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Can I recover an apparently corrupt MPEG?


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#1 bomber1712

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 10:21 AM

I have a REALLY important video file that I cannot seem to play. I am at my wits end, and willing to do anything to get the file back. This is a community project. The video is of a WW2 Veteran (approx 90 years old). We are in the process of submitting the entire project to the Smithsonian, and each of the Vets are supposed to get a copy of their interview. I do not want to tell him that we lost the interview! PLEASE HELP!

I shot the video with a Panasonic SDR-H18. I uploaded it to the HDD and it was about a 41 minute video (original file 2.7 GB) that played without a hitch. I used Vegas 7.0 to edit it, but never got around to rendering the finished file. Now, when I try to open it with Vegas, it freezes the program. When I open with Windows Media Player, it plays for about 2 1/2 minutes and then stops.

I have tried to use MPEG Corrector, VCDGear, Virtual Dub, VideoReDo Plus (Trial Version) & MPEG2repair. None of the programs would even open the file. I received various error messages in each, some would just freeze or do nothing. VCDGear seemed to be working, but all it did was fix the file so that I can actually open the 2+ minutes (200MB file) in Vegas. The rest of the file is still missing. Exactly the same result with VideoReDo Plus.

Edited by bomber1712, 08 May 2010 - 10:48 AM.


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#2 666philb

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:58 AM

you've already tried what i would of suggested which is virtualdub, have you tried opening it in vlc player? as that will sometimes play broken files. Another route to try is a datarecovery tool to see if the complete original file can be found

#3 bomber1712

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:40 AM

Thanks for the reply. Here's the error message when I try to run Virtual Dub:

File>Open>"filename"
Check box for "Ask for extended options after this dialog"
Check box for "automatically load linked segments"
Click "Open"
Select "All Frames (I/P/:thumbsup:"
Click "OK"

Virtual Dub Error!
MPEG Import Filter:Invalid Pack at Position 3: marker bit not set; possibly MPEG-2 stream

Virtual Dub will not work with MPEG-2 files? Maybe I am doing something wrong?

#4 marktreg

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:54 AM

You can download an MPEG2 plugin for VirtualDub here:

http://home.comcast.net/~fcchandler/Plugins/MPEG2/index.html

Also, as 666philb says, VLC Media Player is very good at playing broken files. In VLC Media Player you can also try to re-render the file by clicking Media > Convert / Save.

http://www.videolan.org/

I have also found that MPEG Video Wizard will sometimes accept corrupt VOBs and MPEGs that other applications can not handle.

http://www.womble.com/products/index.html

Edited by marktreg, 09 May 2010 - 09:56 AM.


#5 666philb

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:55 AM

I haven't used it for a while, but i remember virtualdub not being able to import certain things, i then discovered virtualdubmod, which is virtualdub with some extra stuff, including mpeg2 support. It's worth a try here's the link

http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualdubmod/files/




edit....think we posted at the same time :thumbsup:

Edited by 666philb, 09 May 2010 - 09:56 AM.


#6 marktreg

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 12:15 PM

Yes, I think we did, 666philb. :flowers:

By the way, I hope that 2 GB of bad sectors on your D: drive hasn't come back. :thumbsup:

#7 666philb

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 12:57 PM

The drives been absolutley fine :thumbsup: Thanks again for that!

#8 marktreg

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:23 PM

No problem, my friend. I would probably never have discovered an easy way of unflagging 'good' bad sectors in XP if you hadn't asked how to do it. I have actually used that method a couple of times since. It's been quite useful. :thumbsup:

Edited by marktreg, 09 May 2010 - 01:25 PM.


#9 bomber1712

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:53 AM

Thanks, guys! I was able to get the MPEG-2 plugin to work. I opened the corrupt file. It says it has like 4800 frames. Does that seem to be enough for a 40 minute mpg (Thinking NOT)?

Also, now that I have the file opened, I'm not sure how to proceed in fixing it. I went File>Save as AVI, and processed. Ended up with the same 2 minutes I already have. Any assistance is appreciated.

Edited by bomber1712, 10 May 2010 - 08:59 AM.


#10 666philb

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 10:38 AM

hi bomber1712,

I'm feeling your pain here!..
No...... 4800 frames is about 2min 40sec,

check the size of the broken file. You said the original was a few gigabytes, is the broken file the size you think it should be? or is it a lot smaller?

When you load it into virtualdub, move the transport slider all the way to the right and check the time of the last frame, is it 40mins or 2-3mins?

If it's 40mins you could try the 'scan video stream for errors' option on the video tab.

Also, you say that you edited it in vegas but never rendered it, so are you sure that you are trying to open the original file and not some kind of vegas temp file? Worth having a search of your computer.

