Panasonic Cameras Forum
Recovery of MTS files
Recovery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on May 30, 2010 at 4:05:49 pm

While shooting a wedding yesterday, I was horrified to receive the dreaded "Check Card" error message on my HMC150. I swapped cards and continued shooting, with no further problems.

Today when I went to archive my footage, I was unable to get the card to even mount on my Mac desktop. When inserted back into the camera, the card still brings up the "Check Card" message.

I'm shooting on Transcend 32GB cards, class 6. I did extensive research before purchasing, and these cards came highly recommended. Also, after doing more research this morning, I've read that all card types, regardless of brand, capacity, class, etc... have fallen victim to similar errors (even the most expensive Panasonic SDHC cards).

I have Data Rescue 2, which was able to recover JPEG stills from all 214 of my shots (a small thumbnail of the first frame of each shot), but nothing else. From what I've read, most programs are not setup to recognize MTS files.

Does anyone know of a data recovery program for the Mac that is able to recognize and recover MTS files?

Also, has anyone else successfully recovered their video after having a similar problem?

As a last resort, I contacted a company called DriveSavers which claims to be able to recover the files, but that will cost me $790. Of course I'm trying to avoid that all cost.

This really freaks me out, the possibility that this couple's wedding memories might be lost forever because the card suddenly decided to die. It goes without saying that this is totally unacceptable, but how is it avoidable? I switched from DV because of the beautiful images the HMC150 produces, but that's irrelevant if the footage doesn't survive. I fear there is no solution.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by George Gio on May 30, 2010 at 8:37:44 pm

try to use R-Studio

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on May 30, 2010 at 10:04:01 pm

I tried R-Studio and it did not work.

On the recommendation of Noah Kadner in another forum, I tried PhotoRescue, and that seems to have worked.

Since the Mac can't natively read an MTS file, I had to purchase a convertor program on top of PhotoRescue. But that's still better than spending $790 to have someone else accomplish the same thing.

I'll keep you updated on the final result.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by George Gio on May 30, 2010 at 10:55:26 pm

try to scan you card on Linux
if you card have any info you can save it.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Justin Parker on May 31, 2010 at 7:00:24 pm

You just saved me the time for posting this question because almost the identical thing happened to me yesterday except I have a Transcend 16GB Class 6 card. I am currently trying the AVCCAM Restorer program from the Panasonic website and will let you know how it goes. I was using the HMC-150 as well.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Justin Parker on May 31, 2010 at 7:16:38 pm

As a follow up, the AVCCAM Restorer didn't work. It said "A file necessary for restoration is not found"

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on May 31, 2010 at 7:24:16 pm

I totally forgot about the AVCCAM Restorer (although I thought it was only available for PC).

If you do end up going with PhotoRescue, make sure you get version 3

The previous version (2.1) had a limitation on the size of the file it would recover. After just under 700 MB it would truncate the file and move on. After some follow-up support from PhotoRescue, they gave me an upgrade to version 3 to finish the job.

I'm currently in the process of re-recovering the files (using version 3) in their entirety (hopefully).

I'll provide an update later today.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Justin Parker on May 31, 2010 at 8:21:18 pm

I am using Windows, but there was definitely a Mac version of it on the Panny website.

I also found this software:
It has MTS files on it's list of supported file types. It's a windows only program but if what you're using doesn't work you could probably borrow a PC to try it. I haven't used it yet though, I'm waiting to get an opinion from an acquaintance who is an IT guy first and I'd like to get your results as well.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on Jun 2, 2010 at 2:20:59 am

Version 3 of PhotoRescue has managed to recover the entirety of the files (sort of). While it does allow you to increase the maximum size of a recovered file, it has taken the larger files and broken them into smaller pieces (with small pauses and gaps in between).

I re-running the program again a different way to see if I can get a different result. If not, I'm going to contact the PhotoRescue support (again) to see if they have any suggestions.

I'm at a point now where I have enough of the original footage to complete the video without having to offer it to them for free (which I would feel obligated to do if I lost most of their footage). From here forward I'm simply trying to take the recovery from "Excellent" to "Perfect."

Also keep in mind that after the recovery, you'll need a program to convert the MTS files into a format that the editor can read (if you're on a Mac. I've heard that certain PC editors can read the MTS files natively). I downloaded a program called "Wondershare Video Convertor Pro" to convert the videos, but the program has proved to be a major disappointment. I'm pursuing a refund, and will instead purchase a program called "ClipWrap" that takes the MTS files and simply re-wraps them into MOV containers without any transcoding (thus preserving the original quality).

