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Corrupted NEF files


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I believe I have corrupted NEF files, they are only showing the NEF icon and won’t open in Bridge, Lightroom, or Photoshop.

The files are about 30-50mb in size.

They are old photos from a holiday (specifically two holidays) so not still on cards unfortunately. I do have them printed into family photobooks so have a tangible record but I was wondering if there is any advice on recovering corrupted NEF files? 

I was in the process of finally sitting down to sort out back ups, which has obviously hit home the message that I need to sort myself out! 

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Sorry about this, I just tried again. 

The NEF on the external hard drive tells me it is 35.5mb but if I drag and drop it says it is under 1 byte but won't let me choose to go through the computer. 

Not looking good, hey? I appreciate your time. 





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Just tried that and no.

Definitely looking like I should be forever thankful but these folders are already printed in photobooks and in frames around the house. 

Any other thoughts on avenues I could try? 

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Thank you for your time Damien, really appreciate it.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Brian has some suggestions but will be using the coming week to sort out my mess of files and get everything appropriately backed up. 

Do you have a thread along the lines of “fuck, I’ve used Lightroom for years, my files are a mess and now I need to sort my shit out?” 

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Ugh. I hate questions like these...

Chances are you might have to send that drive out for recovery or at the very least use recovery software. It's quite possible that the files are completely corrupted. You might be able to copy the JPEG Preview out of the file, see this page for more info.

Edit: One other thing that I would try, and I would try this first, it to use Nikon's ViewNX Software. If this program can't read the .NEF Files, nothing will. You should also be able to save the JPEG out of the RAW file with that program. Keep in mind, since it's Nikon's software, it will read the Raw file as it's written, so the image you see on the back of your camera will match in the Raw file. (Adobe ACR / LR can't read this data because Nikon won't give out the recipe to the secret sauce.)

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