20 Replies Latest reply on Jun 2, 2010 9:18 AM by the_wine_snob

    Help with restored files...


      My computer hard drive recently crashed.  We were able to find the files and restore them onto another computer- however all of the files are a jumbled mess.  The files are large which makes me believe the data is there... but they will not open.  I get an error message that they are damaged.  I've tried recreating one of the projects- but the avi files are now all avi.mcdb files.  I cannot rename them as avi- I get a damaged error message.  I can't even open any of the project files in the Auto-Save folder. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm at a loss...

        • 1. Re: Help with restored files...
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Recapture them.

          • 2. Re: Help with restored files...
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Welcome to the forum.


            You mention "files," but I am not sure which "files" you are referring to. Is this the Project files (PRPROJ extension on PC) or the media files (could be AVI, MOV, etc.), or both?


            For the Project files, this PrPro-Wiki FAQ Entry might be helpful.


            Also, what was the method of recovery? Did you use a recovery program, like Stellar-Phoenix?


            Let us know just a bit more detail and someone might have a helpful tip.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: Help with restored files...
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              MCDB files are the pointer files in the media cache database, that point to the indexed, conformed and PEK files. Completely irrelevant files, because they will be rebuild when opening the project. However, if the AVI files are missing, recapture is the only way.

              • 4. Re: Help with restored files...
                nsg233 Level 1

                The .prproj files appear to be there- but I get a damaged error message when opening them.  The avi files have been renamed- there is an additional .mcdb extension added.  Our IT dept restored the files with a program- I believe it was GetDataBack or RAID Reconstructor (maybe both?).

                • 5. Re: Help with restored files...
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  Harm, I read right past that. You are correct. Those are useless files in the scope of restoring Projects or media files. They would be recreated, if the Project files, and the media files were found and the Project Opened in PrPro, along with the CFA and PEK files. Sorry, but it's still early and the Sun has not yet reached my lower deck. Yawn... [Thankfully, you still have good, young eyes, and better reading comprehension, than I do.]



                  • 6. Re: Help with restored files...
                    Phil Griffith Level 2

                    there is only one prproj file. (besides the autosave project files)

                    So when you say that you see the prproj file(s).  I/m not sure what you are looking at.

                    Did you only have one drive in your computer and captured video and everything is on that one?

                    • 7. Re: Help with restored files...
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      See Harm's comment on those MCDB files. They are NOT renamed versions, but are pointer files. You will still need the AVI's, etc. media files. Sorry that I missed that in your OP. It was right in front of my sleepy eyes.


                      It seems that there are still files to be recovered.


                      Good luck,



                      • 8. Re: Help with restored files...
                        the_wine_snob Level 9



                        Another possibility would be a drive with multiple Projects or several Save_As/Save_As_a_Copy versions. Within my Project folder structure, I have several PRPROJ files, usually incremented, as I go. The longer I edit, the more incremented versions of these I will have.


                        Or, it could be something else... ?



                        • 9. Re: Help with restored files...
                          nsg233 Level 1

                          There were 3 drives total- I think there were projects on them all (shared computer in our office). Everything was on those drives.

                          I see the main prproj as well as the ones in the auto-save folder... but none of them open.

                          • 10. Re: Help with restored files...
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Did you run those through XML Wrench (per one suggestion in the PrPro-Wiki article)? It will tell you if you have a mal-formed header (possibly from the recovery operation), and will attempt to repair that header data.


                            Good luck,



                            • 11. Re: Help with restored files...
                              nsg233 Level 1

                              I'm downloading it now!  Trying any and every suggestion!

                              Also wondering if maybe we didn't get all of the files... maybe those original avi files are somewhere else?  When it recovered, all of the folders were renamed, and everything was mixed up.

                              • 12. Re: Help with restored files...
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                It IS likely that the files were elsewhere. One thing that I would do would be to Open one of the Project files (will need to choose All Files) in WordPad. It will come in as lines of XML, but most will be readable to a good degree. If you know the name of any of the media files, just do a Find for one, and look at the Path that PrPro saw for that file, something like F:\Media Files\Projet_001\Videos\"My_Video.AVI. Obviously, that is a fictional Path, but you get the idea. That will tell you where to look with the recovery tools, if at all possible. File recovery is a science and a bit of alchemy too, plus tons of luck. Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it does not.


                                Good luck,



                                • 13. Re: Help with restored files...
                                  Phil Griffith Level 2

                                  ok you had 3 separate drives (physical ) and not partitions off of

                                  one physical drive? That is the 1st question. if they are all one physical drive then

                                  your project file and

                                  all your captured files are there. If you had more than one physical drive and you actually t

                                  old premiere thaty you wanted captured files to go to one of those other drives (the default is the same

                                  drive as your project).

                                  Now the second thing is what kind of video files are they? what camera did they come from?  are they dv-avi files or mpeg or something else??? that is what you have to look for.

