JPEG's problems

October 15, 2005 at 07:10:54
Specs: XP Pro, athlon xp 3200+ 512mb

Before i start i would just like to say a big thank you to this site, and all the people that use it.
Every problem that i have with my P.C. has usually been solved by people on this site.

Right my problem.

I recently formated my hard drive {just to clean it up and get it running better}

I have done this loads of times without any problems.

My computer has 2x maxtor hard drives, 80gig for the C drive and 250gig for the D drive.

All the programes that i use are saved in a folder on my D drive called {progs. after clean install} just saves me time finding all my favorite prgs. after a format.

Also all my Photo's, pictures, covers etc are saved on my D drive.

Now all these Photo's have been on my computer for years {some of them i cant get hold of again} and there is nothing wrong with them, they were working perfect before i did my last format.

Since i did my last format, loads of them and i mean about 150 of them will not open up in any programe, the same goes for pictures that i have downloaded of the net, dvd covers that i have scanned in myself or downloaded. Now every one of these Jpegs opened without any problem before in a variety of programes, paintshop pro, MGI PhotoSuite 4, LivePix and a few others.

Now they wont open in anything. I have tried loads of programes of the net that people say will open any jpeg or any other picture format, but they wont open these jpegs.
I have tried changing the file extension to bitmap, tiff etc but still nothing will open them.
Now i know that there is nothing wrong with these files but every programe that i try either says that they are not a valid jpeg-jfif file or it is a unknown format?

I have also noticed that some of the programes that i had saved on my D drive do not show up proper {they used to show up as a rar file, zip file or a setup file} now some of them just have a little white box with the name of the programe underneath but i cant open them.

When i reformated my C drive i always disconnect the other drive first {case of formating the wrong drive years ago} installed all windows updates including sp2 but this problem has got me stumped.
I am sure that it is a windows problem and am 100% sure that the jpegs are not corrupted.

I just want to be able to open them.

I have also tried going into explorer and telling it which programe to use with this sort of file with no result.

Please anyone.

See More: JPEGs problems

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October 15, 2005 at 08:54:21

Of the viewers you tried did it include IrfanView (freebie)? This often opens even slightly corrupt files. Changing extensions rarely works.

Err, is this really XP - just wondered why you chose W95/98 forum?


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October 15, 2005 at 09:15:21

Hi Derek

Yes have tried IrfanView, still would not open them, there were about 5-6 programes on the net that i tried, ranging from repairing corrupt images to opening unknown files. none of them worked.
This problem has only started since i did a reinstall.

Like i said i am 100% sure that these photo's, pictures and covers are not corrupted, and think it might be something in windows itself.

Thanks for the quick response and the idea though.

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October 15, 2005 at 10:26:31

If you are saying that they will not open when you double click them, that's a problem with them not being associated with the correct program. Have you right clicked on a JPG and selected 'Open with'?

If you open a program like Irfan View and then try to open them and it fails. That means that the files must have been corrupted, possibly by a virus.

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Related Solutions

October 15, 2005 at 17:00:32

If it would help you are welcome to send a sample .jpg to me and I will see how it shakes out on my machine. I'm still W98SE but I doubt that matters to this problem.

Here's my email addy (very obviously disguised to prevent spammers engines finding it - too late anyway LOL):

"at sign"

If you do, put the word pubtemp in the subject line somewhere - that'll let you through my spam filters for a while.


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October 16, 2005 at 04:29:40

Hi Ham30
Thanks for the response, have tried right clicking and open with, still the same thing {wont open} some of them even show up as thumnails in the folder {can see the picture perfect} but no matter what programe i use i cant open it.

If i go to the my pictures folder {XP} and set it as thumbnails, i can see most of the photo's, but i cant open all of them, {some of the ones that i can see} i click on one it says either this is not a valid jpeg-jfif or unknown format.

Derek have sent you a email, hope it gets through your Spam control lol.

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October 16, 2005 at 08:27:46

Hey, you forgot "pubtemp" keyword but I found it in my CHECKIT box LOL.

That file wouldn't open with anything (it said header trouble). So, for some reason it seems these particular picture files have got corrupted in the process of format etc. If I come up with any idea on sorting them out I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath. There's no point messing with associations.

