How to Recover m2ts from SDHC card

vbimport

#1

[qanda]This thread is about the A-DATA 16GB, Turbo Secure Digital SDHC CL6. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]Hello Everyone,
I have been using digital video for years and just recently retired my canon zr20 mini dv. I replaced it with a Canon Vixia HF100 but here lies my problem. After shooting video this weekend i had about 2 hrs of hd
m2ts video files stored on a 16gb sdhc card. I went to swap cards out, I think one of the contacts scratched something on the way out. When I put the card back in the reader now it says it needs to be formatted. It
still shows up as a valid card, and registers with the correcting size when I use data recover programs. My question is what is the best software out there to recover m2ts video files. All the flash card recovery programs
I can find only have programs can find only have regular video formats so after they finish scanning the card they say nothing is found.
Any advice would greatly be appreciated, the card is a sdhc adata 16gb class 6. Thanks in advance.


#2

I don’t understand why your recovery program can’t see the m2ts file unless it’s not there. The SDHC looks like a disk to the OS, probably formatted to fat32/16, so if there is anything on it you should be able to see it, it doesn’t matter what the data is (avi, mov, mpeg, m2ts, jpeg, .txt, .doc., etc). Are you sure your PC SD reader supports the HC cards?


#3

I thought that might be the issue, but I was able to pull the files off the sdhc disk before with the reader. When I put the card back into the camera it says to check the card so its really something to do with the card I think. I have not been able to actually get anything off the card except some txt files that really didn’t exist. I will look around and see if I have a newer card reader and see if that helps. Thanks for the tip.


#4

The “reader” has corrupted the FS structure on the card.


#5

I have the same problem with one card used with the VIXIA HF100 but my malfunction occurred suddenly while the card was still in the camcorder. NeoBrian did you solve your problem? My understanding is that most if not all recovery programs are still not designed to recognize, let alone, recover M2TS files. Some tell me that they soon will recognize (and fix) M2TS files. Anyone know a current software program that works? Canon was not helpful and suggested formatting every new card with the HF100 before using it to prevent the malfunction in the future. Transcend, the company that made the 16GB card that failed, emailed me about a program that also did not work. Most programs at least recognize that I have about 5GB used of the 16GB capacity. The camcorder itself tells me to reformat the card which I hesitate to do for fear of making recovery even more difficult. I must confess that I did not really comprehend some of the responses to NeoBrian’s question.


#6

Where are you getting the idea that m2ts files are somehow “special” and can’t be seen by recovery programs. If something malfunctioned with the camcorder then the file is probably corrupt or lost. Take the flash card, put it in the reader on your pc, and copy whatever is on it to your hard drive. If there’s nothing there, then there’s nothing there. If you don’t have a reader that supports the card, doesn’t Canon provide a way of transferring through USB or Firewire?


#7

NeoBrian & Eric8,

You haven’t posted what recovery programs you have already tried and failed.

Have you tried PhotoRec (comes with the TestDisk download)?
According to the page below, m2ts files are supported.
Link:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/File_Formats_Recovered_By_PhotoRec

If you haven’t tried it, it’s worth a shot.
Good Luck.


#8

Thanks for your recommended software link–I tried to try it but unsuccessfully. Any suggestions for why my computer can download it ok but there was no prompt to install it–even worse there was no apparent set up I could see, and my computer does not recognize the extensions for the files I downloaded.
As to what other recovery programs I had already tried unsuccessfully I have kept track of only two:
Two of the programs that I’ve tried and did not work were Image Recall and Digital Image Recovery. There was another one or two programs I did not keep track of, which also did not work. One software website emailed me saying that in a month or so they expect to upgrade their product to be able to recover lost m2ts files. Thanks again


#9

[QUOTE=Eric8;2234437]Thanks for your recommended software link–I tried to try it but unsuccessfully. Any suggestions for why my computer can download it ok but there was no prompt to install it–even worse there was no apparent set up I could see, and my computer does not recognize the extensions for the files I downloaded.
[/QUOTE]

Eric8,
In my next post I will try to walk you through using the PhotoRec software.:):
The post is a bit long, and I hope not too confusing. PhotoRec is not that difficult to use.
I don’t guarantee it will recover your files, but I have had great success with it in the past. You didn’t mention which operating system you have on your PC, but I am using WinXP SP3.