My other option would be to try a data recovery tool to see if the original unedited file still exists somewhere on the harddrive.


http://www.pcinspector.de/default.htm?language=1

If you do try these, install them on a different partition or drive, to the file you want to recover.


edit: may also be worthwhile posting here http://www.videoforums.co.uk/search.php?searchid=312572

Edited by 666philb, 11 May 2010 - 04:21 AM.


#11 bomber1712

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:02 PM

The file on my hard drive IS the original file, I am sure. When I right click, it shows as Size: 2.73 GB (2,940,950,528 bytes) and Size on Disk as: 2.73 GB (2,940,952,576 bytes). When I open in Virtual Dub, it says that it is opening a file size 2,872,022 K. The program "loads" (parsing?) the video, but gets to about 180,000 K and then loads the 4800 frames (and I checked, 2:42 min). So, I'm pretty sure that the entire file is there, somehow, someway, but I cannot figure out how to recover it!

I am going to circle back to a couple of your other ideas. If you think of anything that may work, please stay in touch! If I use one of the recovery programs, will that do anything for this file?

#12 666philb

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:36 AM

I actually doubt that it will, also having looked more closely at those 2 recovery programs, i don't think they're up to the job anyway(they are more sort of an un-delete program).

So my only suggestion i've got left is to post at as many forums as possible, and hopefully get some more ideas.

I'm sorry i couldn't help, but if i think off anything more, i'll post here.

good luck!

edit. i found this on the vcdgear frequently asked questions....

I just used the Fix MPEG Errors (-fix) option and it reported 3 (or some small number) MPEG sections fixed but my final output file is too small.

There are the following possible causes:

1) VCDGear could only locate 3 MPEG headers. If your source file is large in size, then apparently *most* of your source file did not contain any MPEG information.

2) The source file may not be an MPEG file

3) If you are using the raw2mpg option, try disabling the Auto Cut feature (-nocut). This option is only available on version 1.6+ (non-GUI) and 2.5+ (GUI).

and

The video was playing and then suddenly stopped. Media Player thinks the video has ended but it's nowhere near the end. How can I fix that?

The most likely problem here is because there might be a CD-i bumper in your MPEG file. Try to see if you can remove it first. You might also want to try enabling the Fix MPEG Errors option too.

What is a CD-i bumper? What does the Remove CD-i Bumper option (-nobumper) option do?

A CD-i MPEG sequence is often applied by any VideoCD writing program. WinOnCD and VideoPack have this capability and possibly even Adaptec VCD Creator. A CD-i bumper is simply an MPEG sequence that is placed in the first track of a VideoCD. The reason being that a CD-i player will always play this MPEG sequence first.

Unfortunately, this MPEG bumper causes problems for software players. Some symptoms include player lockups, early ending time, slider freeze, top and/or bottom of video getting cut off by black bars, and a/v sync problems. All these problems are possibly related to the MPEG sequence having a different packet size. The packet size of the bumper most likely does not match that of a VideoCD. While the software player is able to play the bumper, as soon as the movie comes up, the packet size changes and this is probably the main reason why all the problems occur.

VCDGear 2.0 now has a Remove CD-i Bumper option that is supposed to fix the problem. Users using the non-GUI version of VCDGear will find a similar option (-nobumper).


Also, did you try using VLC player to open it? http://www.videolan.org/
Another player to try is ELECARD, it can can play broken mpegs at their full length http://www.elecard.com/ftp/pub/mpeg/player/EMpgPlayer.zip

Edited by 666philb, 11 May 2010 - 06:25 AM.


#13 bomber1712

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:57 PM

VLC didn't work. Only played the 2 minutes I have seen over and over. I did run the Copy/

Womble didn't work. Elecard frozwe when trying to open the file. I let it run for a while, then killed it.

Virtual dub mod = I must not understand something. Does this run WITH Virtual dub or as a standalone program?

#14 666philb

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 05:14 AM

I'm sorry to hear that, i was really hoping that 'Elecard' would do the trick as had helped people with a similar problem when nothing else would work. Did you leave it frozen for a while(15-20mins or maybe longer)to see if it would eventually do anything?
(remember to uninstall 'Elecard' before the 30day trial ends or it will watermark playback of mpegs)

As for virtualdubmod, just checked and i see that link wasn't for the complete suite, just an update i think, but it was only needed for the mpeg2 plugin which you installed anyway. Here's the link for the complete Virtualdubmod but i doubt you'll have any luck with it....

http://download.cnet.com/VirtualDubMod/300...4-10518840.html

Here's a few more forums that you could post in

http://forum.videohelp.com/
http://forum.digital-digest.com/

I'm really sorry that nothing has worked, and i don't know what else to suggest.
wish you the best of luck!

#15 bomber1712

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 06:25 AM

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I did let Elecard run, and it DID eventually open the file. It showed the file length as 41 minutes, but played 2:42 and then the video froze. The timer seemed to speed up, but other than that, it played nothing.

I will post to other forums. Is it "PC" to post with a link to this forum?




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