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Justin Parker on Jun 3, 2010 at 6:11:54 pm

I'm glad you got your files back. I've tried the PhotoRescue and Card Recovery and neither has worked. Would you mind sharing the info on the company that said they could retrieve it for $800? I'll be happy to pay it if it works.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on Jun 3, 2010 at 6:26:08 pm

The name of the company is DriveSavers. I spoke with Tony, who was very helpful.

He said that they have a guarantee on their recovery...if they aren't able to recover the files, you don't pay (which makes sense).

So you said that the other programs weren't able to recover the files. Was it that the programs (PhotoResuce specifically) weren't able to find any of the MTS files, or did it find them but the files weren't usable?

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Justin Parker on Jun 3, 2010 at 6:50:04 pm

The programs basically said all the sectors were bad and neither could identify a single file, so it doesn't look good. I don't know exactly how these cards work but maybe there's a controller chip on the card that is shot but the info is still intact in the memory section.
Fortunately, most of my wedding was on the other card but there are still some must have clips on it.

But that still leaves me with the problem going forward, are these cards just timebombs waiting to go off? I've heard these stories about every brand of card. Should I replace my cards every year or two or is it better to stick with a card that works? My card that died was used for about 8 months and was in a nice air-conditioned environment.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on Jun 3, 2010 at 7:01:56 pm

I have the same worries. I bought my new camera (Panasonic HMC150) and cards (2 - 32GB cards) just over a month ago. And I've had little issues pretty much the whole time I've had them. Having never really used a tapeless workflow, I wasn't sure if that was normal, or if my equipment was faulty.

I talked with Transcend, and my cards are under warranty. I can't send them back just yet, because I have some dance recitals I have to shoot this weekend. But come Monday morning I'm shipping both cards straight back to Transcend for new ones. Hopefully that will take care of the issue.

I've also noticed that every now and then, while shooting, my screen will sort of "jump," almost as if someone bumped the tripod momentarily. The "jump" does appear in actual footage, but I haven't been able to nail it down to a cause yet. I'm hoping that new cards will take care of the issue, but if not I'm going to have to take it up with Panasonic.

After waiting so long for the transition to a tapeless workflow, and upgrading to a really great HD camera, it's been a pretty crappy experience thus far. I'm really hoping that that changes soon, and I can get back to business (instead of dealing with all of this nonsense).

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Todd Newman on Jun 26, 2010 at 12:11:48 am

For what it's worth, I have been using 8 of these cheap class 6 cards for a year with no problems

I don't expect them to be problem free forever, but cycling through all 8 as projects come and go gives each card less time in use and extends their life as compared to using one card over and over. I generally re-format the cards in the camera and not just erase the data from the cards and reuse.

I hope you get something working for you soon, it's such a terrific little camera.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on Jun 26, 2010 at 12:30:32 am

After much trial and error I was able to recover the files using Photo Rescue.

I then used ClipWrap to transcode the raw MTS files into ProRes. Back in business.

I sent both my 32GB cards back to Transcend, and they sent me two new ones. We'll see how that works out.

I love the HMC150. It's. Been really awesome so far. Wish I could afford 3 of them.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Justin Parker on Jun 26, 2010 at 2:20:17 pm

I was not so lucky. I sent my card to a data recovery company and they couldn't recover anything. I had used my card about a dozen times with no problems and it was still under warranty when it died.

Are there any cameras with dual card slots that can record to both cards simultaneously so you could always have a backup? (like RAID 1)

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Todd Newman on Jun 28, 2010 at 5:18:37 pm

That's a real drag! Sorry they were not able to grab any of it for you.

I think that the raid 1 comment should be looked at strongly at Panasonic, but I'll bet they'd just push P2 instead. I've been told that formatting in camera instead of erasing at the computer is a better way to re-use these SD cards. I've been trying to work this way, all ok so far, but my day will come too.

Hang in there!

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Justin Parker on Jun 28, 2010 at 5:59:51 pm

How is the P2 card immune to failure?
I would pay the extra money for P2 but they don't offer AVCHD on the HPX170. The high bit rate DVCProHD is great for some jobs but I do need the lower bit rates of AVCHD on many of my jobs.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Todd Newman on Jun 28, 2010 at 6:23:36 pm

It's not immune. I just think that Panasonic would not do a raid 1, but sell us the P2 instead. I am with you on the whole idea of a raid, it'd be safer for sure.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Hugh Murray on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:39:35 pm

Hi Tony - I stumbled across this thread as the exact same thing happened to me, except with a FS100. Photo Rescue delivered the goods, but the recovered .mts clips are missing heads and tails - just as you described. After all your trial and error sessions, are there specific tricks / settings you would perhaps care to share for Photo Rescue that will enable .mts clip recovery in their entirety? Any suggestions much appreciated...

