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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 August 1st, 2010, 10:38 AM   #1
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media restore freeze

HELLLLLPPPP! Just returned from a full day's shoot of my son's 1000 miles in 10 days charity bike ride. My first card Transcend 16 in MxR (which has 59 minutes of my 90 minute total) gave me a restore media when the camera was powered down and powered up again. (probably before the green light came on or something) and when I executed it froze at 5%. The only way I could continue with the day was to remove the battery as the camera was frozen and wouldn't even power down. Now when I put the card into my macbook pro and use clip browser there is nothing to read. Put it back into my ex3 and it asks to restore media and then freezes at 5% again. Oh please camera gods tell me it is not all lost.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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HELLLLLPPPP! Just returned from a full day's shoot of my son's 1000 miles in 10 days charity bike ride. My first card Transcend 16 in MxR (which has 59 minutes of my 90 minute total) gave me a restore media when the camera was powered down and powered up again. (probably before the green light came on or something) and when I executed it froze at 5%. The only way I could continue with the day was to remove the battery as the camera was frozen and wouldn't even power down. Now when I put the card into my macbook pro and use clip browser there is nothing to read. Put it back into my ex3 and it asks to restore media and then freezes at 5% again. Oh please camera gods tell me it is not all lost.
What happens when you put the card into a PC rather than a Mac? If the camera has corrupted the clip you may be able to use XDCAM Browser to clip around the corrupted section.

If there is still nothing, don't panic. The camera may have just corrupted the FAT when the camera powered down. The data should still be on the card, it's just the computer doesn't know where to look for it. Source a local data recovery expert for advice.

You do appear to be using Transcend 16gb cards which are known for giving problems. It may be in this case the problem is related to shutting down and it would have happened regardless of the type of card. But for future reference, just avoid Transcend 16gb cards.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 12:58 PM   #3
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I was able to copy across 10 of the 32 folders from the card to my pc. The rest refused to copy as corrupt files. When I tried to open the media file in the copied folders on my Windows 7 PC I get an error 0x80070570 - file corrupt. I have used said Transcend card on numerous occasions. I am pretty sure I powered down before the green light came on.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 02:58 PM   #4
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The Transcend cards do appear to work fine initially, but for whatever reason they eventually go wrong. Cards made before May 2009 cards seem to be OK, the newer ones aren't. I replaced all of mine and haven't had a problem since.

Can you see the card in XDCAM Browser? When I had a similar issue with a Transcend I managed to clip around the corrupted section and only lost a few seconds. Trying to play the corrupted part of the clip did hang the computer but by trial and error I got everything back (barring a few seconds of inconsequential footage).

In fact it was that incident that was the last straw. All 6 or 7 Transcend cards were replaced the next day. I really can't stress enough to anyone reading that Class 6 Transcend 16gb cards are to be avoided.

There are SDHC recovery tools available but my preference would be for a data recovery expert to look at the card.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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Marcus, thanks for the engagement. I can see the card in xdcam browser but can't access the clips. How did you trim them?
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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I was able to play the clip in the browser, but it would hang when it reached a certain point. I was able to then select in and out points and export the good bits of the clip. By trial and error I clipped around the problem area and ended up with 2 good clips from the original single corrupted clip.

Your milage may vary however.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 10:56 PM   #7
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Hi Marcus,
Check the firmware version of your EX3. In that past I have also had many media and format errors with SDHC cards and I got to the point that I would not use them. I sent my EX3's into Sony to upgrade the firmware to version 1.10 in March and now the old SDHC cards that I had problems with are now very reliable even recording long duration 3hr plus.

Try taking your SD card to a dealer or someone who has an EX3 with the latest firmware and see if the restore function works for you.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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You can try to read the files by the Unstoppable Copier:
Roadkil.Net - Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier Program Download

If you have CRC errors on the files this program will try to copy everything till the very tiny bits, one by one. If you set the strength in the program's properties till the very left side it will take almost 12-24hours for checking faulty 2-3 MBytes. But if you set it to 1-2 cm from the very left side you have a very good compromise in ignoring faulty bits and saving as much data as possible. I would try last for testing, if it work at all and for not stressing the card to much.

After this process you would have the faulty files on your harddisc and would use the method Marcus mentioned...
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 09:05 AM   #9
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Hi Marcus,
Check the firmware version of your EX3. In that past I have also had many media and format errors with SDHC cards and I got to the point that I would not use them. I sent my EX3's into Sony to upgrade the firmware to version 1.10 in March and now the old SDHC cards that I had problems with are now very reliable even recording long duration 3hr plus. .
I still wouldn't trust them even if they work. Not all cards are made equal and they are produced to price points. Different production runs just months apart have subtle differences and these cards have less resistance to being zapped by ESD. The firmware changes may have made the camera more tolerant of slower cards, but it won't fix the ESD problem or the lower QC you'll get with the cheap cards. Remember the cheaper the card, the lower quality the memory on the chip.

