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Nightmare situation - corrupt sequence? media? Unable to reconnect half my files.

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Eddie Adams
Nightmare situation - corrupt sequence? media? Unable to reconnect half my files.
on Jun 22, 2013 at 9:27:46 am

I've run into a nightmare situation. A project which has been sitting on the shelf for about a year is finally back in the game... however, the project now appears to be corrupt. Here's what happened:
-The project used to live on an external, then got copied to an internal drive for archive. Now that it's been pulled from the archive drive back onto an edit drive, all hell has broken loose.

1. Project file takes ~10 mins to load, for a 4 minute project. Project contains multi-cam footage and merged footage sync'd with plural eyes. Once the project opened, no sequences would open, giving the "No Media in File" error, then "Out of Memory". Going off another post, I switched the sequence settings from ProRes to Animation and was able to successfully open the sequence and export an XML.

2. I created a new project and imported my XML, telling FCP not to reconnect any media. One by one I've been reconnecting, trying to isolate the corruption. Most of my regular shots reconnect no problem, but I'm having huge issues with any footage that is:
- Multicam (all multicam footage is merged clips sync'd with PluralEyes, so that could also be the issue)
- "Sent" audio from soundtrack
When I attempt to reconnect this media, the Reconnect Media box comes up, lists the missing media. I hit LOCATE and find the media file, hit OK, and it throws me back to the Reconnect Media box... only the bottom half portion where my "relinked" clip should now be listed is empty, as well as the top portion which originally listed the orphaned clip. I am unable to reconnect any of this media.

Any ideas what's going on here? Is there a fix? Thanks.

FCP 7.0.3 on ML, 32GB RAM, 2GB GPU, i5 3.4GHz

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Eddie Adams
Re: Nightmare situation - corrupt sequence? media? Unable to reconnect half my files.
on Jun 23, 2013 at 6:47:31 am

So I've narrowed this down to what appears to be corrupt media on the drive. Using Finder to explore the contents of the folders, I can see that over half my quicktime files and almost all my image files are corrupt and will not open. I've tried all the tricks- changing the extension, opening with different programs, running 3 different "Media Salvage" type programs on it - and everything comes back with "zero data found".

This is a huge corruption across the entire project, and unfortunately we do not have the master media files backed up on a separate drive (ya, the original masters and transcoded project files lived on the same drive... and are now both corrupt... shit).

I'm wondering - are there ANY miracles that people can suggest may salvage this data? Any ideas as to why this mass corruption occurred in the first place? The project folder was copied off an external drive onto a internal "archive" drive. Only this project folder seems to have corrupt files on it. Unfortunately the external drive has since been wiped, so no other copy exists except for the Time Machine Backup (which you guessed it, deleted the old backups in place of the new ones, probably replacing good data with the corrupt).

What can I do to ensure this does not happen in the future? When moving rojects from drive-to-drive, is there a program I can use to ensure nothing corrupts in the process (hash checks, perhaps)? Thanks.

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Eddie Adams
Re: Nightmare situation - corrupt sequence? media? Unable to reconnect half my files.
on Jun 23, 2013 at 8:26:09 am

Just to update, I have found the root of my problem, and no, it's not fixable.

What happened was, apparently when the project was copied from the External to the Internal drive, the transfer did not complete successfully. Although opening the root folder on the internal drive showed that all the file sizes matched, appearing that all the data had been copied, it in fact had only copied about 30% of the data. This is evident by opening the root folder, sorting by name (which i presume is how Finder determines the order of transfer), and seeing a definite line where the 'corruption' begins. My guess was the machine transferring the files suffered a freeze/hard reboot in the middle of a transfer and glitched out somehow, making it appear that all the files were copied (file names, sizes, etc all matched)- but 70% of the files containing no actual data.

An user error, a stupid one at that, and foolish for not double-checking a successful transfer before erasing the External drive. A (costly) lesson learned the hard way....

Can anybody recommend a good hashcheck program, capable of checking entire directories at one time (not just single files), that runs under ML?

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