XDCAM file recovery.

OK, so you have accidentally formatted a card that you thought you had backed up, how do you recover your files? For a start don’t do anything else with the card. If you record over the card your previous files will be over written and are gone for good. However data on a card that has only been formatted can normally be recovered.

One of the best tools to use is Disk Doctor Photo Recovery for the Mac and PC. Many users have report successful recovery of XDCAM files using this software.

On a PC many XDCAM users have reported success using Arax Disk Doctor http://www.disk-doctor.com/recovery_wizard.htm to recover the mp4 files.

Once you have recovered the mp4 files you should use Sony’s XDCAM browser to “import” the files into a new folder. This will recreate the necessary BPAV folder and correct file structure so that you can use the files.

460x150_xdcam_150dpi XDCAM file recovery.

27 thoughts on “XDCAM file recovery.”

  1. Hi,

    I have a corrupted 50GB DL XDCAM disc (non Sony) which had all the footage on it and became “corrupted” when we tried to import it into our FCP system. It now says “unknown FS”. I views the footage in the camera PDW-700 prior so know it was ok. If I put the disc back into the camera, it says “unknown FS”. Any suggestions please?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. The following three scenarios are perhabs possible:
    1. disc can be reproduced or copied in PDW-U1 or PDW-U2.
    2. disc can be reproduced or copied in XDS-PD1000.
    3. disc can be with PDW-U1 or PDW-U2 and the software utility restored (Recovered).

  3. Alister,
    I had accidentally deleted to footage off of my Sony SxS cards using the “on-camera” delete function (I did not record over them). I used your advice and used “Disk Doctor Photo recovery” to recover the footage and was able to recover all of the files per disk (28GB on card 1 & 22GB on Card 2). However, when I go to import these files into XDCAM browser in order to correct the file structure…it does not see the clips. Can you tell me about the process within XDCAM browser to get these clips recognizable within an NLE? Really need your help badly..911!

    1. If you have recorded more footage on the card after formatting then I think you will find it unlikely that you will recover significant amounts of footage. You might be able to get some of it back.

  4. I recorded a 50 min presentation in one take on my SxS card 64G orange card. It was a friends school play. I also recorded a few interviews afterwards of the kids, say 10 clips in total. Camera PMW 300K1 CAMERA.

    Got back home started to transfer data onto my SSD drive only to find the BPAV file and its contents are showing text data rubish and no clips.

    Put the disc back into the camera, it wanted to rebuild the disc .. did thast .. now no clips on the disc.

    When I first did a check info on the disc it said 40GB free showing it had recorded 20+ onto the disc.

    Took the disc into another mac and did a get info and its now saying it has 64GB free!!! very worrying…

    All the files are still listed but they say 1K next to them..

    This disc is in the same state as when he came out of the camera.

    Any suggestions ?

    Sods law is that I end of with nothing, kids will be upset.

  5. Thank you for your post. I listened to your advice and used “Disk Doctor Photo recovery” to recover the footage. Would you please let me know what is “Sony’s XDCAM browser”? May I have the link to download it Please?

    Please help me….

  6. My camera is PMW-320. I accidentally format a 32gb card not completely backed up. My card has 207 clips, I have the first 137 clips saved as mxf. 70 clips I forget to save. After checking the footage I noticed 70 clips a missing. I was at my local data recovery shop, and they make a clone of my sxs card (SBS-32G1A), and after analysing the clone they tell me that all card is full of zeroes. No more data. Should I call sony for a last chance or not?

  7. I have restored like you advised in an earlier post successfully and have been able to see the file structure of the new created folder that was created by the restore software. .MP4/.SMI/.PPN/.XML/.BIM all seem to be intact in a renamed folder .

    I renamed the folder the name of the clip and then dropped that folder back into the org CLPR folder

    I then dropped the CLPR folder back into the org BPAV folder.

    ( which I didn’t delete so I still have the CUEUP.XML file and General/ MEDIAPRO.XML and TAKR folders as they were org created in the camera )

    When I import the BPAV folder into premier it still comes back and says damaged files.

    By accident I dropped the CLPR folder from my 64GB Orage card into my mac trash bin and then deleted the trash.

    I thought I was deleting another CLPR folder from my external drive to make space but instead I was deleting the CLPR folder on my org SxS card.