                                  If you can recover your captured files and anything else you brought into the project...still photos ,etc. then you can always start a new project. and begin again. ( or recapture like Harm said)

                                  • 14. Re: Help with restored files...
                                    nsg233 Level 1

                                    Thanks Hunt!  It's definitely based on luck, and the only luck I have is bad... that's how I got here to begin with!

                                    I ran the xml wrench, but everything I open is blank- absolutely nothing there. And when I open in wordpad, there is nothing I can make out.  It's just gobbleygook- a bunch of squares and odd characters.

                                    • 15. Re: Help with restored files...
                                      nsg233 Level 1

                                      Yes, it was 3 separate drives.  The video was converted from a dvd- I believe we were using wmv files.

                                      (I just found some avi, wmv and flv files that do not have the .mcdb extension, but those are no good either- all have the damaged error.)

                                      I had gif files in the project- I thought I found them, but those are damaged too!


                                      I appreciate everyone's help! It looks like I'll be starting from scratch...

                                      • 16. Re: Help with restored files...
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                        Here is an example of what one of my PRPROJ's look like (just the header and a bit more) in WordPad:


                                        <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

                                        <PremiereData Version="3">

                                             <Project ObjectRef="1"/>

                                             <Project ObjectID="1" ClassID="62ad66dd-0dcd-42da-a660-6d8fbde94876" Version="18">

                                                  <Node Version="1">

                                                       <Children Version="1">

                                                            <Child Index="0" ObjectRef="2"/>


                                                       <Properties Version="1">

                                                            <Columns.List Version="1">

                                                                 <Columns Version="1">

                                                                      <Column Index="0" ObjectRef="1"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="1" ObjectRef="2"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="2" ObjectRef="3"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="3" ObjectRef="4"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="4" ObjectRef="5"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="5" ObjectRef="6"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="6" ObjectRef="7"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="7" ObjectRef="8"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="8" ObjectRef="9"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="9" ObjectRef="10"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="10" ObjectRef="11"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="11" ObjectRef="12"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="12" ObjectRef="13"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="13" ObjectRef="14"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="14" ObjectRef="15"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="15" ObjectRef="16"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="16" ObjectRef="17"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="17" ObjectRef="18"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="18" ObjectRef="19"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="19" ObjectRef="20"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="20" ObjectRef="21"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="21" ObjectRef="22"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="22" ObjectRef="23"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="23" ObjectRef="24"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="24" ObjectRef="25"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="25" ObjectRef="26"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="26" ObjectRef="27"/>

                                                                      <Column Index="27" ObjectRef="28"/>


                                                                 <LabelColumn ObjectID="1" ClassID="0b8cc011-65dd-4b47-aad9-751ca2891f4a" Version="1">







                                        Note: in WordPad, there is major indention, that does not translate here, but you get the idea. If you are not seeing similar, then the files are "hosed."
                                        That often happens with recovery operations.
                                        Sorry, and I have been there before. Luckily, I use only Copies of my Assets, but have lost entire Projects due to HDD failure, and had to start from almost scratch. For big Projects, I'll do a Save_As_a_Copy to another HDD, just in case.
                                        Good luck,

                                        • 17. Re: Help with restored files...
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                          Before you give up completely, maybe have the IT department look at Stellar-Phoenix. Their products are not really cheap, but are the very best that I have ever used. When other recovery programs failed in the dust, Stellar-Phoenix got me much of my material back.


                                          Going back, I had a major crash, and tried several other recovery programs with zero luck. I bought the entire Stellar-Phoenix suite (not sure how it's changed over the years), and was able to get about 60% of my material back, and 90% was perfect. This was about 2TB of AV and still image files.


                                          Good luck,



                                          • 18. Re: Help with restored files...
                                            nsg233 Level 1

                                            Yeah- I'm toast.  Here's what mine looked like (just A LOT longer than this!)


                                            ÿ ÿ ÿóþÞþÝþÙþÖþáþ×þèþÝþ ÿôþ

                                            ÿ ÿ ÿúþèþåþ¸þªþsþWþ!þ þéýÝý¹ý°ýšý”ýˆýgýiýBý>ý/ý7ý&ýcýMýÇý²ý þ þJþ5þþyþªþ˜þ³þ“þ”þ€þRþ,þ þÛý°ý¡ýý]ýrý>ý{ý\ý”ýý§ýý»ý›ýÅý¦ýÆý²ýÜýÄýìýÐý þêý0þ#þYþFþmþHþSþGþ=þ8þ'þ


                                            • 19. Re: Help with restored files...
                                              nsg233 Level 1

                                              I'm in over my head now; I'll give it back to the IT dept.

                                              I appreciate it!  Thanks again to everyone!

                                              • 20. Re: Help with restored files...
                                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                Unfortunately, we're both in "over our heads." It looks like the reclamation did not work, and I've seen similar many, many times. Files look about right in Windows Explorer, the extensions are right, even the Date/Time seems good. Inside - just tons of random, and totally meaningless characters.


                                                Do pass on the rec. for Stellar-Phoenix to IT (they may, or may not be interested, or allowed to try other software). Let's hope that they can find that pointed hat, and magic wand, and get the files back.


                                                Good luck,