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Flip Camera Issues


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#1 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:01 AM

I have a Flip Camera UltraHD 3, which I have been quite pleased with until last night. I traveled 12 hours to a concert and about 30 minutes into the show, my camera felt very warm and suddenly it shut off and would not power back on. I had another camera with me so I was able to record some of the concert but not in HD. Later in the concert, I popped out the battery on my Flip Cam, tried to cool off the battery, and then it would power back on. I did record the end of the concert with my Flip Cam.

When I arrived home, I saw only one video and realized it was the end of the concert. I cannot find the first 30 minutes anywhere. I even made changes in my Windows 7 laptop to show hidden files and folders and I cannot find the video. I contacted Flip customer support via live chat and they were little help.

I even went as far as to copy all files to my laptop, and then delete everything from my Flip, and then empty my recycle bin on my laptop, and the camera still states I have 1 hour and 30 minutes of recording time available. It should read 2 hours.

So, there are three issues I have.

1) Is there any way to recover the missing part of the concert??? I did try a few data recovery programs but I do not see the file. Recova and GetDataBack FAT were two main options I tried.

2) Eventually I will need to format the camera and then people report the full 2 hours should again be available. However, I want to do this only when my missing 30 minutes of video is recovered, or when it is 100% certain the footage is not recoverable.

3) Is there a fix to prevent this from happening again? I hesitate to use this camera if I will always have to worry about it abruptly stopping. I no longer have a warranty.

Thank you,
Joe

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:08 PM

Hi Joe

That battery pack circuit probably has a thermal breaker in it to shutdown before the battery becomes too hot and explodes or burns your flesh.

The problem is with the sudden shutdown typically created by throwing a thermal breaker. If the file is being saved in a format that is a stream (a good possibility) then we might be able to recover it. Otherwise, recovering it may be possible but it will probably be unplayable.

Let's address your issues one at a time...

1. For recovery, try Photorec. It is included in the TestDisk download (photorec_win.exe)
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
and can be run in Windows.

Let me know if you get stuck anywhere using it. It's text based not graphical.

Here is how you use it...
Double click photorec_win.exe

Select the flip phone storage
press ENTER to proceed

Select the partition the data is on
press ENTER to proceed

choose OTHER and press ENTER

choose WHOLE and press ENTER

press c and it will begin and save the recovered files in a folder called recup_dir.1 in the same location where you have photorec_win.exe

It should run for quite a while if it finds anything.

When it is done, see if your clip was recovered to the folder called recup_dir.1 (maybe more than one folder with names like recup_dir.2 recup_dir.3 etc.) in the same location where you have photorec_win.exe.

2. If Photorec can't get it, you'll probably need to pay a pro to recover it. Its usually expensive and takes considerable time.

3. The battery pack is probably bad. Replacing it should fix it. However, there is a chance that it is caused by another problem in the camera like moisture or a shorting component. That usually shuts down the camera before the batter pack heats up, though.

James

#3 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:57 PM

I used the program suggested and it recovered a lot of the files that were put on the camera initially. However, I was not able to come across the video I lost, nor the video I saved. I thought that was interesting. Besides mp4video files, are there other files types it might be recovered as? Other recovery programs at least saw the one file that I did not lose (but I did delete when I copied all files to my laptop and the deleted all files off of my flip cam).

#4 James Litten

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:24 PM

Sorry to hear that :(

Photorec usually does not recover a file because the recovered file is smaller than the header says it should be or because it is not one of the filetypes that it recognizes.

You might get a clue as to what happened if you look at the log XML file in the recup_dir folder and see if there are any entries in it for the file that you did not recover.

James

EDIT: Also check the unpartitioned area if there is any on the flipcam's memory.

Edited by NeverSayDie, 31 March 2012 - 02:35 PM.


#5 James Litten

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:41 PM

One of my guests this evening is bringing her Flip Camera which I think is the same as yours. I'll run Photorec on it later and let you know if there are any other tips I can give you.

James

#6 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

Good suggestions and thank you James for taking so much time to help me out. In addition to Photorec, are there any other recovery programs you suggest me using?

#7 James Litten

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:57 PM

My pleasure, I get a cheap thrill from data recovery :)

The other recovery software for your situation would be Recuva but you already tried that one.

The main problems with recovering from something like a Flip camera are that it can inadvertently overwrite previously deleted files very easily just by powering it on and sometimes the files can become fragmented when stored which makes it hard for recovery software. Photorec has the most current public algorithms in it that try to act like a scientist does when he reads the data manually and tries to piece it back together. Unfortunately, live scientists are much better at spotting and patching small errors or overwrites than current public algorithms are.

James

#8 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:10 PM

James, I will not go into detail in this thread but should send you a private message sometime. I had a flash drive that I appear to have lost everything and it was an important drive with all of my work files as a teacher. I tried recovery programs and event sent it to two recovery businesses and nothing worked. I will gladly pay you some decent money if you assist me in recovering that stuff! Perhaps I should just start a new thread for that topic, to help keep this thread focused on my flip cam.

#9 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

Neither the lost video nor the one I saved was found listed in the xml document.

#10 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:39 PM

Oh, and the flip cam has only one partition listed when using photorec.

#11 James Litten

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:21 PM

Okay, it's not the same as yours. I've got a Kodak version of the HD Flip Camera here.

When I plugged it into my PC it shows as 2 drives.

One looks like it contains the software required to operate the device. One has movie data.

Does yours have 2 drives?

When I suggested checking the unpartitioned area , what I should have said is on the screen where you select the partition, one of the options is NO PARTITION [WHOLE DISK]. Try that one.

All of my forum based work is 'pro bono'. When I do charge money I charge A LOT :) so that I can provide free help and not starve. I'll look at your other thread and see if I have any suggestions.

James

#12 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:39 PM

One time it appeared to have only one partition, but about 20 minutes before reading your newest response, I tried again and this time it listed the partition you suggested: no partition whole disk. we shall see if that shows anything new...

#13 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:59 PM

Whole disk did not list any new videos.

#14 James Litten

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:22 PM

I did notice on the Kodak that I'm playing with here that the second disk that had the movie data on it showed up in PhotoRec as
HP DVD Writer
instead of Kodak Flip Camera.

That's confusing LOL but it was where I recovered a bunch of old movies from two years ago on it and I do not have any DVD writer connected to my recovery machine right now.

James

#15 joenorwood77

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:47 PM

Recuva does see the one video that worked, but does not see the first clip that is missing. Since my flip cam acts like 30 minutes is used up, the video footage must be somewhere?




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