H4n Pro and Invalid File error

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foolery
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H4n Pro and Invalid File error

Post by foolery » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:59 pm

Folks: First off thanks for the forum and excellent reference info. I have scanned through what seem like pertinent posts but not yet found an answer to my specific issue. Here’s what happened –

Bought a brand new H4n Pro, connected a wireless lav to it, got great signal levels, headphone audio sounded fine. Started recording and everything seemed okay (levels riding, timecode counting away, etc.) but when I went to stop the recording I couldn’t get it to stop (pressing the stop or record button didn’t work, switching back and forth from HOLD and the like then pressing stop/record, same thing), so I ended up having to pop one battery out. This happened twice.

When I went to access the files, I got the “Invalid File!” error message. The transferred files to my computer read as *.mp3 files but will not play and indicate they are of 0 bytes in size. I have not erased the SD card – is there any way to salvage the media I am certain was actually recorded but now seems inaccessible?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Tom
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still_fiddlin
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Re: H4n Pro and Invalid File error

Post by still_fiddlin » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:31 pm

There's a couple threads here about recovering 0kb files - one for Mac and one for Windows. I do not know if they will help, as they seem to be specific to .WAV files (vs. MP3), but if you can get to a point where you have a file with non-zero size (steps in the threads), you can always try the raw import in Audacity and tinker with the parameters. I used the Mac thread to recover a file successfully a 0kb WAV while back (before joining here).

If you recorded on the SD card after the 0kb file was created, chances are you will not have any luck.

Windows thread: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=19105
Mac thread: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=17991
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Re: H4n Pro and Invalid File error

Post by foolery » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:47 pm

Fiddlin: Thanks for the info. Will check out asap.

Tom
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Re: H4n Pro and Invalid File error

Post by foolery » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:01 pm

I just checked the Properties on both the SD card and the files from that I had transferred to a hard drive. None of these showed a "Tootls" tab or anywhere I could check/uncheck Automatically Fix File Errors (as Roger's post suggested). Still looking...
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Re: H4n Pro and Invalid File error

Post by foolery » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:17 pm

Back again - was able to open Folder Options from the Start menu and found the tools tab for the SD card, Result was another nothing. It surely seems that if you halt recording any way OTHER than hitting STOP, the data will be unusable...?
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Re: H4n Pro and Invalid File error

Post by Wulfraed » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:27 pm

Note that MP3 is a lossy compression scheme -- though I'd think if one can force a proper MP3 header it should be possible to recover... BUT you would need to be able to do that with the ON-CARD image (trying to repair a /copy/ won't work) after using some tool that rebuilds the directory with all the allocated blocks of data [the allocation bitmap may have been updated, but the directory entry for the file wasn't].

Due to the compression, any misalignment of the starting bytes (header) will invalidate anything that follows. Much better to use a large memory card and record in WAV format -- since WAV samples are always the same size there is no concern about synchronizing with a compression dictionary (one might lose a few samples at the start, but the rest is just a case of retrieving n-byte samples).
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Re: H4n Pro and Invalid File error

Post by still_fiddlin » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:03 pm

foolery wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:17 pm
Back again - was able to open Folder Options from the Start menu and found the tools tab for the SD card, Result was another nothing. It surely seems that if you halt recording any way OTHER than hitting STOP, the data will be unusable...?
Are you saying that when you fixed the file system on the SD card, nothing happened, or the created FILE000.CHK also had zero bytes? If so, then I'm afraid it's probably lost. The problem is that once you write a new file on the SD card that already has a 0 length file, if there was data there, it's been overwritten. (The Mac instructions are non-destructive since you work on a copy of the SD "image.")

Pulling the battery is going to cause the file to not get closed properly, just the same as if the batteries go completely dead while recording. Did you try just turning the recorder off?

As suggested, recording to .WAV at least has a somewhat better probability of reading the raw data, if it can be recovered. (SD cards are cheap these days - just got 2 x 16GB for $16.95.)
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