Photoshop Lightroom 4.4 RAW file corruption (white rectangle covers image)

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  • Updated 5 years ago
Using Photoshop Lightroom 4.4, it appears that one of my RAW files is repeatedly being corrupted or interpreted incorrectly, as shown by a large white rectangle covering one corner of the image with 3 lines across it (red, blue and then red lines). I tried reimporting the photo, and the square was gone for a few minutes, but it reappeared. I have provided a screenshot demonstrating the bug.
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Jay Pound

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Posted 5 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Probably not a bug.

You probably have a corrupt file.

Most likely causes:

Transfer Cable
Card
Reader
Hard Drive

It looks good because you are reading the JPEG preview initially. Then, when the Raw is interpreted, the corruption is revealed in the actual data.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Can you retransfer the file from the camera memory card to your hard-drive or is this an older photo that is no longer on the memory card?
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Rob Cole

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Even memory cards that have been "reformatted" dozens of times may have recoverable images on them, even very old ones. I was shocked when I looked at some of my cards (with some recovery utilities) and found photos I had taken years ago were still recoverable.

So if you don't have a good backup somewhere else, it might be worth a shot to try card recovery.
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Allan Olesen

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The raw data in the file are corrupted.

If you see the photo without corruption in other software or right after Lightroom import, it is because you don't see the raw data at that stage. You only see an embedded .JPG which is not corrupted. A lot of people misinterpret this behaviour and think that the file was corrupted AFTER import to Lightroom.

This is a well-known problem with Canon .CR2 files. They use a lossless compression scheme which is good because you get the full quality in a smaller file. But it is also bad because a single bit error will cause the remaining part of the file to be unreadable.

Other camera manufacturers tend to use lossy compression schemes which are much more robust to single bit errors, or they use no compression at all.
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Josephine Warner

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is there a fix for this issue?
Going forward should the card be replaced? Or is this a hardware issue I should address with Canon?
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Rob Cole

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Step 1: determine the source of the problem.

May be camera, or card, or transport hardware (e.g. reader, cable, ... ), or may be computer hardware (e.g. USB port, disk, ram, ... ).

If you determine the problem is due to a camera hardware issue, then you may want to consult with Canon to get it fixed (or your local camera repair shop if no longer under warranty..).

Sorry - no easy fix for this issue - troubleshooting-101...
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Josephine Warner

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ruled out reader, I have tried to transfer from the camera directly and through my laptop reader.
The problem happens on both pc and mac
I have copied the files to a local drive and to my NAS drive, so not a local issue

I am down to either the card or the camera.
But the main question....Can the images be recovered that are in fact corrupt?

Waiting on a call back from canon tomorrow.
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Rob Cole

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Definitely try another card - they do go bad sometimes.

Images that are corrupt on disk can be recovered by replacing with a backup (if you have one), or recovering from source card if not corrupt there. I'm not aware of any way to uncorrupt a file - maybe if you have the resources of a CSI lab..

But yeah: cameras go bad too sometimes..
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Josephine Warner

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Interesting side note....

Browsing through the 3 different locations I have copied the images to, the nmber of corrupt files varies from 29 to 20.

I am even more confused than I was to begin with.