Help recovering lost video

valkyrie

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I'm looking for suggestions to recover missing video from a B1W. My father in law was involved in a collision however the video of the incident is missing. The videos in the DCIM folder appear as though they were overlapping slightly every 5 minute which I assume is what he had the camera set at so that seems to be as expected. Additionally all the videos in DCIM have incorrect date / time stamp of 2015. There are videos in the event_rec folder with date stamps from 2015-2020 indicating lack of regular formatting or routine time stamp errors.

One of the videos on the card he says was 5 to 10 minutes prior to the incident however it is the last video saved on that day in the DCIM folder and there are no files around the same date / time stamp in the event_rec folder although date stamped 9/18/2015. (I have looked at all the videos regardless of the date time stamp just to make sure it wasn't sitting there.) The following day the camera appears to have been turned on and recorded 3 new files with date stamp of 9/19/2015 for a duration of about 14 minutes total and almost 1GB size. Another few days later the camera was turned on again for about 20 sec and 32MB, date stamped 9/22/2015 and that's the last of the files in the DCIM folder.

I've attempted to recover the missing files with Recuva and Disk Drill without being able to find the sequential video footage that seems to be missing so looking for any suggestions. I know writing back to the card after the incident is a big problem but nothing I can do about it now besides advise him for future. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

SawMaster

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If all the files play and none are the one you want, then either it didn't record the incident or it got over-written. Most likely it was the latter happening after the date/time was lost in the cam which would also explain the '2015' dates found. Wish I had better news for you :(

Phil
 
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valkyrie

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Hi Phil,

Thanks for your input. All files seem to play correctly and have a slight overlap of the 5 minute loop which I expected. All files in the DCIM folder are date stamped 2015 so I suspect he's been running the camera with wrong date / time for quite some time. If that is the case, the loop overwrite would just overwrite the oldest 2015 files correct? Or perhaps any empty file space of corrupted file space which wasn't closed properly? He had a head on collision so it was a hard impact. Perhaps enough to jostle the SD card from it's contacts momentarily corrupting the file? I'm leaning toward being overwritten as well I'm just having a hard time thinking there isn't even a fragment of the accident file captured still on the card. I suppose it's possible it didn't record the incident at all, idk his daily travels to be able to say all files are there or not, and with date / time stamp issue that makes matters a bit more difficult. But everything appearing to have been operating normally with the exception of the date / time stamp really has me wondering what happened to the accident files.

My thought is the files are written synchronously as the camera is operating and upon impact detection places it in the event_rec folder and closes it. But if that were the case I'd think there would be file fragments but I'm unable to find anything with those tools.

Another potential problem is I just read the B1W manual that states "Do not use Sandisk Ultra Micro SD cards" and it just so happens whoever he purchased from sent it to him with a Sandisk Ultra Micro SD card. I know when he purchased it they sent dashcam and SD card so he didn't do that. I'm not sure the SD cards a problem as I've not found any problem with any of the videos or the loop recordings.
 

SawMaster

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The Sandisk card may be OK; the warning was from earlier times when Sandisk cards were made differently and didn't work in most dashcams. If it's the old red and gray version that might be an issue. A card can cause malfunctions but cannot cause a loss of the date/time setting on it's own. Date/time is in the processors 'flash memory' and is maintained by a small RTC battery or sometimes the supercaps used to close files. Either way if any dashcam cam sits unused too long it will lose date/time, and the next time the cam powers on it will begin at whatever the factory default time setting was.

Sometimes a hard impact will cause a file loss; I've seen posts from people experiencing that maybe half a dozen times since I joined here. But there's far more 'file lost' posts due to the cam losing date/time, and of course this is for all dashcams and not just the B1W. When the B1W first came out it worked excellently. Over time new features and settings were added, each being a new FW version. Sometimes there were 'bugs' discovered and it took a few tries (and thus a few FW versions) to get things right. So many of these changes were made that I lost count of them. I do know that somewhyere along the way the 'lost date/time' problem emerged and was worked on. In another thread it seems that got fixed except for the latest low-bitrate parking FW version. I just don't know TBH, but I do know what happens when date/time are lost and revert to the factory default numbers- and that matches what you've reported perfectly..

This is another reason we should check our cards and cams regularly as those small RTC batteries will fail eventually in every cam.

Phil
 

estore009

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All files in the DCIM folder are date stamped 2015 so I suspect he's been running the camera with wrong date / time for quite some time.
Can you take me a screenshot of all DCIM files? I will have a check with our tech support to see if we can find a clue?
 
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valkyrie

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Here's 3 screenshot's of all the files in the DCIM folder. As I stated earlier I don't suspect the files were overwritten due to the date time stamp being off as I believe the dashcam thought it was 2015. I'm not really concerned with the date / time stamp issue at this time the only real objective right now is to recover the missing video if possibleCapture1.JPGCapture2.JPGCapture3.JPG.
 