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by James Mayo on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:24:17 pm

Hi Tony!
I also have the same problem, We shot an event but in the middle of the shooting, "check card" appears...
Now, I have bought photorescue 3, how can I use this?
I card reader cannot read my sd card..should i format it first?
can you tell me the steps you did to recover the file.. thanks!


It's Time for the 2nd Coming

Re: covery of MTS files
by Tony Ingrassia on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:47:48 pm

No, do NOT format the card. That could further impede your access to the files.

If I remember correctly, Photorescue is designed to read the card, even when your computer won\'t recognize it.

Open up Photorescue and select the card you want to recover. Depending on the size of the card, it may take several hours to run the scan. I think I did mine overnight, but I was using a 32GB card.

Once it\'s done, it should give you the option to select which files you want to save. There will be a ton of JPEGs (at least one for every clip), but you\'re looking for the .MTS files. Those are what you want to save.

Now since the AVCHD directory structure has been destroyed, you\'ll need another program to read the raw .MTS files, if you\'re on a system that can\'t read them directly (like Final Cut Pro on a Mac). I highly recommend Clip Wrap. It allows you to transcode directly to ProRes, or just re-wrap the .MTS files into a format that is readable by the system (rewrapping doesn\'t transcode or change the raw file, so you\'ve still got all your raw data).

I think that covers it. Let me know how it goes.

Re: covery of MTS files
by Shaun Cullen on Nov 9, 2011 at 11:06:43 pm

I realize this is an old topic but I have had this issue myself this week and the way I fixed it was by using a Data Rescue 3 which has an option in it called FileIQ where you can teach it to look for any file type. I loaded a couple of .mts samples in for it to learn the file type and then I was able to pull save all of the files I thought I had lost from a shoot earlier in the week.
i used Voltaic to convert the files which took ages but got the job done.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Andrés Molina on Aug 13, 2012 at 3:57:11 pm

I just have the same problem. I was trying with the software thta you recomended but I didn-t found the card, I mean, it did not appears on the computer. How did you use the software to recognize the card?

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by annice ava on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:08:39 am

Well, I can understand your problem. Losing favorite MTS videos due to accidental deletion or certain formatting or corruption of memory card brings a great havoc. Don't worry, lost MTS recovery is possible with the help of professional MTS video recovery tool. Using this tool, you will easily recover your lost video files from Sony camcorder in just few simple steps.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by John Cena on Apr 18, 2012 at 6:06:13 pm

Recovery of MTS files can be done easily with the help of a recently created backup efficiently. in other cases, If the users have no any backup of lost MTS files, using a third party tool will be very helpful.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Patrick Simon on Apr 26, 2012 at 6:40:09 am

Take a few minutes to try this one. Small but powerful. And very easy to use.

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Jonathan Shuler on Aug 6, 2012 at 2:04:09 pm

So I found this thread while spending a panicked evening after a shoot in Andhra Pradesh and only TWO of my 72 clips showed up on my SanDisk. After running Rescue to no avail I ejected the card and put it back in and there they all where.... Strangest thing.

Virescit Vulnere Virtus

Re: Recovery of MTS files
by Ashley Walker on Oct 17, 2012 at 2:21:23 pm

If the data recovery for mac will not work, you can try to recover your data in Windows or Linux system. The recovery of MTS files, you can try Yesterdata data recovery. Once you loss data from sd card or memory cards, you should protect your data from be overwritten by new data. The overwritten will destroy your data completely.


Re: Recovery of MTS files
by david gary on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:02:32 am

Since your Panasonic HMC150 digital camera prompt "Check Card" error message, I judge your Transcend 32GB card may be damaged. Typically, this is a logical corruption (non- physical damage). Generally, lost files can be recovered from logic damaged card. You can search "Panasonic photo recovery" or "Panasonic video recovery" on Google to find the right data recovery software. AVCHD Video File (MTS) is a common digital camera video format; most multimedia file recovery tools support recovery of this video format.
Need to be reminded:
(1) Once the file is missing, you should stop taking new photos or videos immediately. Otherwise, new pictures or videos may overwrite the lost files. Overwritten files are unrecoverable.
(2) Before installing and using the Panasonic picture recovery software, carefully read the user manual of the recovery tool.
(3) Do not buy any data recovery tool, unless it has found the lost files.
Good luck to you!