Try searching *.jpg for other files (Windows has plenty). If feel certain they will open just fine, so there is probably nothing wrong right now. The damage, somehow, has already been done.

Not much help, but at least you now know where the problem lies, with the files themselves.


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October 17, 2005 at 04:37:36

There was a virus floating around a few years ago that destroyed JPGs MPGs.

Otherwise they might have gotten corrupt just from being moved. There is software available, I have never used it. You might even be able to find some freeware.



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October 26, 2005 at 12:58:23

I am having the same problems with JPEG's. Like pubmaster, I have hundreds of pictures but a few of them just don't want to open with anything. Oddly, they have thumbnails which I'm guessing were created before the corruption occured. The file size is consistent with the size of the picture, so I'm sure the picture itself is still in there somewhere, just a little mess-up in the begining or end of the data. We really need to figure this out!

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November 1, 2005 at 04:27:11


The thing is, i am sure that these pictures and photo's are not corupted.
I have only had this problem since i formated my computer.

When i have got more time i am going to do another format and put WinME on and see if that works.

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November 1, 2005 at 08:25:55


I am quite certain the files are corrupted otherwise they would have run on my machine. That is why I asked you to send me some. All other jpg files run just fine on my machine.

Whether there is some way of fixing them is a more difficult problem - see sekirt's link. You might find other programs too if you Google around.

Did you ever try any other .jpg's as I suggested in #6?
If they run (and I suspect they will) then there can be no other answer except corruption or some change to them that is preventing them from running.

I can't see how reformatting or changing the OS can help if they don't run on other folks machines. Somehow they got corrupted when you backed them up in the first place.


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November 1, 2005 at 12:32:46

Morning Everyone,

Would you believe that i have the EXACT same problem from a Move / Format /re-install from over the weekend.

Can it be a co-incidence? or the start of something big!!

I would be very interest if you find anything lionfire17



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November 1, 2005 at 14:35:13


Just for info, the files I got from pubmaster failed on my machine with the error message "can't read file header, unknown file format".

Jpg's from all sources (various cameras, internet, CD's, HD etc) all run fine but not the ones from pubmaster. Nothing I tried would make them run but I haven't used a specialist file restoring program.

The problem to my mind is how the heck are they getting corrupted or missing headers. It may just be a small change which would account for the file sizes still looking reasonable.


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November 1, 2005 at 15:13:39

Looked at two good jpg files with hex editor. The first string was FF D8 FF E0 in each case (also the next 5 were identical).

It was completely different in pubmaster's file.


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November 1, 2005 at 18:14:47

I've spent an hour or two on this but was unable to restore the file sent to me by pubmaster.

This is what I found out:

You are not alone, there are stacks of folk who have run into this problem but I've found no neat solution.

A good jpg header does indeed start with FF D8 FF E0.

If you know what you are doing it is possible that you can copy in "complete headers" from the good files to the bad ones using a hex editing program (not easy). All the files must be from the same source because the identification parts of the headers vary.

There are quite a few programs which claim to do this job automatically if you Google around. I tried a couple of freebies but with no luck. There are "try before you buy" programs out there which could be worth a shot.

For valuable pictures you could get them recovered professionally (expensive).

It would seem that the pictures are "still there", it is just that they cannot be viewed because the headers are incorrect.

There is no future in monkeying around with your system because the damage has already been done (somehow). It is the files themselves that now need to be put right.

That's about as far as I can go - the rest is up to you.


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November 3, 2005 at 11:15:33

Thanks for spending so much of your time on this problem derek.

The thing is, i did not back up all of the jpegs.
I have got 2 hard drives {most jpegs on the D Drive}

The 50 or so jpegs that were on my C Drive that i cut and pasted to my D drive before i did a format, about half work.

The hundreds that were on my D drive before the C drive was formated all worked perfect before the format {now about half work}

The strange thing is:

If i open the folder that the jpegs are in {and the folder is set to show as thumbnails} some of the jpegs that dont work, still show up as a picture {perfect quality} but every time i try to open them it still says it is not a jpeg.

Thats what makes me think that it has something to do with the O/S

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November 3, 2005 at 11:31:48

I think that's just the way of header problems. The pictures "are" still there but the system is unable to recognise them properly as jpegs. I believe something happened to them but I've no idea what/why.

