How to recover data from corrupted PEF photos

By | February 17, 2019

JPG-Repair Toolkit allows you to recover data from corrupted PEF photos (JPEG). Pentax RAW photos (PEF) contain the raw, ‘undeveloped’ sensor data. JPG-Repair Toolkit can process multiple Pentax RAW files (PEF) files in batch.

High resolution, full frame JPEG from a corrupted PEF photo.

High resolution, full frame JPEG from a corrupted PEF photo.

Commonly Pentax RAW photos embed one or more JPEGs: a low resolution thumbnail, a medium resolution preview, and in many cases a full frame preview. One thing mentioning about Pentax RAW photos is that the ones I have come across all contained restart markers. Restart markers are a mechanism that prevent bit corruption in the image data stream from affecting the rest of the image. Normally a single bit error can distort color and shift image data throughout the rest of the JPEG.

Technically JPG-Repair Toolkit does not repair PEF photos, it extracts JPEGs already embedded! Of course having undeveloped and unprocessed RAW data is probably preferable, the full frame JPEG is hardly worthless.

How to recover data from corrupted PEF photos using JPG-Repair Toolkit

Time needed: 1 minute, assuming you have downloaded JPG-Repair Toolkit.

4 steps away from recovering JPEGs from corrupted RAW photos Steps to extract JPEGs from corrupted PEF photos:

  1. Select a Repair mode > Pick Extract JPEG
  2. Select a minimum resolution (see below).
  3. Browse to the folder containing the corrupted PEF file(s) and select files you want to extract embedded JPEGs from.
  4. Click Repair.

For RAW files select a minimum resolution, probably > 1.9 (MP) to skip lower resolution thumbnails and medium sized previews.

Many RAW photo formats contain a full frame JPEG. If this setting is set to a too low value, JPG-Repair may simply extract the medium sized preview. If too high it will skip every JPEG it comes across.

JPG-Repair will get to work and save files using the following format: OriginalName-1.JPG.

For each file it is able to repair it will show a preview and certain details such as resolution. Note that the free version only saves scaled down BMP images!

 

Acknowledgements:

To determine signatures I examined RAW files taken from: http://www.rawsamples.ch/index.php/en/canon.
And also: https://www.wesaturate.com/.

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