#10

One step at a time.:slight_smile:

Was the zip file you downloaded named testdisk-6.10.win.zip ?
If so, that is the right file.
These programs TestDisk and PhotoRec [B]don’t have an installer[/B]. They run directly by double-clicking the executable file.
Extract the contents of the downloaded zip file above. The folder will be named:
[B]testdisk-6.10[/B]. You can extract it anywhere on your system, like your desktop for example.
Inside this folder is another folder named: [B]win[/B]
Inside the win folder is a file named:
[B]photorec_win.exe[/B]
[I](On your PC the file extension [B].exe[/B] may or may not be shown.)[/I]
This is the executable file you want to run by double-clicking.
Perhaps first insert your memory card into the PC and remove any CDs from the optical drive.
Then you run photorec_win —it will scan the drives on your PC and a black window will open giving some info on the program followed by a list of the drives connected to your PC. This should include the memory card as well. Check to make sure the capacity of the card shown in list matches the capacity of your card.
Using the up/down arrow keys on your keyboard [I]select[/I] the drive which is your memory card.
Then hit the Enter key on your board and the program will “[I]Proceed[/I]” to:
A black window asking for the partition type on your card.
This is most likely “Ïntel/PC partition”, but it will depend on the hardware you are using. Make your selection using the arrow keys again and press Enter.
Now a third black window will open giving the format information on your card.
This is probably FAT32, but it could be FAT16 or NTFS as well, depending on who formatted the card. But at the bottom of this window four choices are given:

[B]Search-----------Options-----------File Opt-----------Quit[/B]

  1. [B]Quit[/B] is obvious–it will exit back to the previous window.
  2. [B]Search[/B] is obvious–it will begin the procedure to start the recovery search.
  3. [B]File Opt[/B]–allows you to choose which file extensions are to be searched, you can enter this if you want to narrow the search down by selecting which extension you want to recover, before pressing the Search option.
  4. [B]Options[/B]–Some advanced options, you probably don’t need to change anything here.

Once you’ré ready to begin the attempted file recovery select the [B]Search[/B] option and press Enter. Another window will open asking about the files system type:
You probably want to choose “Other”, which includes FAT, NTFS, HFS, ReiserFS…

Yet another window will open asking if you want to recover files from
Free Space or
Whole

Free Space means files in unallocated space on the card, like files mistakenly deleted.
Whole means all space on the card, whether allocated or unallocated.
Make a choice then press Enter.

Now the last window will open, pretty much asking you where on your PC you want the recovered files to be saved. I recommend just press [B]Y[/B] and they will be saved to the [B]testdisk-6.10/win folder[/B].

Once you press Y, it will begin the recovery and save the files found to a new folder named something like [B]recup_dir.1[/B] in the above win folder. Also, the recovered files will probably have strange names but should have the correct file extension, in your case [B].m2t[/B] or [B].m2ts[/B]

It make take some time to complete the search for files, depending on the size of the card and the number and size of the files to be recovered.
Using TestDisk is similar to PhotoRec, (same-same but different.:bigsmile:)

I may have made the software sound complicated to use, but it is really quite simple in actuality.:slight_smile:


#11

Hi and Thanks very much,

I just saw your posts. I too am using XP SP3, so I am hopeful that I can successfully at least try to use the software and recover the files. I realize that actually recovering files is not a sure thing. I will give it a try in the morning, Thanks again for your detailed instructions.


#12

Your welcome and good luck.:slight_smile:

One last mention, those files in the TestDisk folder that your PC didn’t see the extensions, that’s because they don’t have any. But they’re simple documents. You can open them with Notepad if you want to read them.:slight_smile:


#13

O&O discrecovery never failed me.


