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Corrupt jpg files - missing colors on half or more of image

by skimmet / November 20, 2006 9:48 AM PST

I am experiencing what appears to be a corruption of some of the jpg files on my hard drive. The file will often load fine from my camera card or scanner and appear OK but at a later time it will "lose" some of the color on the image. The bottom half (more or less) will be discolored all one hue (red or blue) or sometimes just darkened slightly. Does anyone have any experience and/or fixes for this problem?
Thanks in advance, skimmet

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One possibility is if you are repeatedly saving the file as
by Kiddpeat / November 20, 2006 11:44 AM PST

a jpeg. Each time you save a jpeg, some information in the photo is thrown away. This loss is cumulative. It will be especially aggravated if you save at less than maximum quality level.

Progressive damage, or corruption, while stored on a hard drive is extremely unlikely. That kind of damage would render the image unreadable. The change stems from something you are doing.

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Not because of something he's doing
by bloodpoet / February 24, 2010 2:02 AM PST

I'm having the EXACT same problem, and it's occurring with files that I haven't even opened, much less edited or re-saved. Does someone have a solution that doesn't involve pointing a finger and vaguely saying, "It has to be your fault?" Even if you were right, Kiddpeat, your response is not very helpful. And as it happens, you are wrong.

Skimmet, did you ever solve the problem or find out what was causing it?

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Looking at Possibilities
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 24, 2010 5:17 AM PST

What size images are we talking about?
Is the camera set to take full size files?
Ideal will be the maximum size the camera can produce and the .jpg quality set to the best.
Cameras have two to three .jpg quality settings.

The main ways the photo files get to the computer is via a USB cable connected between the camera and the computer.
This method also uses some type of software to do the transfer.
Another way is to use a Card Reader.
The memory card is inserted into the card reader and read directly into the computer.

At that point do we know it got into the computer OK?
You have to look at them to know it is really OK.
Some type of software has to be used to look at the photos.
If we just look at the photos, there should not be any change to the image.

If we load the photo into a program and then save them back to the computer, we should always do a Save-As under a different name.
That way we still have the original and now a copy.

The copy will not be exactly like the original due to .jpg quality settings in the software. The software will let you choose the .jpg quality setting before you do a Save or Save-As. If the quality setting is set low, we can degrade the image. We should set it to 100%.

At this point we know we have a good original on the computer.
If we did a Save-As, we have a good original and a good copy.

Now the photos stay on the computer for a period of time.
Then later we decide to look at them again.

We discover the bottom half of the images have deteriorated.

How did that happen?
1. The disk is corrupting files.
...But it would also be corrupting critical operating system files too.
...That would cause crashes and blue screen locking of the computer.
2. When we took the first or second look at the images, the program we are using is corrupting the images and somehow writing them back to the hard disk.
3. We have some rogue software on the computer (virus, Trojan horse, etc)

To narrow down the possible cause, I suggest you write a copy of the photo files to a CD or USB memory device right after you load them onto the computer; before you even look at them.

Then look at the photos you downloaded and if they look OK, copy the photo files again to a CD or USB memory device.

If you later find the files have corrupted while in the computer, you should look at both of the CDs or USB memory devices (using a different computer). That will tell us if the problem is to do with getting the photos into the computer or with the programs we are using to look at the photos, or the computer is somehow corrupting the photo image files.


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Corrupt/discolored jpegs
by bloodpoet / February 24, 2010 7:42 AM PST

Thanks for your reply. The images are not coming from a camera or other external device. Most of them were copied to the computer from a dvd a friend burned for me. Others were downloaded from the Internet, scanned, etc.

The images vary in size. Some are medium (400 x 600 pixel range) while others are quite large.

I've done virus/malware scans with multiple applications (AVG, Avast, Malwarebytes, Superantispyware) and am coming up clean. When you mentioned the possibility of drive errors I realized that only the images on my slave drive were affected. I scanned the disk, and it did indeed find errors and corrected them. This is not my OS drive, which is why there haven't been OS errors as you described.

Thanks for the tip. Hopefully this has resolved the problem. At first glance it appears to have fixed it.

