I have recovered lots of image files from a dying hard drive. Some of them converted to good jpeg files, but some converted to "tif" files with various sizes. Files that are big (30-100mb) can be opened in photoshop or preview, but photos like on the screenshot below can't be opened in any application I have tried. All files that can't be opened are around 800kb-2mb with big resolution so clearly files are corrupted, maybe this is a preview of a raw file or something. So given that macos shows small preview (so there is at least SOME information there) - is there any way to extract anything from that files? I have tried Foremost (not finding anything including in big files that are open in preview), BinWalk (extracts tif data but it is same as original file - shows preview but black in Preview app) and ImageMagick convert without any luck. Looking for anything I can try on any system.

enter image description here

  • What camera are they from? There's a possibility that they are RAW files misinterpreted as .tif [though 2.5MB is small for a RAW 24mpx image]& what you're finding with your exploratory work is the embedded jpg, not the full RAW file. It might be as simple as renaming them to .NEF or CR2 etc
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 2, 2021 at 8:27

1 Answer 1



This app helped me. Weirdly enough it looks like all images contain a big size image (compressed I guess but not heavily). The app is Windows only but works with crossover on a mac.

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