lost files ...

George Slusher gslusher at rio.com
Sun Dec 7 08:41:23 PST 2003

>I've discovered that somewhere between the 7th of Sept and the 22nd of 
>Sept, something destroyed some important movie files of mine.  I 
>thought it had just happened, but when I went into my Backups, they 
>aren't there either.  I had burned these two files for my daughter and 
>sent it to her.  She's on a PC and mentioned to me that they wouldn't 
>play for her, so I took the iBook to the Genius Bar in Richmond and he 
>was the one who told me all I had was icons of them.  He said Norton's 
>Unerase might find them, but I'm hoping one of you may have more help 
>for me.  I've tried them from the backup on the TiBook and they are 
>just as blank as they are on my HD and I'm running an earlier QTPlayer 
>on it.
>What would y'all do to try to 'find' them?  By now, I fear they are 
>overwritten by something.  I didn't know files could just disappear on 
>a Mac!
>More info on the problem...
>When I double click the Baptism movie, it tells me "Couldn't open the 
>file "Caroline's Baptism.mov" because a necessary data reference could 
>not be resolved.  And then it says "MOV01033.MPG cannot be found.  And 
>then when I click okay, it says "Can't open because an error occurred.  
>The number of this error is: -128"
>The other of the sermon opens Ouick Time, but nothing plays.  the time 
>on it is 2:01 when I run it over to the end.  No error message there...
>Is this any help in figuring out what has happened?

Ian is correct wrt iMovie, but, even if you didn't use iMovie, the same 
thing can happen. When you use "Save" or "Save as" in the QuickTime 
player, the default option is to "Save normally, preserving 
dependencies." That does just what Ian said: it creates a small file that 
really only has the references to the original files--it's like an alias 
in that way, though it's not really an alias--it has more information and 
can point to several movie files, for example. Double-click on it and it 
will run in QuickTime Player, but *only* if the original files are still 
on the hard drive. (It SHOULD still find them, even if they are renamed 
or moved to a different folder.) If the original file is deleted, then 
there's nothing to reference.

For the future, to prevent that, if you're using QuickTime Player, check 
the radio button to save as a "Self-contained" file. 

Finding a QT file with Norton or any other recovery program may not work 
very well. The major problem is fragmentation: the file may have been 
saved in more than one piece. If so, it's difficult to find the pieces 
and put them back together again and, if you're missing the first piece, 
which includes the QT header, you may not be able to play the file at 
all. Of course, the more you do with the Mac now, the less likely you are 
to be able to find the file (or the pieces), as it's more likely that the 
deleted file will be overwritten. You may, indeed, be completely out of 

George Slusher/Eugene, OR
gslusher at rio.com

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