How to Repair Corrupt RAW Nikon NEF files
Summary: NEF unique format consists of the RAW data of an image, along with an instruction set that provides extensive image editing capability not available with other file formats. With a NEF file, the original RAW data of an image is never changed. So it’s a bit more complex to repair than other formats. This article shows how to repair them with ease.
‘I had captured beautiful locales of Caribbean islands with my Nikon D850 camera. Over two hundred photos were shot in RAW format (.NEF files). Back home, when I transferred the pictures to my system, most of them were either not opening, or were distorted. I tried different programs to repair NEF corrupted files but without success.
I cannot imagine losing these photos. Please help?’
Nikon Electronic Format (NEF) is used by all Nikon cameras to shoot in RAW. They are unprocessed pictures of high quality as perceived by the camera sensor. Shooting in NEF format gives liberty to photographers to enhance and creatively play with the images in the post-editing stage.
Naturally losing such photos can be seriously annoying.
If you have also lost your Nikon RAW files in NEF format due to corruption, and looking for ways to get back the correct photos, here we bring in the best methods to repair corrupt RAW Nikon NEF files.
How can you Repair Corrupt RAW Nikon NEF files?
Although there are hit-and-trial methods that you can use to fix corrupt NEF files but to begin with, let us get on to an assured (and the safest way) to fix corrupt NEF files— by using Stellar Repair for Photo software.
Why use Stellar Repair for Photo?
Stellar Repair for Photo is a powerful software to repair corrupt RAW files. It fixes all kinds of corruption in photos shot from any popular camera brand including Nikon models.
Being a do-it-yourself (DIY) software, it offers a simple utility to restore corrupt photos in JPEG format in just 3 simple steps – Add, Repair, and Save.
Below is a step-by-step guide to repairing corrupt raw NEF files with the help of Stellar Repair for Photo
- Run Stellar Repair for Photo software on your PC.
- On the home screen of the software, click Add File. Choose the location to add NEF files. Click Open
- The selected NEF files are displayed. Click Repair.
- Preview the NEF files before saving. Just select the file on the left panel and watch its Preview on the right.
- Click Save Repaired Files. Select Folder dialog box is displayed to select the location for saving the repaired photos.
Download the software and get back your Nikon photos lost due to corruption.
Other manual ways to Repair Corrupt RAW Nikon NEF files:
Open NEF files in another Image Viewer
If the Nikon camera photos are not opening in one program, try opening them in another, such as Gimp, Nikon ViewNX, IrfanView, etc.
Use NEF image file converter
If the NEF files are not opening, convert them to another format using online image file converters. Make sure the program you are using to open NEF files is updated.
For instance, if a NEF file fails to open in Photoshop and displays an error, ‘Unable to open NEF file in Photoshop’, convert it to DNG format by using a free online image converter tool.
Download the Microsoft Camera codec pack
To view all kinds of camera-specific file formats on your computer, you can download the camera codec pack offered by Microsoft.
These free camera codec packs for different Windows versions are available at <Read More>.
Reduce noise in Nikon photos with Image Editors
Noise, chromatic aberration, grains, and other distortions in the photos shot from any Nikon camera model, can be fixed in image editors that support RAW files like Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, Gimp, Lightroom, DxO Optics Pro, etc. However, this photo editing software cannot fix corruptions caused due to SD card problems or disk errors. To fix grey bands, tiles, invalid file structure, file system errors, or corrupt header issues in NEF image files, Stellar Repair for Photo is the recommended solution.
You can also use Capture NX2 or Capture NX-D, the official Nikon photo editing software to correct corrupt NEF files.
Use CHKDSK in the command prompt
When the PC gives a ‘Memory card error’ making the NEF files in the card inaccessible, you can restore the photos by CHKDSK in the command prompt. CHKDSK command scans for bad sectors and fixes the logical errors in the storage media.
Follow the below steps to perform CHKDSK:
- In the Windows Start Menu type CMD
- Right-click on Command Prompt
- Click Run as administrator and log in as Administrator
- When Command Prompt launches, type the command: chkdsk C: /f
- Once the process finishes, restart the computer
Tips to protect Nikon NEF files from corruption
- Use a Class 10 memory card from a trusted manufacturer.
- Ensure continuous power supply during the transfer of NEF files.
- Do not shoot when the camera SD card shows low or full storage.
- Do not use your Nikon SD card on multiple devices.
- Do not shoot with a low camera battery.
- Properly insert/eject the SD card from the camera and computer
Stellar Repair for Photo has made the repair of corrupt raw NEF files easier. Now no need to fret over the loss of your precious RAW files captured from a Nikon camera.