Corrupted Images…why?!?!?!

Ok, so a few months ago, my PC stopped working, so I got a Lenovo all in one type machine (Intel i7, 8gb ram blah blah blah) and a Samsung D3 Station 2 TB external drive to house my photos. I was using a transcend USB 3.0 card reader and Sandisk Ultra 16gb cards (50 mbs).

When I first transferred my files from my backup networked storage to the D3, I had corrupt images all over the place. I painstakingly went through my entire photo collection and had to replace them from the networked drive.
Meaning, Backup copy was good but the process of transferring to D3 via the Lenovo and importing to Lightroom 5.7.1 corrupted the images. Boy, I really regret upgrading lightroom to 5.7.1….arrrrgh it’s so quirky now. I just need to sell a few more photos so I can upgrade to Lightroom 6….Anyways back to the issue.

Since I’ve had corrupt images prior to the cf card issue, I’m thinking it may be my computer, the D3 or a combination of both, maybe messed up usb ports? Maybe it was just a one time thing cuz of the crappy network I have set up? Anyways, issue at hand now is the CF card transfers via card reader attached to the Lenovo to the D3.

Having smashed 2 cf cards and the last one a bit suspect, I had to buy a new one. Lexar Dual slot Professional USB. Not too impressed with the price but, I’m kinda desperate right now and I’m hoping the brand, price and reviews all correctly indicate I’m not gonna have issues with it.

Having researched this stuff, it’s been narrowed down in order of likeliness to
1) Card reader and or cable attaching reader to computer
2) D3
3) CF cards may need replacing soon.
4) Lightroom 5.7.1 is corrupting my files. (According to responses I’ve read online, this is not even possible. Still I have my doubts. Ever since I upgraded to 5.7.1 it seems to be “buggy” as opposed to 5.7, I had no issues / complaints whatsoever.)

So having transferred 2 batches of roughly 6 photos, no corrupted files. I’ll go shooting tomorrow and get a bigger test sample to make sure…fingers crossed….

My lightroom 5.7.1 is still wonky tho, subfolders missing, deleted ones showing up again, previously ok photo shows corrupted the next day….sigh…

June 16, 2105 UPDATE

Ok 3rd Transfer from CF of 83 files, 5 files corrupted.

Since I still can’t view Canon 7D2 raw’s in windows, I can’t see them until I get them into lightroom and DPP won’t show the corruption unless I double click the preview. In the meantime, I’ve found updates for Canon’s DPP (Digital Photo Pro) as well as firmware for the 7D2 (1.0.4).

June 18, 2015 UPDATE

Uploaded same set of Canon 7d2 raw files from same CF using same reader to 3 different computers (internal drive). NO CORRUPTED images on all three. Raw files viewed via Canon’s DPP (various versions due to various OS’s on the computers).

In light of that test, I’m thinking either it’s the Samsung external hard drive or the USB ports of the Lenovo all in one computer (which is one of the computers used in the reader to internal HD test above). So USB port might not be the issue although I have no clue regarding the workings of USB to USB transfers. Oh the reader, Lenovo and Samsung is using USB 3.0.

My next test shall be, once I get a hold of another external HD, if I can transfer files to that without any corruptions. If so then it has to be the Samsung D3 I’m guessing. Stay tuned will post results when I get it done.

06/21/15 UPDATE

Well, I was thinking that my LR 5.7.1 was part of the issue so I tried the free trial LR CC. Went back to folders of photos from a few months ago and find corrupted images. Went into the folder and opened the file in DPP, CS6 and its fine…sigh. If you want to see what the corruption looks like, its similar to the ones seen here:
I tried deleting all previews, generating new 1:!, generating standard previews…all to no avail.This really set me off, so I unplugged the Samsung D3 and plugged in the backup drive, went back into the LR CC and NO CORRUPTED images showed. Go Figure

So whats the difference between the 2 external drives? One’s a Samsung D3 with a seagate drive (OMG I HATE SEAGATE DRIVES!!!! Long story from my Sys Admin days) and the other is a WD Elements. I think I’m ready to blame everything on the SEAGATE drive. Just for closure, I ran chkdsk and it found errors (Volume bitmap is incorrect). I’ll be working on that next and demoting this D3 to something menial, like paper weight. lol. For the record, ALL the sites I’ve found and read regarding image corruption has mentioned Seagate drives….you can make your own conclusion.

