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JPEG Files with Segment Length too Short and iPhoto

#1 User is offline   OKPolack 

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 12:54 PM

I have been using iPhoto since it was originally released and, over the years, I have imported many photos. At one point two or three versions ago, iPhoto became unable to open more than 70 of my photos (with sizes around 1MB or so). Other apps (including Photoshop Elements) are also unable to open these photos. An error message that I get from Photoshop Elements is: "Could not complete your request because a JPEG marker segment length is too short (the file may be truncated or incomplete)." Can anything be done to recover these photos? I am currently running iPhoto '09 (version 8.1.2) on OS X.6.5.
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#2 User is offline   chas_m 

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 02:36 AM

View PostOKPolack, on 15 December 2010 - 12:54 PM, said:

I have been using iPhoto since it was originally released and, over the years, I have imported many photos. At one point two or three versions ago, iPhoto became unable to open more than 70 of my photos (with sizes around 1MB or so). Other apps (including Photoshop Elements) are also unable to open these photos. An error message that I get from Photoshop Elements is: "Could not complete your request because a JPEG marker segment length is too short (the file may be truncated or incomplete)." Can anything be done to recover these photos? I am currently running iPhoto '09 (version 8.1.2) on OS X.6.5.


JPEGs are, in my experience, very prone to corruption (being so compressed, one bad "0" does more damage than it would on, say, a TIFF file). Those files are likely corrupted and unlikely be salvageable. The good news is that we MAY not be talking about the "originals" here, and so there may be some hope.

Since whatever happened to your drive to corrupt these photos happened so long ago, there's no way of saying what happened, but you might want to try this -- and this is one of the VERY VERY few times anyone here will EVER see me advocate for going into the iPhoto Library package!

1. Locate the iPhoto Library file (in Pictures). It's not really a file, it's a "package."
2. Right-click (or control-click) on it and select "show package contents."
3. Locate the folder called "Originals." DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO IT UNTIL YOU HAVE ***CAREFULLY*** READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE NEXT STEP.
4. Hold the option key down and drag the "Originals" folder to either an external drive or, if you have lots of spare space on your hard disk, the desktop. MAKE SURE that you see the green "plus" symbol on your mouse as you drag, indicating that you are making a COPY of the Originals folder rather than moving it. IT MUST NOT BE MOVED OUT OF WHERE IT IS.
5. Once this is done, you can see if QuickLook can open the pictures inside your new copy of the "Originals" folder by selecting random photos and pressing the spacebar. These photos will (as the name implies) not have any corrections, cropping or other alterations you may have made.

If the (copy of) "Originals" can't be seen with either QuickLook or Preview (drag and drop them DON'T double-click them), then you're hooped unless you have the originals or a backup somewhere else. If they are fine, immediately back them up so this problem doesn't bite you again!

If you are using iPhoto 11, the "Originals" folder is now an "alias" and the real "Originals" is hiding in a new folder called "Masters" (a better name anyway!). Same diff otherwise.

Proceed with caution and good luck.
Cheers
chas_m


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#3 User is offline   OKPolack 

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 12:31 PM

View Postchas_m, on 20 December 2010 - 02:36 AM, said:

View PostOKPolack, on 15 December 2010 - 12:54 PM, said:

I have been using iPhoto since it was originally released and, over the years, I have imported many photos. At one point two or three versions ago, iPhoto became unable to open more than 70 of my photos (with sizes around 1MB or so). Other apps (including Photoshop Elements) are also unable to open these photos. An error message that I get from Photoshop Elements is: "Could not complete your request because a JPEG marker segment length is too short (the file may be truncated or incomplete)." Can anything be done to recover these photos? I am currently running iPhoto '09 (version 8.1.2) on OS X.6.5.


JPEGs are, in my experience, very prone to corruption (being so compressed, one bad "0" does more damage than it would on, say, a TIFF file). Those files are likely corrupted and unlikely be salvageable. The good news is that we MAY not be talking about the "originals" here, and so there may be some hope.

Since whatever happened to your drive to corrupt these photos happened so long ago, there's no way of saying what happened, but you might want to try this -- and this is one of the VERY VERY few times anyone here will EVER see me advocate for going into the iPhoto Library package!

1. Locate the iPhoto Library file (in Pictures). It's not really a file, it's a "package."
2. Right-click (or control-click) on it and select "show package contents."
3. Locate the folder called "Originals." DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO IT UNTIL YOU HAVE ***CAREFULLY*** READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE NEXT STEP.
4. Hold the option key down and drag the "Originals" folder to either an external drive or, if you have lots of spare space on your hard disk, the desktop. MAKE SURE that you see the green "plus" symbol on your mouse as you drag, indicating that you are making a COPY of the Originals folder rather than moving it. IT MUST NOT BE MOVED OUT OF WHERE IT IS.
5. Once this is done, you can see if QuickLook can open the pictures inside your new copy of the "Originals" folder by selecting random photos and pressing the spacebar. These photos will (as the name implies) not have any corrections, cropping or other alterations you may have made.

If the (copy of) "Originals" can't be seen with either QuickLook or Preview (drag and drop them DON'T double-click them), then you're hooped unless you have the originals or a backup somewhere else. If they are fine, immediately back them up so this problem doesn't bite you again!

If you are using iPhoto 11, the "Originals" folder is now an "alias" and the real "Originals" is hiding in a new folder called "Masters" (a better name anyway!). Same diff otherwise.

Proceed with caution and good luck.

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#4 User is offline   OKPolack 

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  Posted 12 January 2011 - 12:34 PM

B) Many thanx for your suggestions. With the holidays and all, I have not yet had the time to try them with my fingers and toes crossed.
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