I figure that there must be other people in the world who are having the same problem, so perhaps the solution that I
come up with might be useful to others too, not just me. For that reason, I am investing in the development of a software
solution, and I hope I might be able to recover some of that investment by sharing the solution with other photographers
who are suffering from the same difficulty.
Here's the basic overview of the technical problem, and the approach I am taking to solve it forever:
1. Consumer-oriented operating systems like Windows XP and the typical hardware that they run on do not have the "high integrity"
features of the more professional operating systems like one would find on say, an IBM server running z/OS or a Sun Microsystems
workstation running the Solaris operating system. A simple example is how the Windows XP CD-burning utility offers no
option to verify the data on the CD after it was burned. ( I don't use Apple's Mac OS-X so I can't compare it to WIndows
or know if it provides better data integrity or not.)
2. Due to the ubiquitous accumulation of rich-media data such as photographs, digital video, digital audio and
the like, consumers are relentlessly using up hundreds of gigabytes of data storage on their home PC systems. The standards
for consumer PC data integrity have not kept up with the growth of consumer data accumulation.
3. Many professionals, such as photographers and musicians, are trying to run their business on unprofessional
operating systems like WIndows XP. (I am one of them.) The business risk associated with lost data is very high.
4. Data storage media like hard disk drives and recordable CD's and DVD's and even digital videotape, are not perfect.
Any storage medium has a native bit error rate (BER) and is equipped with Error Checking and Correction (ECC) to improve the
native bit error rate from something like one bad bit in a million (1 x 10e-6) to a net error rate after correction of something
like 1 bad bit in 100 quadrillion (1 x 10e-14).
5. After just a few years, typically soon after the warranty has expired, hard disk performance and reliability
will noticeably degrade. Replacing the hard disk with a new one is recommended.
And here is the overview of my proposed solution:
Step 1: find out if your PC has the problem or not, and to what degree it may have the problem.
Step 2: Locate every corrupted JPEG file. See if you can find a good copy of it elsewere.
Step 3: Determine the 'fitness' of your hard disk drive and make a judgment as to whether you should continue using
it or replace it.
Step 4: To prevent the problem from occurring again, do the following:
4.1 employ a 'verify after copy' method to confirm that newly copied files and folders
are not corrupted
4.2 employ an ECC wrapper around JPEG files so that errors can be detected and corrected when they are read from
degrading media some time later
4.3 upgrade your computer hardware to "server class" equipment, which has ECC on the memory and robust ECC on the
hard disc storage subsystem
I am currently working on Steps 1 & 2. Please see the next page on this web site, about my JPEG FILE VERIFIER
utility (JFV). Let me know if it's of interest to you.
You can email me via craig [at] alkiratech [dot] com.