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  1. Hi

    my sister recorded someones wedding and has accidentally deleted the video, I told her not too use the card but she edited a photo and looks as if the photo has been written over the 1.4Gb movie file.

    I have recovered the file but it wont play, when recovered using stellar phoenix recovery it plays the photo for 10 seconds.

    can anyone help with this please? her friend is breathing down her neck too get the video lol....

    thanks
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Then you didn't REALLY recover the file and it's GONE.

    Sorry to hear this (I know the wedding couple will be).

    Scott
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    If the vid had simply been deleted, and those sectors not been overwritten with new data, it might be recovered. But the original data that was in overwritten data sectors can't be recovered. Overwrite means what it says: the original data no longer exists.

    IF the file you recovered is actually 1.4GB, then video content exists (except for the first 10 seconds). But how you could recover the video's header info (which would be at the beginning of the file) is another matter.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 19:38.
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  4. @ scott - just because the file doesnt work and has a small part of it over-written with other data (5Mb JPEG) doesnt mean its not 'recoverable' surely? one cant assume that the data needed to render the rest of the video isnt there without first looking at & analyzing it?

    how can a 5Mb file overwrite an entire 1400Mb file though thats what Iam wondering? and how do you know the 5Mb file has over-written the beginning of the movie file?

    another odd thing is she used 'stellar phoenix' which recovered a 1.4Gb M4A file with name made of numbers, RECUVA recovered a 1.4Gb MOV file with completely different name... Im wondering if these are two different videos or not? or 'stellar phoenix' is simply detecting the MOV file as M4A and adding a code for the filename?

    thanks
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    @snadge, In theory, that should be possible. In practice, I can tell you from experience, it is 99.9999% improbable.

    Even if the file had a portion recoverable (still a wild guess at this point), you will have days-to-weeks of slogging through to find which sections are legit video data vs. photo data or even other garbage.

    Then you have to pull out the good video data (and audio data if you have that too), and use a known-good video file with clean headers similar to the clip you are trying to restore, then you have to, using hex editor, cut & paste those good headers with the remaining good stream, while maintaining EXPECTED packet boundaries (all of which will be guesswork). Then you have to modify the final so it doesn't continue to seek for portions of the stream that didn't make it.

    Then save that to a new, clean video file, then remux into another clean file so it is fully legit again.

    Good luck!

    Scott
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    You can pay a data recovery service to TRY to recover the file for you, but as you have been warned, since your sister ignored your good advice there is now some chance that the original video is not recoverable at all. This will not be cheap. You'll be lucky if you only have to pay a few hundred pounds for the work. Note that "few" is deliberately vague (i'd guess anywhere from 200 pounds up to 1000) and although I have never used such a service so I can't say with certainty, my understanding is that you pay whether they can get the video back or not.

    I'm not sure that a data recovery service will be able to do more than say "Here is your file. Good luck.", but if you go that route, you can talk to them and see what they can do for you.

    I have lots of questions as to why someone trusted an amateur to film their wedding, why said amateur couldn't be bothered to copy the video for safety reasons previously and you seem oddly amused by someone else's loss and your sister's complete numbskull behavior, but hey, you're not my problem to solve.
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    Yep, if it was just deleted and nothing else was done, it may be recoverable, but once that drive/memory card has had files changed or altered, the drive/memory card was once again written to and the original deleted file is GONE!!!
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Just to echo what has been written, if the file is over-written then it is gone. But.....

    Not all recovery programs are equal. You need to try more than one as the possibilty is that the program you used did not recover the raw sectors on the card.

    One you can try is called 'Zero Assumption Recovery' or 'ZAR'. IIRC it does recover the 'orphaned' sectors but what you do with them afterwards.......
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  9. A wedding video recorded at 1.4GB? Was it really short or recorded on a camera phone?
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    Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    A wedding video recorded at 1.4GB? Was it really short or recorded on a camera phone?
    Spur of the moment wedding at one of the 1000's of quickie marriage chapels in Las Vegas and all anyone had was cell phones!!

