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Recovering FLAC's deleted from hard drive, deleted FLAC's and then recoverd turn out corrupted
post Jan 20 2013, 19:43
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Hello everyone
some time ago I had - amongst other stuff - a part of my flac collection (ca. 200 gb) accidentally deleted from my external hard drive (don't ask how, I "experimented" with some drivers for my VAIO bluetooth and suddenly on opening one, I just noticed files being deleted - just saw as folders disappear one by one in the hard drive window, only managed to plug out the disk to limit my losses).
anyway, I bought a software which I used to recover photos, mp3's, videos in different formats, lots of kinds of other files/formats and the problem is with the flac files.
first of all, the recovery software sees all the flac's (and other lossless) as "probably overwritten." this is strange because for instance some of the albums were copied to the disk just before the deletion, and generally, this was just a storage disk, not much copy/cut/paste/delete/save was going on there, except from putting the stuff there once and for good.
of course, I know that some of the files must be overwritten, I mean, properly overwritten but my point is, some of the files can't just be overwritten (in terms of how saving on hd works). besides, inside the same music folders where the flacs appear corrupted, there's bunch of other files, like art work for example which are not corrupted and were recoverd completeley.
now, I don't know how about the recovery software seeing the FLAC (and other lossless) files as "probably overwritten" I asked that question to the manufacturer, but haven't got the answer.

SO, my question to you guys is: are FLACS,APE's etc prone to getting corrupted when deleted and recovered? (maybe because of how they're built - MD5, CRC - these are just my guesses) and therefore the damage is permanent? anyone had similiar experience? or is there a way to repair lossless files?

Some details on what I tried:
- any action in foobar (like opening such flac, veryfying integrity) just gives me :(Unsupported format or corrupted file)
- in dbpoweramp try to convert it to wave or test coversion: Information converting to Wave, md5 did not match decoded data, file is corrupt.
- in dbpoweramp try to convert it to flac: Error input channel count more than FLAC can handle. [clEncoder::BeginConversion]
- audio tester - 1 file scanned, 1 file failed: (LOST_SYNC @ 0m 00s); the same with FLAC TESTER.
- FLAC FRONTEND: even with the errors option ticked it says: Run-time error '75 path/file access error

also I opened the flacs (but only e few of them, because this is where chinesse begins to me ;-) and simply lost hope ) with hex editor looking for the flac sequence numbers but I couldn't find one proper sequence

I'll be happy to know if I'm just wasting my time
thx in advance
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post Jan 21 2013, 12:45
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We forgot to ask you what file system you're using for the storage drive. From the utilities you're using, I assume it's NTFS.

As long as you've got your hex editor out, look at the documentation for the FLAC file format and see if there's a pattern to the corrupted bytes (for example, 4C is often missing but the other bytes are correct in the identifier). If you can find a pattern for the damage, running a replace operation might work for at least those files that match the pattern. It's a long shot, but if they're really important files (I hope they're not) it might be worth the time and effort if your forensic utilities can't help.

On the other hand, your time might be better spent scouring eBay or your local thrift shops/used CD stores for replacements. Used CDs, as you know, are very cheap these days. You haven't told us what's in the files you're trying to recover, so I'm just assuming they're either commercial music or legally circulating live shows.

This post has been edited by jkauff: Jan 21 2013, 13:05
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