Complete Guide to Repair Corrupt RAW Nikon NEF files

Effectively Fix Corrupt RAW Nikon NEF files

With this article understudy, the audience will be able to know what NEF files are, what is it used for, the reasons for the file getting damaged, and four viable methods to fix corrupted NEF images.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Mar 15, 2021 • Filed to: Photo/Video/Audio Solutions • Proven solutions


Capturing images and photographs in digital cameras like Nikon are considered top-notch, don't you agree? We are all willing to save the memories somewhere safe because losing them would be hard to handle. The Nikon file format is NEF, which is the crux of today's article.

A file format could be ideal, but it is hard to save them from getting damaged and corrupted. The article will reflect upon the causes of occurrence of this problem and put forward four workable solutions to fix corrupted Nikon NEF images.

Let us start, shall we?

  • Part 1: What is a NEF File?
  • Part 2: How does a NEF file use for?
  • Part 3: Why the Nikon NEF files get corrupted?
  • Part 4: 4 best solutions to fix corrupted Nikon NEF images

Part 1: What is a NEF File?

Before fixing NEF image files, let us first make sure what is a NEF File format? Nikon Electronic Format, abbreviated as NEF, is a raw image file captured from a Nikon Digital Camera. Speaking of its creation, it was developed by Nikon Inc. mainly to capture the RAW images using its camera. NEF files are not processed or manipulated and offer high-quality results from the camera sensors.

Comparing NEF file format to other formats allows more data and is in lossless compressed form. NEF file format has the capacity to retain 12-14 bits of data, making it a high-quality capture. After the .nef file is processed, it is converted into TIFF, JPEG, and DNG, etc.

To know how does a NEF is used, hop on to the next section outlined for you.

Part 2: How does a NEF file use for?

The second question that comes into a beginner's mind is how a NEF file is used and where it shows its magic? We will address this concern here.

Nef file format is famous among professional photographers and the media industry due to its excellent features. With this format, the original quality of the raw image is never reduced. Therefore, it is called a digital negative file format of any image captured with no loss of data. This makes it pretty enchanting to use. Among other magical attributes, NEF keeps the metadata of the photo captured that constitutes of camera's model, date of the picture, lens, and settings description.

With clarity comes transparency in Nikon Electronic Format which means that every little piece of information is maintained in an image. This characteristic makes this format pretty much the top ranking in the market.

One step more before you know how to fix corrupted NEF images, and that is the reason these files getting corrupted.

Part 3: Why the Nikon NEF files get corrupted?

It is about time we address the burning issue of the day that revolves around the background causes of why Nikon NEF files get damaged? After we run a check on these causes, what we can do is safely find solutions to get rid of the problem at hand.

So, without any further delay, let us initiate this!

Virus or Malware Attack

The virus or malware attack on the device or your system can result in your NEF file getting corrupted. You might want to keep your device protected with anti-virus.

Bad Sectors

The storage media such as SD cards, pen drives, and hard drives have bad sectors, which is the most probable cause of making the NEF files corrupted.

Formatted Drive

Most times, when the drive is formatted, it leads to the NEF being infected and renders it useless.

Outdated Drivers

The outdated drivers are another emerging cause of corrupted NEF file formats. You might want to update the drivers and then check if the problem is resolved.

Part 4: 4 Best solutions to fix corrupted Nikon NEF images

This is where you will get an answer to your question, "How to Fix Corrupted NEF Images?" Allow me to introduce you to four methods that will help in fixing the damaged Nikon NEF images. So, what are we waiting for? Let us do this!

Method 1: Using CHKDSK in Command

The first method to tackle the corrupted Nikon NEF images is by using CHKDSK in the command prompt. So, if you need to fix corrupted Nikon NEF images, this can be your first shot at it! How does a CHKDSK command works? It scans and repairs bad sectors occurring in storage media and helps us out of the fix.

1. From Windows, open the "Start" menu.

2. Type "cmd."

3. Use the right-click button to open the command prompt.

4. "Run as Administer" from the menu bar that appears.

open command prompt as administrator

5. Sign in as administer.

6. After CMD is launched, type the following as it is: chkdsk C: /f.

7. After the process is concluded, restart the system.

type the command and press enter

Method 2: Using Microsoft Camera Codec Pack

The second method brings a magical solution to all your corrupted file issues. You can download a Microsoft Camera Codec Pack in your system. This works by allowing the user to preview all the types of file formats that are kept and stored in the camera.

This will fix the corrupted Nikon NEF images, and you will be able to view them. Pretty impressive, right?

Method 3: Opening in NIKON ViewNX

This method is preferred when your corrupted nef files would not open in the default program. So what we can do is open them in Nikon ViewNX, which will be quite workable for the game players.

1. Download and install Nikon ViewNX.

2. Now, right-click on the corrupted NEF file.

3. From the menu bar that appears, hit the "Open with Nikon ViewNX."

open file in nikon viewnx

This will open the file and get you out of the fix in seconds.

Method 4: Using Stellar Photo Repair Tool

Last but not least, allow me to introduce you to a terrific software Stellar Photo Repair Tool. The primary function of this tool is to repair the corrupted images and videos and make them as good as new in any format. If you are not familiar with how this software operates, find the steps below.

Step 1: Installing the Trial Version

Download and install the trial version of this software

Step 2: Inserting Targeted NEF file

Insert the corrupted file by browsing it from the (+) sign located in the middle of the interface.

add nef files

Step 3: Repair and Restore

Tap on the "Repair" button and wait until the process is concluded.

start the repairing process

Step 4: Advanced Repair Phenomena

From an advanced repair system, the users are advised to insert a sample of the same format and captured it from the same camera. Now, you need to click on "Save Repaired Files" and get on with your lives.

export file or do advanced repair


The article implied basic causes of occurrence of NEF file corruption and four of the workable methods to help through the fix. We hope the article aids you in your present and prospects.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

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