Have you ever downloaded a video and received an error that the file could not be played because it is damaged or corrupted? There are many reasons why a video file can be damaged, from bad sectors on the hard drive to electromagnetic interference, power outages and torrent problems, etc.
Fortunately, most corrupted AVI or MPG files can be repaired because the problem is usually index related. If the index is restored, the files can be read again by the media player.
In this article, I will introduce several programs that can help you recover corrupted video files. Note that using these tools may result in a smaller file or parts of the video missing, so be sure to back up the original file.
Also, if you end up using multiple tools, make sure you always start with the source file for each program. Performing multiple repairs to the same video file using different programs can result in even more damage!
It’s also worth noting that I did not specifically mention a couple of programs that you may encounter on the Internet due to various issues. Rising Research’s digital video repair turned out to be malicious when I ran it through VirusTotal
Another program called File Repair claims to be able to repair any type of file, but it didn’t fix my test AVI file and therefore shouldn’t be mentioned in this article.
DivFix ++ has been around for a long time and does an excellent job of recovering AVI and DivX files. Once downloaded, extract all files and run the EXE file.
Click the Add Files button to select a video file, and then click the Check Errors button to have the program scan it for problems.
To fix the file, click the Fix button. In my case, this gave me an error count of 0, but the video still wouldn’t play because I deliberately messed up the index.
Even so, when I clicked the Fix button, it immediately restored the file and created a copy because I checked the Keep original file checkbox. The recovered video will be output in the same directory as the original video file.
Even before I played the video, I could tell that the file was restored because Windows was showing me a thumbnail of the first frame, not a generic video icon. Let’s try this program first, because it usually works.
VLC media player
If you already have VLC Media Player installed on your computer, then this might be the best option as it allows you to repair the index for the AVI file.
When you open the corrupted file, you will receive a message asking what you want to do: create an index and play, Play as is, or Do not play.
If you have a bunch of files with this problem, you can configure VLC to automatically fix the file when you play it by going to Tools and then Settings. Click “Inputs and Codecs” and then select “Always Fix” next to Corrupted or Incomplete AVI File.
Now whenever you open a damaged AVI file, it will automatically fix it temporarily and play the video. Note that it does not actually modify the original video file itself, instead it just fixes the memory issue and plays the file.
Remo AVI Repair
Remo Repair AVI is a free download program, but it will try to charge you a whopping $ 70 to save your repaired video. It’s just a ridiculous price to pay, and because of the way the program is currently written, it can be easily circumvented.
Download the program, install and run. Click the Browse button to select the video file and then click the big Recover button.
Now, don’t worry about clicking on the “Save” or “Preview” button, as the program has already recovered the file and simply saved it in a hidden folder on your computer.
First, open File Explorer and configure it so that you can see hidden files and folders in Windows 8 or Windows 10. If you’re running Windows 7, click Organize and then Folder and Search Options.
Then click the View tab and click the Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives button.
Now go to the following folder on your hard drive:
C: Program Files (x86) Remo Repair AVI 2.0 $ tp
Here you should see a file named $ tp and it should be the same size or very close to your original video file. The file will not have an extension, so it will look like a default document.
Copy this file anywhere you like and then just rename it to whatever you want, but don’t forget to add the .AVI extension to the end. For example, I copied mine to my desktop, right-clicked, selected Rename, and typed MyVideo.avi. Bam! Now you can play the recovered video normally.
Hopefully one of these three methods will give you a repaired and playable AVI video! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!