    LOL!!!
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  11. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    still haven't figured out how an o.s. overwrote an existing file, unless the capacity was exceeded, maybe? i'd look inside the file to see if there is any real data or if it's just garbage. use a hexeditor. if it's mostly 0's after the data for the picture the sector chain of the original video file was broken and there isn't anything that can be done.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  12. @ vaporen800 + Noahtuck - it wasnt the entire wedding recorded in this deleted file?. it was just the 15 minute ceremony.

    @ aedipuss - it didnt overwrite a file per se, the video file was deleted so now was available as free space, she edited a photo and saved it (thinking it would save to the hard-drive on the computer) even though I told her not too use the card.

    @DB83 - thanks , but ive tried 3 already... with deep scans, result is same.

    I've got the file, so bit pointless paying someone else to get to the stage Iam already at, we need a video/codec specialist who can analyse the file I have recovered to see if it can be rescued somewhat.

    my sister is not someone selling video or photographing services, she just done it as a favour for her friend using her camera, she was deleting photo's off the card in the camera and she was going through them quite quickly and she thought it was a photo and realised when it was taking longer to delete that it was one of the video's (the most important one).

    thanks for the help anyway guys..
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  13. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post

    thanks I will
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  14. One more:

    http://www.glarysoft.com/glary-undelete/

    It will tell you the status immediately: good/poor chance of recovery, or whether it's been overwritten.
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  15. thanks...

    tried both and the mp4 repair thing with a smaller deleted video in same state (poor-overwritten) and it could not repair that so doubt it will repair this other one, PC Inspector hung half way through recovery of the file, was taking forever, Glary Undelete just restored it in fraction of a second (empty file i guess)

    so looks like the project is over and the poor lass has lost her wedding ceremony

    thanks to everyone for your help
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  16. A JPEG image could not have overwritten the entire 1.4 GB video. It's likely most of the video is intact. If the video is really important there are services that specialize in recovering this type of data. You'll have to pay though.
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  17. @ jagabo - thats what I thought but some above have said its "GONE" and overwritten the important info needed..??

    I have told my sister about this service so its up to her now what she wants to do.

    thanks
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  18. It's still possible for someone skilled with recovering video files from flash cards to recover most of the video and audio.
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  19. I'm confused. Do you have a recovered 1.5GB file that seems to be corrupted? Open a backup in a hex editor and search for video headers.
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    still haven't figured out how an o.s. overwrote an existing file, unless the capacity was exceeded, maybe?
    It's not an issue with an OS overwriting the existing file.

    I have had this problem before and tried some very expensive software to recover deleted files.
    And from my understanding, when it is deleted, in order to retrieve it, you must NOT make any changes to the hard drive, partition, memory card, etc. as just making a change to another file changes the TOC or the data itself on the media which overwrites to the media which overwrites the original data making it impossible to retrieve what you deleted.

    I have also had software "retrieve" the data, but it was not the actual data, it was corrupted, etc. and probably just retrieved the header or TOC content and the actual file was gone forever.....

    Like we all know just deleting something from your hard drive does not "delete" it and just moves it to your "trash" bin, and you can restore it, even after you empty your trash you can still retrieve it with special software, as long as you DO NOT change anything or add to the area where the original was stored, memory card, partition, HDD, etc.
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  21. I will let her know of the option of getting an expert too look at it, thanks

    I wouldnt know what Iam looking for in a hex editor, but yes I have the 1.4Gb MOV file, just wont play, the other recovery program backed up a 1.4Gb M4A file which played a photo for 10 seconds, I assume thats the photo she overwrote onto it.

    cheers
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  22. Member DB83's Avatar
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    One thing that now puzzles me is this.

    You originally had a .mov file - I assume that was just the container.

    But on 'recovery' you get an m4a file. It is my understanding that is purely audio. Now the recovery program could have been fooled but has the playback program also been fooled ?

