MxR + Sandisk 16Gb failure. Crucial footage lost at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old September 11th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #1
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MxR + Sandisk 16Gb failure. Crucial footage lost

Just had a friend on the phone almost in tears. He is a wedding videographer and filmed a big wedding yesterday, using an EX1 with MxR adaptor and Sandisk 16Gb cards.

After he had finished filming the ceremony, he swapped out the cards and carried on through the day.

Last night he came to load the footage onto his PC and when he put the card in the EX1 to transfer, got a restore media message. But the card won't restore at all. It's the 60 minutes of the actual church wedding ceremony. As you can imagine he hasn't slept a wink and was on the phone to me first thing. Sorry to say I haven't been following disasters like this so was of little use to him other than to calm him down and attempt to reassure him that there will probably be some way to recover the lost data.

So, how should he go about this? What programs should he purchase in an attempt to recover the footage? What are the success rates?

I have a feeling he removed the card before the green light had come on, so there's a currupt end of clip. All this is the very reason I shoot anything important on SxS.

Any thoughts and help would be appreciated. Names of recovery programs etc.

That Nanoflash is looking like a nailed on future purchase

Best regards
Steve Shovlar
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:08 AM   #2
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Laptop or PC with an SDHC slot. Chances are it will read without any problem. If not you have any number of file recovery tools about that should get most, if not all of the card.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:32 AM   #3
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Hi Dave, thanks for the reply. Do you know the names of the file recovery tools please?

Any free recovery tools out there?
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Old September 11th, 2009, 05:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
J
Last night he came to load the footage onto his PC and when he put the card in the EX1 to transfer, got a restore media message.

Hi Steve, Are you saying he tried to transfer the footage from the MxR adapter via the EX1?

Or did he he use a Express card to USB adapter to attempt transfer to PC?

Cheers

Jamie
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Old September 11th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #5
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HI Jamie he tried to transfer the footage via USB from his EX1.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #6
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Try this one, good open source freeware

TestDisk - CGSecurity

Chances are he won't even need it though. SDHC read well even when the EX can't load it.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #7
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Also key is how to avoid this problem in the future.
Given there were no errors during the recording it probably is a good card.
He may have pulled it out before the light went green as noted above.

One reason I use 32GB cards (seems harder to find good ones these days) is that two cards will give me 4 hours record time without pulling a card. I got two 32GB Sandisk Ultra II Class 2 cards in January. The newer ones are Class 4 and some people are having issues with them. Can you find out what kind of Sandisk cards he's using Ultra or Extreme and Class number?

Even if the meta data is damaged the MP4s might be OK. If he can pull those off the card, Clip Browser can create new BPAV folders so this might be a simple fix. You'd need to use the File/Import function which can import MP4s directly. You'd want to use something other the camera (which will throw the error) to import. A basic SDHC card reader would work.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. He is out filming a wedding again today and tomorrow so this info will be good for him on Monday morning.

He is using Sandick Ultra 11's class 4. I myself use the exact same cards and have never had a problem, though for important work stick to SxS.

I am sure he pulled the card before the green light went out. He said he had to do a quick switch out so I feel that is the cause.

I'll post the ouitcome on Monday as I will be seeing him then.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:07 PM   #9
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I'm not well experienced in the ways of digital video, but I do pretty well with the computer stuff. I'm with David - the first thing he should try is to plug the card directly into the USB port of the computer. There may be some issue with reading the card while it's installed in the camera which may go away by plugging the card into the computer. Of course he'll probably need an SDHC adapter because most PCs (at least those running on Windows) can't read an HC card directly even if they have a slot for it. If you're running a MAC, I'm not going to be much help. If there's any data on the card, it should be readable. If your try recovering data that isn't corrupt, you risk corrupting it depending on the software you use.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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There's no reason to have to do a "quick switch" if one is prepared. You have a full 58 minutes or so after the card switches to pull the other card.

With 32GB cards you'd have nearly two hours.

SDHC readers are dirt cheap. I'd never use the camera as a card reader with MxR.
SxS could be a problem going to a desktop. For that there's the Sony SxS reader.
SDHC has been ROCK SOLID reliable for me. It's a workflow issue and SxS can have workflow issues too. It's to have enough SDHC cards, it's expensive to have enough SxS cards or have to do offloads to a laptop during a shoot. That's an accident waiting to happen.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #11
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htey WILL recover everything for resonable flat reate. They did it for me when nothing else worked.
btw. when you use TestDisk - use EX1 as a card reader!
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
HI Jamie he tried to transfer the footage via USB from his EX1.
Hi there. I might be missing something but I am under the impression that when using MxM, MxR cards etc with SDHC cards, you cant capture from the EX1 USB port and need to take the Express Card out and use a Express Card - USB adapter?

Ive never attempted to transfer my MxM card/Sandisk combo from the EX1 itself as I thought it didnt work as allthough the EX1 can record to the MxM/Sandisk combo no worries, its onboard USB transfer software didnt like the 'pretend' SxS cards?

I always use the Express-USB adapter that I bought when I bought the cards.

Like I said, I may have missed something here!

Cheers

Jamie
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:39 PM   #13
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I've used this program with good results in the past, results good enough that I purchased the software.

Download critical data recovery software - computer data recovery with ZAR.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #14
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OK the good news. My friend got his Sandisk 16Gb Ultra 2 card back from a guy who managed to salvage all the footage from the corrupt card. All he has lost is a few secoonds. Took the guy 8 hours ( so he said) but actually only charged my friend 50 for the service.

Considering the couple were going to sue my friend for lsoing the footage, he is very relieved.

Now, he has told me why he thinks the failure happened. At the very moment the card failed, the speaker was showing off an item and the photographer, together with several guests, were all taking pictures and the flashes were going off everywhere. At the very point of the failure.

Could multiple, simultanious camera flashes overload the camera's recording capabilities to cause this to happen, or was it just a coincidence?

Either way, a happy ending to a worrying episode.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #15
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Thats great news. Glad to hear it.
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