#14

To the OP and others:

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to recover files from an SDHC card which had been formatted inside a Canon camcorder using the usual recovery software available to consumers. This is because most SDHC card readers know only the FAT and FAT32 filesystems - but Canon camcorders insist on formatting the cards with their own proprietary, nonstandard filesystem. This proprietary filesystem is required because Canon tends to leave super-long videos as a single extra-large file whereas some other brands break down long videos into multiple files of less than 2GB each to circumvent the shortcomings of FAT and FAT32. And the FAT32 filesystem is limited to a maximum file size of 4GB each.


#15

[QUOTE=uSerKey;2230014]NeoBrian & Eric8,

You haven’t posted what recovery programs you have already tried and failed.

Have you tried PhotoRec (comes with the TestDisk download)?
According to the page below, m2ts files are supported.
Link:
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/File_Formats_Recovered_By_PhotoRec

If you haven’t tried it, it’s worth a shot.
Good Luck.[/QUOTE]

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! This program saved all the files on my SD card from my Canon Vixia HFS100. My wife and I recently went on our babymoon in Maui and when I came back, Windows tried to “fix” my SD card rendering it useless. I knew the files were still there because the properties still showed 16Gb’s being occupied. This program went in and recovered them. It was super easy…although I tried the beta version first and it didn’t work so I went back to the original version. Again…thanks a ton for this program and post!


#16

[B]:disagree: Stop trying anything else and get this free program::)[/B]
For hd mt2s on my panasonic lumix tz7, (my laptop had been back to HP for repair, new motherboard and usb port and lcd screen all replaced) ( out of warrantee ) cardreader didnt recognize my card it when I got it back and it for some reason wiped everything on it ( 16gb transcend sdhc class 6 )
I tried free version of ‘recuva’ while good it only finds jpg and mov and wmv etc, also tried my bought ‘badcopypro’ again it didnt find any mt2s, after a week I gave up and reluctantly formatted my card with the camera to avoid any further problems taking new photos and videos. While doing a search later I came across this post and thought well may as well give it another try, I gave up on first two go’s as seemed a bit complicated, I went back and followed his instructions and tried again, I was absolutely amazed it found everything that I had taken right back to 5 months ago ( so much for formatting in camera to destroy old photos and vids eh ) thank you thank you 'userkey; whoever you are, I have back baby vids that I thought were gone for ever.:cool:
Cheers Derek

Follow the details in this post, stick with it as it works fantasic and is pretty quick, watch your lost mt2s files appear before your very eyes.

[QUOTE=uSerKey;2235201]One step at a time.:slight_smile:

Was the zip file you downloaded named testdisk-6.10.win.zip ?
If so, that is the right file.
These programs TestDisk and PhotoRec [B]don’t have an installer[/B]. They run directly by double-clicking the executable file.
Extract the contents of the downloaded zip file above. The folder will be named:
[B]testdisk-6.10[/B]. You can extract it anywhere on your system, like your desktop for example.
Inside this folder is another folder named: [B]win[/B]
Inside the win folder is a file named:
[B]photorec_win.exe[/B]
[I](On your PC the file extension [B].exe[/B] may or may not be shown.)[/I]
This is the executable file you want to run by double-clicking.
Perhaps first insert your memory card into the PC and remove any CDs from the optical drive.
Then you run photorec_win —it will scan the drives on your PC and a black window will open giving some info on the program followed by a list of the drives connected to your PC. This should include the memory card as well. Check to make sure the capacity of the card shown in list matches the capacity of your card.
Using the up/down arrow keys on your keyboard [I]select[/I] the drive which is your memory card.
Then hit the Enter key on your board and the program will “[I]Proceed[/I]” to:
A black window asking for the partition type on your card.
This is most likely “Ïntel/PC partition”, but it will depend on the hardware you are using. Make your selection using the arrow keys again and press Enter.
Now a third black window will open giving the format information on your card.
This is probably FAT32, but it could be FAT16 or NTFS as well, depending on who formatted the card. But at the bottom of this window four choices are given:

[B]Search-----------Options-----------File Opt-----------Quit[/B]

  1. [B]Quit[/B] is obvious–it will exit back to the previous window.
  2. [B]Search[/B] is obvious–it will begin the procedure to start the recovery search.
  3. [B]File Opt[/B]–allows you to choose which file extensions are to be searched, you can enter this if you want to narrow the search down by selecting which extension you want to recover, before pressing the Search option.
  4. [B]Options[/B]–Some advanced options, you probably don’t need to change anything here.

