Can i restore corrupted photos?

Hi there, I used the card recovery program and have recovered my photos from my sd card.  Some of the photos are now corrupted and i was wondering is there anything i can do to repair them?
Many thanks
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Short answer:  No

Long answer:  Probably not.  If image viewers can't make any sense out of them then they are unrepairable.  If the top or bottom or sides of the photo are cut off then you can crop them and recover the viewable portions.

I'm afraid the prognosis is not good. My experience with corruption of image files such as you describe has been that recovery is rare.

* For the following items, always work on COPIES, not on your originals *

Here's a couple of thoughts for you: First of all, try some different photo recovery software: take a look at BadCopy Pro ( and PhotoRescue ( - for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X). Each of these can deal with corrupted graphics files, and help repair the damaged files. I've had my best success with PhotoRescue, although sometimes images can be fixed in one of these and not the other. You may want to go back to your original media (the sd card) with these).

You can also sometimes open corrupted file in other applications. Start with Irfanview ( You might also try others like CorelDraw (which can sometimes import damaged JPGs. Once the file is imported into Draw it can be exported again as a new fresh JPG) or Photoshop (using RAW mode). For the latter, you need to know the size of the image in pixels. What you do in Photoshop is select File>Open As and in the dialog box choose RAW and then the file you want to open. Another dialog box will ask you to enter a size in pixels and the amount of channels (choose 3 here), leave the Header Size blank and click OK. You can even try importing into Word (Insert -> Picture -> From File), then save as a HTML file, which will export a new JPG.

You might also try opening the file and re-saving it in tif format. Save it as-is as soon as you open, then exit Photoshop and then re-open the new .tif file. You can also try rotating and saving, etc. Make sure you don't save over your original.

Last, some times the file can be opened in a text editor or a Hex editor, and the data stream altered slightly, allowing them to be opened with a graphics program. However, if there is a lot of information missing from the files, it is impossible to fully recover the images. The basic procedure is something like the following:

Open a working image files from the same source (same digital camera, etc.) as your corrupted files in a hex editor, and take a look at the flow of the files -  typically they should begin with FFD8, followed by a string of other characters. Get an idea of the flow.

Then, open your corrupt file, and look through the file. You're looking for a place where there's an obvious change to the flow of the data. If you can spot it, you might be able to fix it - at least if the damage is obvious, like a erroneous character or blank line introduced into the file.

Not to nag or say "I told you so", but ALWAYS have a backup plan and use it - sometimes recovering even one lost file can pay for it.

Hope that helps,

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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Agree with the preceding posters.  A recovered file that is corrupted is generally going to stay that way, no matter what Tim and Abby appear to magically do on "NCIS."  The original contents have been replaced by garbage, and there's no way to reconstruct the original contents.  In particular, for run-length compressed files such as GIF or a compressed TIF, once corruption is encountered in the file the run-length decoding algorithms decompress garbage as data, with predictable results.
Are they valid files?
Since you said>have recovered my photos from my sd card. << and this is not off the camera itself, could be that the images were "corrupted" before they were put on the SD card?
When they are on a camera's internal memory the data files associated with the images is a big key . Did you copy everything including hidden files ( not usable outside of the camera) or just images with this recovery tool?
If the images were taken and the data files damaged you may get corrupted images as well.
My line of thinking what is corrupted?
Are they actually images or just data files?
What format is these?
the extension?
What software did use
was the SD card damaged
If you can't get a thumbnail view they are probably nothing., to test open your folder
windows 7
preview panelTry File Repair
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