Corrupt Files using iPad and External Hard Drive: SOLVED Not Solved!

Published October 30, 2021

Rant Because I found the solution thought I found the solution to the recurring issue of corrupt or missing files when using my external hard drive with the iPad, this post is no longer in the RANT category. It has been downgraded to the “You need to be aware” category.

Here’s What Happened

After recording videos on the GoPro, I’d transfer the footage to the external drive. The external drive I’m using is the 1TB SanDisk Extreme Pro (affiliate link). It’s a speedy, high-quality external drive. I purchased it because of the transfer speed.

To transfer the files, I used the Anker 6 in 1 hub adapter (affiliate link)for iPad. Once the files were on the external drive, I used the drive as an extension of the iPad. Working from and with the external files was seamless.

All was going swimmingly for a few months until it wasn’t. Around the end of September or early October, I noticed with an increasing rate, the transferred files would become corrupt or disappear. When I attempted to access or view them using the iPad’s Files app, I received error messages that either the files were unavailable/corrupt or they just weren’t there. They disappeared!

Is it My File Structure?

Because things worked well initially, I thought that maybe my folders within a folder were causing the Files app to trip all over itself. So, to resolve the issue, I changed the naming convention I used so all videos were not sorted into folders. Everything was available at the top level. No folders or subfolders.

That worked for a hot minute, but I still ran into the disappearing or corrupted files problem.

I even blamed the Anker adapter I used to transfer the files. Instead of the 6 in 1 hub, I pulled out my older 7 in 1 Hiearcool adapter and used that. Unfortunately, the adapter switch didn’t solve the problem.

Searching the Internet for Solution to Corrupt Image Files

Searching for Answers

I combed the internet looking for a solution but couldn’t find one. I won’t go into the boring details of what I attempted to do to resolve the issue. Suffice it to say that I spent several weeks coming up with workarounds. Unfortunately, each workaround was not sustainable.

Finally, at the end of my rope, I spent a day on Google rephrasing my problem. I reworded my search query coming from different angles in an attempt to find a solution…and then… I came upon the following video (Here’s the link in case the video does not display below

iOS Corrupt Image Files Problem in a Nutshell

In essence, as I had suspected, the iOS Files app was the culprit. In my opinion, that app is still a toddler and needs to grow up before I can use it to perform the tasks I need it to perform.

Fortunately, Frank Doorhof turned me on to the FileBrowser app. FileBrowser is a grown-up, mature app that can not only handle what I need it to do but much, much more.

FileBroswer app comes in three flavors:

  • Basic for $6.99 (one-shot deal, no annual pricing).
  • Go for a monthly subscription of 99 cents per month
  • Pro for $13.99 (one-shot deal, no annual pricing).

Not knowing which version I needed, I purchased the professional version. After all, $13.99 (it was $12.99 back in 2021 when I purchased it) for an app is a lot cheaper than spending $9.99 per month to increase the iCloud storage to accommodate my various video files (yes, I was desperate so I temporarily increased my iCloud storage - that was another learning rabbit hole that I won’t go into here).

I’m still learning the ins and outs of the FilesBrowser app, but as long as I can transfer video to the external hard drive without the files becoming corrupt or disappearing, I’m a happy gal!

11/22/21 Update: Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t solved, please see my next post for a true solution, or should I say workaround.

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.

Last Modified: 2 September 2023

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