Compare that to the ATP cards that come out of just the one factory which are hardened against ESD. These cards have been extensively tested and claim 10 year data retention. I'm happy to trust my data to them.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 10:04 AM   #10
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It sounds to me like the FAT (File Allocation Table) on the SDHC has been corrupted. The data should all still be there, but you will need either a piece of software or a company that can rebuild the FAT for you.

There are many programs around that can fix a corrupted FAT for you, one I used to recover a repartitioned drive was EASEUS. It is expensive ( I think it was $80), and slow, but very thorough.It completely rebuilds the FAT table.

FAT Recovery Software, FAT Recovery Utility for data recovery.

If you try any of the best photographic shops around your area and ask them about data recovery for SDHC they will be able to point you to their preferred supplier. When the first of the Sandisk Ultra II 16GB cards failed for one of our customers, we visited many data recovery company's and ended up using a specialist camera house here. We were shocked to find they have four people dedicated to data recovery for photographers! And that the split was 50/50 between SDHC and CF.

Lance is spot on in his comment above, upgrading to the latest firmware makes these problems almost entirely disappear. I say almost entirely, because all flash can fail, I've got a 16GB SxS that won't record across it's whole length to prove it. That stung after paying $1100 for it.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 01:57 PM   #11
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Thanks gents for engaging. Woeful situation even worse. Returned to the scene of my crime (9 hours round trip) Shot using my two 8gb Sony cards in the rain and then the sun burst out and I was back to MxR with a different 16gb card (yes transcend, I have nothing else on hand and no time to drive more hours to buy SxS) Gorgeous scenes of the lads giving it all climbing the hills of the lake district with me in the back of a 4x4. Card one said ready to change to next card. No, thought I, not going to allow that to muddy the waters. Stopped recording. Manually changed slots. Finished shooting. Little else to shoot. And guess what? The first card (of the last two) is recognised by nothing. Not the camera, not my powerbook, not my pc. (could I have switched slots before the light went green?) In the first go around (yesterday's shoot) the card was recognised but the files corrupt. Tonight nada. I am going to cry then I am going to upgrade the firmware on my ex3 tonight and then tomorrow before I execute what is now a 12 hour round trip I am going to buy Sony SxS. I will sell a bunch of other kit to sponsor this never again shooting a second on cheap alternatives! Lesson learned. And now having cried, is there anyone with advice about saving my material from the mess saving twopence has created? And yes tomorrow morning I call a save data expert and hope they offer some hope.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 03:23 PM   #12
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I was back to MxR with a different 16gb card (yes transcend, I have nothing else on hand and no time to drive more hours to buy SxS) Gorgeous scenes of the lads giving it all climbing the hills of the lake district with me in the back of a 4x4. Card one said ready to change to next card. No, thought I, not going to allow that to muddy the waters. Stopped recording. Manually changed slots. Finished shooting. Little else to shoot. And guess what? The first card (of the last two) is recognised by nothing. Not the camera, not my powerbook, not my pc.
You had a problem with a Transcend card, I pointed out the issues with this particular type of card and then you went and used another one regardless. I realise time was tight to source alternatives but this was just waiting to happen. However this doesn't really help with your lost footage and you have my sympathy.

It's nothing to do with the adaptors or SDHC solutions though. The Transcend cards are a consumer product produced to a low price point. At one stage they worked, but obviously as Transcend have cost reduced the units over time they have become less reliable. We can pretty much identify this point as around May/June of last year. I dumped all mine in September of last year and have been happily shooting on the ATP cards without issue.

Anyone using Transcend cards produced after around May of last year is sitting on a timebomb. I've been bitten by them and so have countless others. The ATP cards just work regardless of if you are on old firmware or new and are built to a far higher spec. Critically they only come out of one factory rather than shipping production to the country which is the cheapest at any given time.

If anyone is reading this and thinking "well my Transcends have been fine", I'd urge you to read about the tale above. This isn't about SDHC, this is about a brand of card that has been proven time and again to eventually fail in the EX cameras.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 02:42 AM   #13
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Marcus, you are SO right about not deserving sympathy for stupidity (which is kind of like a Transcend brand of humanity) one more shoot and they are gone, for sure. Well, that was one more shoot too many. But they were the early Transcends, officer, and I did check the serial numbers. And now here lies the path ahead. 5 MxR cards in hand. Problem is only with Transcend, well, also some Sandisk. And in the background the voices: you buy a 7000 camera, you offer yourself for professional hire and you won't spend 580 on the only card guaranteed not to fail (well, almost guaranteed.) Not sure I want to kick myself in the rear again and ask, how stupid can you be? SxS here I come, sadly.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 02:48 AM   #14
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you offer yourself for professional hire and you won't spend 580 on the only card guaranteed not to fail (well, almost guaranteed.) Not sure I want to kick myself in the rear again and ask, how stupid can you be? SxS here I come, sadly.
I'm afraid if you think SxS won't fail, you might need to think again. In fact I had someone contact me yesterday after discussion on another thread that they don't want to get involved with. If you Google you'll find similar tales. They are certainly not a panacea but certainly are more reliable than Transcend units.
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Old August 4th, 2010, 02:48 AM   #15
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p.s. where are you sourcing your ATP cards and which are the ones that REALLY REALLY work? (blush)
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