    So three questions:

    1. Did ALL the recovery programs end up like this ?
    2. Can you name the 3 programs you used ?
    3. Can you post a mediainfo report of the 'recovered' file
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  23. Originally Posted by snadge View Post
    I have the 1.4Gb MOV file
    To increase your chances of recovery, keep the flash card and do not write to it. There's no guaranty the recovery program recovered the right data (aside from the known incorrect data at the start). A video file recovery expert may be able to restore the correct data from the card even if the software didn't.

    Originally Posted by snadge View Post
    I wouldnt know what Iam looking for in a hex editor
    Most media files have very distinctive markers near the start or end of the file. You can see these with a hex editor. MP4 files have the text "ftypXXXX" near the start, where XXXX varies (avc1, mp42, qt, isom, etc.):

    Click image for larger version

Name:	mp4.png
Views:	893
Size:	10.4 KB
ID:	17800

    JPEG images have an obvious "Exif" or "JFIF" at that same location.

    Most media containers use variations of the old "tagged image file format" where such four byte tokens are used to identify chunks of data. Someone who knows what they are doing can identify those tokens and reconstruct the audio and video streams even if the critical header information was overwritten. If the file doesn't have the right data the expert can go back to the flash card and search for it.

    I suspect your 1.4 GB MP4 file has that JPEG data written over the first part of the file. The rest of the file may or may not be data from the original MP4 file -- file undelete programs often makes mistakes.
    Last edited by jagabo; 12th May 2013 at 07:34.
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  24. snadge,

    I did some research after reading you message and recommend you go to http://aeroquartet.com/

    Software/service is for apple macs but there is a web service for windows users (Read all on site above)

    This service should be able to help.

    (Assumption is that the recovered file IS really the data of the original file with some overwritten data and NOT random data recovered by error. Data recovery programs are not 100% error free).

    It will cost but it does what you ask which is scan the file and extract the video and audio (it can find) and reindexes the data creating a new file.

    Even with file headers damaged or missing there is enough data in a video file to find and extract the separate video and audio data. This can tham be reassembled into a new file. If your description of events is true the bulk of the file contains valid data (percentage wise), what is unknown is how much of the file has been corrupted by the overwrite. It is possible it is only the start of the file (the size of the photo saved) but at an extreme it could be every sector of the file has had a few bytes overwritten and that would make the recovery very very unlikely. It is most likely to be something between these 2 extremes.

    This is something that is done by forensic depts all the time to recover video files for evidence but the software used is generally not available to the public. The site listed is the closest I could find to someone who does the same sort of thing.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by ROK-001; 13th May 2013 at 01:43. Reason: Typo
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  25. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ROK-001 View Post
    snadge,

    I did some research after reading you message and recommend you go to http://aeroquartet.com/

    .
    Call me suspicious. But....

    This is your first post and you do 'reasearch' and conveniently find some outfit you COULD fix this.

    Ding Dong !!!!
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  26. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    That sort of thing could work, but there are other hurdles that weren't mentioned: fragmented extents make piecing the correct segments back together almost pointless once the first sections are corrupted, plus it is nigh impossible to automatically scan for video & audio data without headers, unless a scanning program contained a database of the "signature" patterns of all the various audio & video codecs. And it also takes external knowledge of what was supposed to be recorded (usually with a known-good sample) to even be able to parse byte segments in order to FIND the boundaries of those patterns.

    IOW, as I said before, it is possible, but even for those few possible ones, the ODDS are not in your favor, and even then, the road is long and arduous.

    This is coming from someone who WAS that person that people sent their corrupted files to to get fixed.

    Scott
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  27. what am I searching for too find someone local who could do this work? is there any "official" terms? i.e. Video recovery specialist?

    can anyone recommend a decent service?
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  28. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    plus it is nigh impossible to automatically scan for video & audio data without headers, unless a scanning program contained a database of the "signature" patterns of all the various audio & video codecs. And it also takes external knowledge of what was supposed to be recorded (usually with a known-good sample) to even be able to parse byte segments in order to FIND the boundaries of those patterns.
    Couldn't one just start looking for H.264 data packets?

    http://gentlelogic.blogspot.ca/2011/11/exploring-h264-part-2-h264-bitstream.html
    http://codesequoia.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/h-264-stream-structure/
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