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unreadable jpg file

How can I fix jpg files w/ error msg of "can't read file header! Unknown file format!"?


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Re:unreadable jpg file

You can try IRFANVIEW, GIMP and other viewers to see if other tools will decode it.

Just for better help in the future. You may want to tell a bit more, such as the OS you have available since IRFANVIEW isn't on the Macintosh. If you can post said .JPG on a web site for others to dissect, then that can clear up the issue as others can peek inside the file.


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Re:Re:unreadable jpg file

Bob, thanks for the tip.

I am using windows NT. The error only appears when opening certain jpg attachments in Outlook. I have also tried saving those pictures and opening them from desktop, or even opening them w/ Irfanview, none of them worked.
What caused the problem and how to fix it?


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Re:Re:Re: unreadable jpg file

I am surprised that IrfanView was not able to open the JPG file. I've had it fix lots of pictures for me. But that is not it real claim to fame anyway. I'm just surprised it couldn't help.

But, I wonder how you actually tried to use IrfanView to open the file, since it is in your Outlook.
I wonder about this because I have seen some people not have their associations correctly set, and believe that their program of choice will automatically be used.

Here is one way of how (and if you already know this I apologize right now) to use IrfanView without needing to set up the associations, at all.

Within Outlook, just select File>Save Attachments, and place the picture file to where you can easily find it (perhaps your desktop?)
Then open IrfanView and drag-and-drop the icon of your picture (was it on the desktop) right into the IrfanView window.

Any valid picture (and most sound and video) files will be recognized and opened. If the extension of the file is something other than what is expected you will be told of the misname, and you will be asked if you want it corrected.

You don't need to have it corrected, to actually see the picture file, though.

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Re: Re:

Chuck, Just a thought, what if the Jpg file was sent through Outlook as a MIM file. In order to send correct files you should select UU Files in Outlook through preferences.
Do you think that is the problem? Very easy to just send out a download file as a MIM file. You have to have Microsoft software or 2nd parties such as TNEF1,ObCARB that will be able to read a MIM file. Really hard to do. Wish everyone knew how to send out downloads from LOOKOUT! Outlook has many problems. Another Microsoft Goof-Up!


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Re:Re:Re: unreadable jpg file

If you could post the offending file out to somewhere we all can get to it, I'd love to see what the problem might be.

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No clues in your post yet.

No files for us to look at, unsure if you tried IRFANVIEW so it's a mystery until then.

Windows NT you say? I have to share that ALL NT 4.0 boxes and servers were removed from service at home, office and lab due to Microsoft leaving a security issue unpatched. Its only a matter of time till some worm writer drives the final virtual into its coffin.

You are aware of this issue and have put in a firewall?


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Here's a clue
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Same answers plus...

If you open the file with an editor (I used a hex editor) the "JFIF" sequence isn't in the first line.

It's just some file for who knows where without much to write about.

Delete it and move on.


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don't see squat

Yeah I downloaded the 2+MB file also, and there is nothing I see that resembles any picture file type I'm familiar with.


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Unreadable JPEG File

Bob, We see these messages all the time because of LOOKOUT! MS Outlook has a number of ways to send out attachments. Onfortunately, many users do not know how to attach anything. There is a choice of attaching, and the choice should be UU CODE. Universal Code.
If anyone cannot open a JPEG file, Photoshop V4 and beyond will normaly open it. Next step is to open it up with a web browser and to take a screen shot of it. May be low res at 70dpi, but better than nothing, How about educating people on how to send a file in the first place? I really hate to download a MIME File. Not many really know how to do do that either.


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Unreadable JPEG File

The file is corrupted probably. Happens a lot.

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Similar problem - but stranger

My wife and I both have accounts on the same XP machine. We take a lot of digital pics (so there's no email problem here), and save them to the hard drive. I do virtually all of the image uploads and editing if needed. We use Fotoalbum (from to catalog the images. Some time ago, my wife noticed that she could not open certain images using her account - Fotoalbum would yield an error when she clicked on the thumbnail. Drilling into explorer, Windows Explorer would not show a thumbnail,and gave an unrecognized header error. But here's the odd thing -- the pic opens fine in my account, both thru Fotoalbum, Windows Explorer, and Irfanview. We have been told that we should delete her user account because something in hers probably got corrupted.

That would be fine, and I was planning to do that, but here's the strange thing. We just got a new laptop, which we've networked to the desktop wirelessly. Logged into my account, I have the same problem with some images pulled from the desktop -- unrecognized header. But if I get on the desktop, I can open those files just fine.

Any clue what could possibly be going on here?

Direct replies to are appreciated, in addition to posting here.


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Posting your email address in the clear is not a good idea since:

1. Spam robots harvest the address and begin the duluge.

2. Cnet offers a privacy protected email contact method in your profile that won't reveal this address.

I can delete your post if you want to cut spam.

--> My bet is some ownership issue is at play. Have the failing account taken ownership of the file.


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taking ownership

Lol, thank you for the warning, but that account has long been totally overwhelmed by spam and I've dedicated it to that purpose. I have other accounts that I use for other purposes.

How do I have the failing account take ownership? And does that affect other accounts' ability to see the file?

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An article about such.
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taking ownership

Thank you, I'll take a look at this!

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unreadable jpg files

I'm having problems with being able to read jpg type files.
any time I scan anything I can not get any of my office programs to open or read these files. "windows 07" word, word pad, word processor

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.JPG is a picture

A .JPG file is a picture, and you said that your scanned pictures will not open with your Office programs. Office is (in the basic form) Word, Excel, and perhaps Powerpoint; those are .DOC, .XLS, and .PPT, respectively, and none of those are picture files.

The few Windows default programs that are going to open .JPG files are MS Paint, Internet Explorer, and the Windows Picture Viewer (or a name similar to that).

If you want more versatility and capability in opening picture files then search for one of many different, and usually free picture viewers (like IrfanView, XnView, Picasa, to name a few).

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