If your dodgy files won't run on another machine (mine for starters) then it seems hard to believe that it is due to your OS. This would mean that my machine has the same fault, yet I never have any problem with jpg's whatsoever.

I doubt they will run on any other machine either, but if they do then resave them fast with new names and you'll probably be in business (especially if you use IrfanView to resave them on the other machine - it's good at fixing minor problems). I would then have to change my thinking on this problem of-course but right now I'm stuck with what I said in para 2 above.


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November 17, 2005 at 13:09:51

i am having the same problem as you sort of. i had a major Hdd f-up so i had to reformat and recover the data i lost. when i did the recovery 100% of my .jpg's where all fine and veiwable but now all of a sudden they are not veiwable in any programs. i cant even see the thumnails anymore.

irfanview tells me "cant read file header: unkown file format!"

guess ill leave the pics along untill someone figures this one out.

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November 20, 2005 at 04:16:58

I have the same problem. Only on one of my 5 drives, 90% of my pictures (not only JPG) are corrupted. I can't read them (even with Irfan v). Header is faulty. A day before Windows had to scan this drive at startup because of an error. Windows made corrections and all looked fine. Only now I find that my pictures are corrupted.
Has anyone found a solution ?

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November 20, 2005 at 12:45:17

JaMo & distero

This thread is over a month old and will become "read-only" any time (I'm amazed it still works).

No two problems are ever alike and it's always best to get fresh thinking on them. I'm about the only one watching this post now.

Choose your OS (Windows System) top left and make a new post. Registration is quick and free.


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November 21, 2005 at 03:19:29

First, keep this thread open, please! I'm having exactly the same problem with Photo Editor, though. My .jpgs will open with every other photo program I own, but Photo Editor claims "unknown file format" on all of them. Even when I try to re-associate .jpg to Photo Editor, it balks. In my case it can be ANY jpg, copied from the net, from my camera card, from another drive, anything. This Photo Editor is good, because the same files for Photo Editor work fine on .jpg's on my other computer.



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November 21, 2005 at 05:36:44


The webmaster has a policy of closing old threads and I'm quite sure he will make no exception in this case.

In fact I agree with him entirely. I am the only person watching this thread now and I'm stumped for new ideas, so it's pointless keeping it going.

If you start a new thread you will get new ideas (or at least there is some chance). All you need to do is follow the instructions I gave in #19.

By all means mention the number of this thread (167136) or give a link if you feel that might help in some way or other.


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November 21, 2005 at 05:41:18

.... I would just add that my feeling is that something is corrupting these files and the real problem is to determine what is doing it. I wish I knew!

If you can make the same files run on some other machine then I've very happy to accept that I'm wrong.


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November 21, 2005 at 05:50:10


I've just re-read your post and realise that your problem is different (another good reason for you starting a new thread). The other posters files won't run in any program. Your files work with some programs, so they probably will run on another machine.

In your case, get hold of IrfanView if you haven't got it already. You will never look back because it's a brilliant piece of software.

Take one of your problem files and open it in IrfanView. Then resave it with a new name (for convenience). IrfanView very often creates a file which all programs can open - ie it fixes them up.

That still begs the question as to what went wrong with them in the first place, but at least there is a chance of fixing them this way.

Try it and let me know what happens. You'll need to be fast because this thread is virtually dead.


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November 22, 2005 at 03:47:26

Well that didn't help the Photo Editor problem, but you're right. Irfanview is terrific!! Thanks for the tip!!


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November 22, 2005 at 05:50:54


Are you saying that .jpg's from your other machine won't work on Photo Editor on the problem machine? If so I'm totally stumped, so best to repost.

If you can't run .jpg's taken from your other machine then it looks like a bad install of Photo Editor. In which case (if you have the CD) uninstall PE, reboot and then re-install.


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November 22, 2005 at 06:03:16

I am having exactly the same problems. Some of my JPEGs are not opening with any of the image programs (photoshop etc). I am running windows xp. The properties for the affected JPEGs show nothing abnormal and pictures are displyed with normal icons. please help!!!!

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November 22, 2005 at 06:17:36

Ok, will open a new post. Thanks so much for your interest and help Derek!


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November 22, 2005 at 06:24:23


Please start a new post. This old one will die any second. Select OS (Windows XP or whatever) at top left of this page.



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