    I am filming on location and won’t be getting back to the mainland for 2 more weeks.

    Any advice appreciated and hopefully this thread can help other people in a similar situation.

  8. You might struggle to get all the XML files to re-link correctly. If you have the .MP4’s then you can re-build everything by using Content Browser. Select a new, empty destination folder and then use the “File” “Import” function to import each of the MP4 files into the new folder. This will then rebuild the rest of the folder structure and give you a new BPAV folder with your media in it.

  9. Content Browser doesn’t recognise the .MP4 files so I can’t get it to rebuild a folder.

    The files/folders that have been recovered all seem to look correct, both in file names and size of files but the .MP4 files cant be opened.

    When I run repair software on them, it reports back with audio and video chunks being present.

    So in conclusion.

    Files and folder structure recovered by recovery software.
    File sizes within the folders seem to be correct.

    Just can’t open any of the files and see any video.

    The mystery continues 😉

  10. I accidentally reformatted a card that I had just recorded on. I realized my mistake immediately. I did a recovery of the files and have the MP4 files but I can’t view them. I tried using Sony’s Browser to view them but when I go to “file” “Import” it simply gives me a “file was unable to import”.

    Any ideas?

  11. I have had the exact same issue that you are facing DaveB for the past 76hrs, still trying to solve this MP4 problem ..

    The only software that has been able to show us an actual image so far has been Treasured.. but only as a still. This is a paid restore service and with a 35GB + of data to restore isn’t an option for us.

    I read an Interesting article on a grass valley site explained how a SxS solid state card writes data in blocks but not one after the other on the card but more spread all over the place, the reason for this is to help extend the life of the card.

    This is one of the main reasons its so difficult to find a reliable way to restore corrupted data files after they have been found.

    I have seriuosly been looking for an answer to this issue for days now on the web and have downloaded many many programs all promising to solve the problem.

    I think like Alister says in his past posts to other people with the same problem is to maybe send the card back to Sony, I can’t do that because I am still on location on a tinny Island filming and we need to view the footage to decide if we have to stay up for another 4 nights in a row to try and capture the activitiy we were filming. Stray wild dogs.

    Well I wish you well with your quest.

    My problem began when our DIT deleted the wrong folder thinking it was on an external drive but was in fact on the org SxS card..

    We managed to restore the folders from the SxS card along with the folder structure, even with all the correct files names.

    File size seem correct as well and reflect the duration of the recordings that were logged during the night.

    We just can’t find any magical fairy dust to recover the actual mp4 and play it.

    very very frustrating

    If you are succesful and actualy find some fairy dust please bottle some for us to use.

  12. I would just like to say after spending all week on the above issues the only service that I found that could actually help with the .mp4 problem was Treasured from Aero Quartet. They offered a very fast watermarked service to prove their software.

    The only problem is that I can’t use the service to repair my XDCAM clips because the data chunks are mixed up when they are written to the SxS card.

    So when you restore the image you will find other clips in the one clip you are trying to recover, this is due to the way the chunks of data are written at random to the card, there is no way around this.

    So I have all the restored images but would need to spend a week trying to cut all the random clips together to form one new clip and all without the aid of timecode.

    Thank you for everyones help on this matter and on the work that goes into producing such an excellent XDCAM resource.

    Re-Shoot is in order.

  13. I formatted my sxs-1 32 GB card but however i was recording in UDF file system please help me recover my footage. I recorded on it again to half way how can i recover my footage. Thanks

  14. Hi there… I was recording on a PMW EX1 and the power supply was removed. When I turned it back on I was asked to perform a media restore. I cancelled and made a backup of the file structure before doing the media restore. The backup structure contained a ~500MB .RSV file. After the media restore, the resulting MP4 file was only 4 seconds long… obviously not the ~2 minutes that a 500MB file should be. Any thoughts on how I can recover the full file? Thanks in advance!

    1. You have probably lost that file. You should always allow a camera to perform a media restore prior to removing a card and connecting it to a computer. Once it’s been connected to a computer it will often be too late to do anything as the computer may attempt to repair the broken file system.

  15. HELP!
    My G tech 8gb raid one drives just got corrupt. I have found a solution to recover as many files as possible. Many of them were XD Cam. How to I create the file hierarchy that xdcam requires if I only have the mp4?

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