Once you’ré ready to begin the attempted file recovery select the [B]Search[/B] option and press Enter. Another window will open asking about the files system type:
You probably want to choose “Other”, which includes FAT, NTFS, HFS, ReiserFS…

Yet another window will open asking if you want to recover files from
Free Space or
Whole

Free Space means files in unallocated space on the card, like files mistakenly deleted.
Whole means all space on the card, whether allocated or unallocated.
Make a choice then press Enter.

Now the last window will open, pretty much asking you where on your PC you want the recovered files to be saved. I recommend just press [B]Y[/B] and they will be saved to the [B]testdisk-6.10/win folder[/B].

Once you press Y, it will begin the recovery and save the files found to a new folder named something like [B]recup_dir.1[/B] in the above win folder. Also, the recovered files will probably have strange names but should have the correct file extension, in your case [B].m2t[/B] or [B].m2ts[/B]

It make take some time to complete the search for files, depending on the size of the card and the number and size of the files to be recovered.
Using TestDisk is similar to PhotoRec, (same-same but different.:bigsmile:)

I may have made the software sound complicated to use, but it is really quite simple in actuality.:)[/QUOTE]


#17

Sorry in all the excitement I forgot to say, after finding the m2ts files I used free trial of DIVX Converter to convert to its .divx format, ( I will be paying for this converter as it is really excellent and easy to use and only around £15 ) ( it converts files made in hd to a normal format which you can then edit in easy to use windows movie maker etc ) 1 lost the hd quality but i don’t care ( I have stored the original m2ts found with this for later when I learn more ) . ( I haven’t found out how to play the m2ts files without the other bits that are made along with it.
Cheers
Stick with it it works and is non destructive.


#18

The program suggested by Userkey worked like a charm and I managed to get most of the video files of my family holiday! Amazing what is out there when you look for self-help on the Internet. Thanks Userkey for sharing the tip. FYI, I was using a 16GB Class 4 SDHC card which suddenly crashed inside the camcorder while on the holiday. Windows refused to read first so I did a quick format (very hesitantly). Still none of the other programs such as Recuva or Zero Assumption Recovery helped. PhotoRec is the winner!!!


#20

I’ve only joined to say thanks to Userkey for his recommendation and advice, as the PhotoRec has succesfully recovered three mts files from a recent concert I had deleted accidentally!!! The interface does seem a bit scary at first, but following the instructions (and also those at http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step) meant things went very smoothly.

Took about 25 minutes to search a 32gb card in my Panasonic Lumix TZ7 (only looking for m2ts files). Initally I thought the program wouldn’t see my mts files, but after a brief search I saw that m2ts and mts are kinda the same, and I was correct the program found them! Had tried a few other programs that didn’t work so thanks to PhotoRec! I’m so pleased that I might even make a donation to the creators of the program :slight_smile:


#21

I have Canon HG21. I deleted, by mistake, all the scenes from camera’s HDD. It was 394 clips.
After searching i finally read UserKey’s post about “photorec” & “testdisk”. It was the only one that worked for me.

First i used the “photorec.exe”. I tried 2-3 times with different results. First it recovered 289 files, second 278 and third 392. I didn’t understand why. Anyway, every try took about 4-5 hours and the result was scene.m2ts which was working fine (audio & video) but there was no information about the scene (shooting date, time).

Then i used the “testdisk.exe”. A miracle happened. I could see the whole structure of camera’s hdd with the scenes in it of course. The only thing i had to do was to press “c” for copying the whole folders (AVCHD, DCIM, MISC) from camera to my computer. It took about 4 hours and everything was there like they never been lost.

The last thing i can do is to say a big thanks to UserKey. You saved me.