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Corrupt jpg files in Win 7
by 2wTebo / August 4, 2011 12:34 AM PDT

I have the same problem. I happens to files that I have not opened, edited or even viewed thumbnails of. It only happens on both of my Win 7 machines, but not on my XP machine. I have tried many different viewers when I first noticed the problem, thinking maybe one of the viewers was corrupting the files. Then I noticed that even using the Win 7 viewer, I was getting corrupted photos. I've had it happen to jpg as well as png files. Some times the thumbnail will show a pic with the bottom half a solid gray, and when I open it, the full size pic is fine. Other times, the thumbnail look fine, but when I open it, the bottom half of the pic is solid gray. I've also had corrupted .pspimage from Paint Shop Pro.

Some times the pics will open and just have a large or small portion of the pic a solid gray, and other times I get an error message from whatever program I'm trying to open the files in, that says something like "file type not recognized." or "unsupported file type." etc.

I have started burning all my pics to DVD right off the memory card, before even trying to view them. But I have lost hundreds, maybe even thousands of pics to this problem.

I see lots of posts about this problem and lots of people experiencing it, but I have not seen any solutions yet. There has to be one! I think the real problem is that anything MicroSoft is just plain crappy software. But if anyone hears of a solution to this, other than getting a Mac, please share!

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Corrupt Pictures Solution
by Debspics / November 25, 2011 12:34 AM PST

I had this problem for over 2 years and finally solved it. I was plugging my card reader USB into a USB hub instead of directly into the computer. When I plugged it into the computer, NO MORE corrupt pictures. I got this tip from someone on a Microsoft forum. Previously, I had hundreds of corrupt pictures, and after about a year, have not had a single one. Hope this helps! Happy

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Same error
by Kerberos84 / March 5, 2013 3:48 AM PST

I have the same error, but my external is connected directly to the computer. What should I do?

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Card Reader
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 5, 2013 5:59 AM PST
In reply to: Same error


Some old laptop computers by Sony may not accurately read any SD card larger than 256-k or 512-k capacity.
Many older card readers may not accurately read any SD card larger than 2 meg.

An SD card with a capicity over 2 meg needs a card reader for SDHC (high capacity).

Things to try:
Read the card with someone else's computer.
Try another card

PC or Apple computer.
Capacity of SD card.
Brand name of the card.
Was the card formatted by the Camera (not the computer).
Was the card used in another device.

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It is not card reader
by Kerberos84 / March 5, 2013 8:43 AM PST
In reply to: Card Reader

Windows 7 PC.

When I copy files from card to a folder on my desktop the photos are ok.
I can view them with windows gallery or Canon photo software dpp. There is No damage.

But when I copy them to my external drive;
- And open them with windows gallery some images get corrupted.(I compared the files before corrupted and after corrupted with a hex editor and see there are some different parts in the file).
- but if I open them with canon software there is no damage. (They shouldn't be opened with windows gallery)

These are the things I found out during last 3 hours.
Now it seems the problem is windows photo gallery software which comes with the win7.
Or some virus/malware infected it.(but I have done antivirus search with Avila and comodo, no antivirus found)

I am really confused now

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There's an issue with gallery.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 5, 2013 10:04 AM PST
In reply to: It is not card reader

It may not be able to render all files. From the quick read it appears you need to forget gallery.


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Windows Live Photo Gallery
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / March 5, 2013 10:35 AM PST
In reply to: It is not card reader
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No solution, but another possible cause of the problem
by PhotoMischa / March 20, 2013 9:17 AM PDT

I had this issue happen repeatedly on one computer a couple years ago. About half the time I would open a file, it would corrupt. After some trial and error I discovered the problem was the ram memory on the computer, not the hard drive or the reader or anything else.

If your memory isn't functioning correctly the computer seems to be loading the file into ram and then corrupting it even if you're not resaving or anything. I wasn't able to find any way to fix the messed up images other than having a second copy of them. Luckily I did (I'm a pro photographer) and once I figured out the problem it went away for years.

However I'm actually back on now because a different computer just did the same thing to one file... Thought I'd google it to see if there was any more info or a way to recover. Looks like things are still where they were a couple years ago. Crossing my fingers it was just a random corruption.

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corrupt jpg files
by dpmills39 / March 26, 2013 12:59 AM PDT

I have a few thousand photographs stored on hard drives. Occasionally I will look at one and find a whole section of the photo (bottom half or more) is discoloured. I have backups but invariably find that the fault is also on the backup, presumably transferred during the backup process. Has anybody got a solution so that I can recover the photos. I would add the discolouration is never vertical. System Windows XP Home

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Try this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2013 1:05 AM PDT
In reply to: corrupt jpg files

View it with IRFANVIEW.

This thread is more than 2317 days old. So I'll add something I try and write that recovery is unlikely.

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