07-17-2019 08:18 AM
Last week my daughter was visiting and I used a GoPro Hero 7 Black to recorded 39 videos of various activities. These are very important to me since I am experiencing difficulty with visitation from my ex and may be needed to show the courts that my daughters behavior is actually normal when she is with me. I failed to check the videos as I went along. Upon downloading the files after she departed, I discovered 29 of the video files are corrupt. Numerous times I allowed th camera to record until the battery died and it locked up one time that required removing the battery to reset the camera. While steps can be made to prevent future incidents, I need to recover these video files.
I am seeking advice for a MP4 video repair software or service.
My own searches have found several companies, the most prominant is Stellar Video Repair, formerly Stellar Phoenix. Their free demo software said it "repaired" the file, but I was unable to view the Preview. Upon contacting their customer support (in India), I was told that if the preview does not play a short clip of the video, then it was unable to correctly repair the file. Purchasing the software for $49 would allow me to get the next tier of customer service in which they would manually repair 2 videos at no additional charge. After that it would be $99 per video! The 30 day moneyback guarentee only applies if they are unable to repair a video manually.
Solved! Go to Solution.
3 weeks ago
What a learning process. Thank you to everyone who helped point me in the right direction. Only 1 of my 29 corrupted video files was recoverable.
Here is a review of what I've learned:
1. When a video is recorded, at the end of the file is the information of what settings were used. When the battery dies or memory card isn't working properly, this information is not recorded. Whereas when the file is played back, the media player is unable to detect what it is exactly and what settings to use. Recovery software, such as Stellar and Restore.Media, can use the end part from another video (from the same camera with the same settings) to replace the ending information and "fix" the video.
2. When the memory card is defective or not formatted properly, data may not be recorded. Even though it is recording, no usable data is written. In my case, this resulted in a 3.72GB file that was nothing but 0’s in the binary code. Our rural Nevada internet speed was taking over 6 hours to upload the file and another couple hours to process, only to find that it was unusable. Restore.Media at least was able to tell you about the 0’s and recommended using a Hex Editor to verify their findings. Stellar said they could fix it, but wanted a $49 payment up front for manually fixing the first 2 files, and $99 per file afterwards. If they couldn’t fix it then you could potentially get a refund later.
3. I downloaded the “HxD” Hex Editor from CNET. Opened each of my files and could quickly see the 0’s in all of the binary code. One file had lots of different values. I uploaded this to Restore.Media and their software was able to successfully fix the video file. They allowed me to view the entire file in low resolution, with the option of paying $14.31 for being able to download the full resolution file.
I hope this helps somebody else. Start with a Hex Editor to see if there is information to recover.
07-17-2019 08:25 AM
Are you sure the files are actually corrupt and just not recorded in HEVC format?
Have you tried using VLC player to play them back or tried converting copies of the file using Handbrake? (both of these software programs are free).
Try watching this clip to see if it helps:
07-18-2019 07:21 AM
There is an in-built "SOS" function in the GoPro cameras. It scans the SD card for unfinalized files and then repairs them. Here is a detailed guide on how to use it.
If it doesn't help, you can upload one of the corrupted files to a cloud storage, such as Google Drive and share the link with me - I will try to fix it. Also, upload any valid video file shot with the camera, so I can use it as a reference to rebuild header/indices of the corrupted file.
07-19-2019 11:43 AM
Thanks for the tips, was unaware of these programs.
VLC will not play any of the 29 damaged files. When I run their Convert/Save feature, for example, the new file goes from 1.25GB .MP4 file to a measly 161 bytes .MP4 file and still won't play. VLC will play the 10 good files without problem.
Handbrake says "No valid source or titles found." upon trying to open any of the 29 corrupted files. It easily opens the good files.
07-19-2019 04:21 PM
Thank you for the SOS advice. I am unable to get the SOS function to pop up on the camera per GoPro instructions.
Here is a link to my Google Drive. https://drive.google.com/open?id=13_iYmwRdNE7hyP9BJ6uf8RZWULo6HZVq
The Broken video is 1 of 29 corrupted videos. I believe it's when my daughter caught the fish and was super excited.
The Good video is 1 of 10 working videos from the same camera, memory card, and using the same settings as the corrupted videos. It is two minutes in length and is simply of my daughters playing with Legos. My research indicates a reference video greater than one minute is preferred.
07-19-2019 11:06 PM
Be sure to check the SD card for any *.LRV files. If you find these, be sure to save them to your computer. While this does not directly address your issue with the *.mp4 files, it will allow you to have backup files of the videos. LRV are low resolution video files. If you change the extension from lrv to mp4 they should play, albiet in a lower resolution.
Hope that helps.