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My thought is the files are written synchronously as the camera is operating and upon impact detection places it in the event_rec folder and closes it. But if that were the case I'd think there would be file fragments but I'm unable to find anything with those tools.
Hi @valkyrie

Things you may have already considered
What file format is the card in eg FAT32
Is the memory card full
Have any files been written to the card since
What date-time was the accident when you factor in the incorrect time stamp?

On a clean formatted FAT32 memory card every file will be written sequentially as you suggest and the index is kept in the File Allocation Table (FAT) However once the FAT has no more spaces it will write the next file to the last file date in the list. (In most Dashcam saving methods. However, if the last file was only small then it will also take the next available area and so on until the file is completely written to the memory card. This means the file could be scattered all over the memory card. The FAT keeps an entry for every sector each fragment has been placed so is able to recombine the file.

This could mean that a file that never finished writing and closing could have been overwritten with later date files. There is a slim chance that the portion of the file you are looking for may not have been overwritten but you will need to work out what sections you need to join and in the correct order. Once you have the file in a hexadecimal structure you will most likely need to add the movie file header so that it can be played.
It can get very technical and very difficult at this point.

I know you said you ran two recovery programs over the memory card and I have another that you might want to try. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
I own various products this company makes and have found sometimes they help recover files. You can try it for free and it might identify file fragments you haven't seen before. It is a long shot but I imagine everything is worth a try.

Hope that helps.
Cheers
 
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valkyrie

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Things you may have already considered
What file format is the card in eg FAT32
Is the memory card full
Have any files been written to the card since
What date-time was the accident when you factor in the incorrect time stamp?

1. SD card is FAT32
2. The Memory card shows 2.98GB free of 29.7GB in windows explorer, I assume the free space is the % free space for lock files setup in the camera. That would be why there's only about 1 week of prior dated files.
3. Unfortunately yes about 1GB of data was written to the SD card after the accident. Probably my biggest concern atm is the file we need has been lost due to being overwritten.
4. The accident was supposed to have happened about 17:01 actual time and I've found the dashcam time was about 6yr, 2month, approx 7 days & 3hr offset so the file ch0_20150918195104_20150918195604.mpg would have been the last file just prior to the accident and the accident file would have probably been named cho_20150918195604_20150918200104.mpg

Thanks for the tip on EaseUS, I had seen it when I was searching for software. I've actually tried 3 free programs to this point all with the same results. I'm just now tying EaseUS it's not free but if I can find the video it would probably be worth it to him to rent the software for a month. :)
 
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petepete

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this is exactly why i have 2 front 2 rear and one facing rear to front to capture front and both sides.......
and dont be smug relying on your dashcam...
always call the police and make sure they attend swiftly for your however slight injury.
 

SawMaster

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Any second car I have will be short on cams compared to my old van :LOL: Years of experience with dashcams of all flavors has shown me that for 100% positive coverage a second cam is necessary so at least 2 front cams in everything for me. Even a low-spec cam will do for redundancy as long as it's 'reliable' or at least as close to that as dashcams get.

Very odd that cams aren't more reliable given their purpose but it's what we've got :( You simply must check them and the cards frequently and regularly :cautious:
 

Kremmen

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I never let my card fill up. There have been loads of posts here that have pointed to overwrite problems.

I'd be changing that 32Gb card for 128Gb, reduce the problem.
 
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valkyrie

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I know you said you ran two recovery programs over the memory card and I have another that you might want to try. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
I own various products this company makes and have found sometimes they help recover files. You can try it for free and it might identify file fragments you haven't seen before. It is a long shot but I imagine everything is worth a try.

No luck with EaseUS either. I was able to preview bits of files but none appeared to be from the missing video. Thanks though I appreciate any and all input.
 

Kremmen

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I think with a 32Gb card and each file being maybe 3Gb or 4Gb sector overwrite is an unrecoverable issue.
 
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valkyrie

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Can you take me a screenshot of all DCIM files? I will have a check with our tech support to see if we can find a clue?

Just wondering if you were able to direct your tech to the info I provided for any additional guidance? I'll need to send the SD card back to him soon so he may pursue other options if not. Thanks.
 

estore009

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You can upload the raw footage to google drive and DM me the download link!
 

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This has worked well for me in the past:


You may need an intensive scan. Make sure not to recover the files TO the SD card; recover files to your computer.
 

SawMaster

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This has worked well for me in the past:


You may need an intensive scan. Make sure not to recover the files TO the SD card; recover files to your computer.
The OP says he's already tried that one.

Phil
 
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valkyrie

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You can upload the raw footage to google drive and DM me the download link!
The files that are present aren't the problem it the one that's missing I need help with. And I cant really upload 28GB to my Google drive anyway due to size retraints.

You may need an intensive scan. Make sure not to recover the files TO the SD card; recover files to your computer.
Recuva was what I tried first.
2nd was Disk Drill
3rd was DMDE
4th was EaseUS

Similar results with all recovery tools I used. I find files that can be recovered however when I preview those none have the date / time stamp I'm looking for.
 
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