So lessons learned:
1) Don’t use windows explorer to transfer files, supposedly it’s not as good/stable as the software that came with your camera
2) Even unstable ram can cause image corruption.

I’m sincerely hoping my issues are gone. I will post and update here if anything else pops up. I hope none of y’all experience this, but if you do, I hope I’ve been able to help.

3 thoughts on “Corrupted Images…why?!?!?!

  1. 9/27/2015
    I’ve been pulling my hair out lately about the corrupted photos in my LightRoom 5.7 library and it’s crazy how many things it has turned out NOT to be. I used to do compatibility testing as part of my job and I’m very analytical, so I knew how to test and eliminate items. But as you’ll see..some particulars still escape ANY explanation.


    The oddest thing to me was going back to files I had worked on about a week or so back and had done work on and at the time and for at least a week there were no issues with any of them. THEN…about 2-3 weeks after that I went back to look at them and all of a sudden some of them began appearing corrupted.

    To me, that is the oddest thing ever. I still can’t explain it.

    BUT…the external drive my files are on is USB 3.0.

    The CF card readers I was using was 3.0..and I had bought a different one to test out a theory. Same thing happened with that one by the way.

    Today I used a different PC and imported those same files into a new catalog on that laptop with a totally new install of Lightroom. I even went back in version to 5.5 with it just to test that out. I imported the files into the catalog over my home network and had them copy on my C drive in My Pictures folder so they’d be local. SAME THING HAPPENED!

    Remembering something that happened a few months back that seemed to make a difference, I removed the photos, then re-imported them into that new library all over again but this time I used a USB 2.0 CARD READER that i used to use.

    NO CORRUPTED FILES!! YAY! 🙂 Though obviously it took a LOT longer but I didn’t care.

    At that point I copied those clean files (no corruption anywhere) over my network to my main photo library and copied OVER the existing photos that were there.

    Then I went back to my main PC where I do all of my work. I then deleted the Previews cache folder, and launched Lightroom and went to that folder.

    They came up and some still looked corrupted. 🙁 BUT…(HOLD ON IT GETS GOOD, TRUST ME)…all of the files had an icon that said the metadata had been changed and did I want to import the settings from disk or overwrite the settings.

    I wasn’t sure what to do, but with several corrupted photos still showing, I noted the file name and picked the first option (import settings from disk). Nothing, still corrupted…but wait…let me try something now. So I then had Lightroom generate a new 1:1 preview for that file and several seconds later. VOILA! Clean valid file again! 🙂 !!!!

    So then I did another corrupt file and chose the second option. Same results. Generated a new preview and voila. File is good again.

    So the metadata option at that point didn’t matter. Just generating new previews worked.

    So where do I stand with this right now?

    Temporarily I’m planning to:
    – Get a new internal SSD to use for this same purpose and move my entire library to that instead of using the external 3.0 HDD..and pray that none of my older files don’t begin exhibiting issues after a period of being fine.
    – Only import files using a USB 2.0 card reader
    – Continue researching this issue even though the number of people suffering from it seems low but BOY OH BOY is it nerve wracking when it happens to you.

    • Hi Robert,

      Sorry to hear of your corrupt image issue. Glad you came up with a resolution. Please update if you have more info/details.

      As for me, I’ve just pried open the Samsung D3 Station and replace the hard drive with a Western Digital 3 TB drive. I will begin copying images to it from a USB 2.0 external drive via my Lenovo desktop’s onboard USB 3.0 capable ports. Will report details of any mishaps, hopefully none tho.

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