the EX 1 and noticed it had stopped recording for no apparent reason. I hit record again and off it went. I should have two clips on this card but there is only one, so something's flipped out somewhere.

I'll try the PC thing and see how I go. Thanks.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:40 PM

Might've hit a FAT limit on the card (just guessing there). If it was FAT16 formatted then you can hit this problem where the file size it's trying to make is too large for the card to hold as 1 file. Again, that's just a guess that comes out of me working in tech support with flash-based storage of the non cinematographical nature.
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#6 Sam Leary

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:40 PM

If the card won't interface with the computer properly but the footage is playing back properly on the EX1 camera, all you need is a video capture card (AJA, Blackmagic Desig, Motu, etc) that has HD SDI input and voila! your footage is ready to be captured directly to most FCP codecs. True, it is not as convenient as using XDCAM transfer on your own computer and you will have to find someone who has such equipment (not a problem in any larger metro area) and pay for the service, but it may save the day.


Oh great, thanks. I was wondering if something like that was possible, but had no clue about what was needed or what the process was. Now I can make some calls to fix this and sound like I know what I'm talking about! :P
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#7 Sam Leary

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:48 PM

Might've hit a FAT limit on the card (just guessing there). If it was FAT16 formatted then you can hit this problem where the file size it's trying to make is too large for the card to hold as 1 file. Again, that's just a guess that comes out of me working in tech support with flash-based storage of the non cinematographical nature.


Ahh. That's a possibility I guess. As I said, this card has worked with no problems in the past, but it's only ever been used to shoot short clips. I was shooting something rather lengthy. The camera was indicating I had about 26 mins left on the card (out of 55 mins when I started with a clean card) when it switched itself off. Are you saying that with these sorts of cards, I can't always rely on what the camera tells me?
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:57 PM

It's not that, it's like this. FAT stands for File Allocation Table. not it comes in 2 flavors I've encountered FAT 32 and FAT16. It's an interoperable format, so read write on both PC and MAC, but it has this issue, no file can exceed a certain size (single file). I know for FAT32 it's approximately 4GB, and I believe FAT16 is about 1/2 of that, so 2GB. So no individual file can be more than 2GB. So while one could put on 8gb of data on a 8gb FAT16 card, all the individual files would have to be smaller than 2gb in this scenario. If you think of the footage as a file, it would mean that while a card could record a full 26minues (8 gb card in this scenario), it can't do it as one big clip, but only a series of smaller clips, no longer than 6.5 min in lenght. That's just a possibility. The XDCam, as far as I know, automatically splits longer clips into shorter versions of them on it's normal cards (which I think are FAT32, I don't have cards in front of me to check), but it could be with off-branded cards the camera can't adequately do that. Again, this is just a possibility and is in no way to be taken as cold hard fact. People far more versed in the technology behind the XDCam can answer better ( i just know how to turn the thing on!)
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#9 Sam Leary

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:26 PM

Ah, gotcha. I'm well aware of all that when dealing with external hard drives - it simply didn't occur to me that I'd need to treat a card in the same way. Duh.

I'm sure you're right. It would make sense as to why the off-brand card has been ok shooting short clips, but can't cope with something longer.
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#10 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 10:20 PM

Ah, gotcha. I'm well aware of all that when dealing with external hard drives - it simply didn't occur to me that I'd need to treat a card in the same way. Duh.

I'm sure you're right. It would make sense as to why the off-brand card has been ok shooting short clips, but can't cope with something longer.

Brand is independent of formatting. You can always re-format a card to a different system.

Format the card in the camera (after you've retrieved your footage, of course :lol: The camera will then format the card with whichever FAT system it likes best, and you should have no problems after that. Best to test it first, of course!!

My EX1 automatically splits long takes into files that are roughly 3.5GB each, and stitches them back together into a single file when I capture them into Final Cut.

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