I have some video files which were stored with the format headers in separate files. Unfortunately, the disk crashed, and the header information has been lost. I still have large chunks of stream data though. Before I start writing brute-force code to figure out the parameters, are there any tools available for recovering this sort of thing?

update: Further research and analysis indicates that this is multiple video streams multiplexed into a single file, with codec data hard-coded into the recording software. As such, repair is likely impossible. Software capable of scrounging such a file and extracting likely video frames might have some success, but I do not find any such software available. If anyone knows of any I would be happy to test it out and review it. If this moves the question beyond the scope of this site, feel free to close it.

2 Answers 2


Try to extract header from other file (e.g. create a new one with that recording software) and prepend it to your stream.

On Windows you can use that command to concatenate files:

copy /b header.hdr + stream.mov outputFile.mov
  • The problem in this case was that the recording software doesn't store the headers as part of the files. Parameters are hard-coded into the software.
    – Perkins
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 22:35
  • Is it possible to reinstall that recording software? A few months has passed since the question was asked - have you found a solution?
    – Vladislav
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 12:12
  • Alas, it doesn't seem like there's going to be a solution. The recording software in question is incapable of reading past the damaged bits in the files, and further study indicates that it may be multiplexing multiple video streams into a single file, which makes attempts to repair it pretty well futile. I'm afraid it's beyond my ability to recover, and I haven't found any software designed to extract video frames from such files.
    – Perkins
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 19:16

There are no such tools to my knowledge. You will probably have to make these headers yourself. Usually you don't have all that much parameters to set in a format header. If all the streams have the same origin you will be able to use the same header for all streams.

Just look into the format specification and edit a sample header in a way it could fit your stream data.

  • Alas, that is the conclusion I was coming to myself. Unfortunately, little details like what format the video is in are considered proprietary by the company that wrote the recording software. Hence why I was looking for something capable of doing its own analysis.
    – Perkins
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 16:41

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