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Thread: File header issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default File header issues

    I just had to have some data recovered from an external drive that was damaged. A lot came back OK but some .wav files will not load at all. You know the drill, SAW says "unrecognized header type". Before I just give up on these files, can anyone tell me if the headers can be fixed so SAW will load them? I seem to remember that this can be done. I think, somewhere in the dim past, Bob helped me with this before, not sure. The files are part of sessions from live shows and the sessions come up with all of the regions etc. except for these un-readable files that show up as empty regions, of course. Please help! I spent $300 to get the recovery done and was told going in that I wouldn't get everything. The recovered 97% of the sectors. So, if these files are just gone forever, so be it. I sure would like to be able to mix these shows!!

    Tried opening as "raw" files in Soundforge. Parts of the files are Ok, large parts are not at all. Am I dead in the water now?


    Bob???
    Last edited by demodoc; 08-21-2017 at 09:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: File header issues

    In the past, I've been able to recover corrupt wav files using a free program called 'Audacity'...you can load raw PCM files in it, and then re-save them..do a search, you should be able to find it.
    Laughing Crow Studios
    Alberta Canada

  3. #3
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    Default Re: File header issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny O View Post
    In the past, I've been able to recover corrupt wav files using a free program called 'Audacity'...you can load raw PCM files in it, and then re-save them..do a search, you should be able to find it.

    Thanks but the file opens with big stretches of audio that is just a long beep and the visual display shows how damaged it is.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: File header issues

    If you use a regular audio program to read the file(with no header), you will get and hear junk because the program has no reference to play the file....a long beep may be a sampling issue(...how would the program know what sampling frequency to use?). With Audacity you can import the file as RAW PCM audio that doesn't need a header or info to read it, then you could adjust the sampling freq., bit rate etc. Ive been able to import fragments of wav files and play them.. I'm assuming that the file is an actual PCM wav audio file and not some other type of file that you have recovered.
    Laughing Crow Studios
    Alberta Canada

  5. #5
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    Default Re: File header issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny O View Post
    If you use a regular audio program to read the file(with no header), you will get and hear junk because the program has no reference to play the file....a long beep may be a sampling issue(...how would the program know what sampling frequency to use?). With Audacity you can import the file as RAW PCM audio that doesn't need a header or info to read it, then you could adjust the sampling freq., bit rate etc. Ive been able to import fragments of wav files and play them.. I'm assuming that the file is an actual PCM wav audio file and not some other type of file that you have recovered.

    But when I opened the file as a raw file, it wasn't all junk, just parts of it. That's why I think the file are damaged beyond repair, am I wrong?

    Yes, .wav files.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: File header issues

    It may damaged, if corrupt data is actually on the hard drive, then the file may not be repairable, because the data is actually missing. When they took the data off your old hard drive, they transferred the corrupt data too. If you can read the file as raw PCM and you can play parts of the file ok, then you have a corrupt file, not just the header.
    Laughing Crow Studios
    Alberta Canada

  7. #7
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    Default Re: File header issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny O View Post
    It may damaged, if corrupt data is actually on the hard drive, then the file may not be repairable, because the data is actually missing. When they took the data off your old hard drive, they transferred the corrupt data too. If you can read the file as raw PCM and you can play parts of the file ok, then you have a corrupt file, not just the header.
    Yeah, that's what's happening! I am in the process of recovering what I can of the files. Opening as raw, with a header setting of 2 seems to work, then saving as 24 bit mono .wav then refreshing in SAW and placing back in the session.

    Some songs will be usable, some not. Seems like there are a number of files like this in some sessions while other sessions are perfect. The drive fell off the desk while running! I was able to pull some folders complete off of it at first, then it was too far gone after that.

  8. #8

    Default Re: File header issues

    My "layman's" thought is that it's really, really, really unlikely that an audio file corrupted due to physical damage to a drive will have only header damage. It's such a small fraction of the file, after all. You would be extremely lucky if that were the case for any particular file, I'd think.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  9. #9

    Default Re: File header issues

    Quote Originally Posted by demodoc View Post
    The drive fell off the desk while running! I was able to pull some folders complete off of it at first, then it was too far gone after that.
    Yeow! Reminds me of when I got that new laptop for remote recording use (and as part of my square dance rig). When I knew I had a choir concert recording coming up, I got this paranoid idea that somebody could bump the computer during the concert and corrupt the recording by interfering with drive head positioning. So, for the first and so far only time, I bought an SSD to replace the spinner in the machine. So far it has done well.
    Cary B. Cornett
    aka "Puzzler"
    www.chinesepuzzlerecording.com

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