Welcome to the AlpineSoft support forum.  To return to the main website, click here:

Main Menu

"Is not a valid collection" .mcf file is toast.

Started by Steve Crook, November 23, 2023, 12:32:26 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Steve Crook

I've started getting these because the .mcf files are null of 'NUL' characters.

Checking the Windows logs I can see that there have been disc hardware errors that look like they're related to the SSD and a failure to flush buffer due to a hardware error.

The other is that I have 4 .mcf files that're toast. I have an mcf for each letter of the alphabet, so it's a smallish part of the whole. At the moment I can't trust the SSD and I'll get a new drive and revert to a backup then try and incorporate recent recordings from the damaged drive into the backup.

Sadly, the most recent .bak files are also 'nullified' so there's no help from them either.

I'd really appreciate some advice about the best way of getting recent recordings into the restored mcf.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)


You can send me the files if you like, but it doesn't sound promising:

p DOT sanders AT alpinesoft DOT co DOT uk

If you have to start over, you'll have to import the raw audio files and do the track splitting and audio cleanup again,  sorry.

Steve Crook

Thanks for the offer, but if it's just a case of importing the recordings then that's fine, I can compare the file systems to work out what needs to be imported. The mcf files appear to be unrecoverable, they're all nul characters, nothing else.

It's really unsettling when something like this happens. It shakes my faith in the ssd and the rest of the hardware. I've got a battery of tests to run on the ssd
to see if I can find a fault.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

Steve Crook

After a bit of prodding around I've come to the conclusion it's a firmware incompatibility between the drive a Samsung 870 QVO and the SATA to USB3 housing it's been in. FWIW I've used the housing in question for almost a year with a variety of drives both HDD and SSD without problems. I've found that in another housing (also regularly used) the drive isn't even detected by Windows so I'm guessing firmware.

I'm copying files off the SSD onto a new drive, once secure assess what needs to be restored. Then mount the SSD in my PC, format it and run some tests.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

OK, good luck.  No backup of your .mcf files, I suppose?

Steve Crook

Fortunately I have a backup from when I switched to the new drive. So probably 10-12 recordings will need to be imported into the restored mcf files. I backup regularly and have a backup of my backup. There's too much time gone into this for me to risk losing it and having to start again :|

There's close to 1tb of it now... Then there's the ripped CDs too, it's a good job storage has got so cheap.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

Excellent, pleased to hear it, we don't like it when people lose their work.