GoPro Imports not all showing from Grand Canyon & Sedona?!

I have an old Passport 2Tb that has done me well in the past. I have a GoPro 6 that I just used on a fairly important vacation. I seem to have many missing videos not that I am back home looking at this. The files that I have are all below 4GB…Is there some quirky ■■■■ that didn’t import files larger than 4GB?? I am NOT happy at the moment and intend to throw this WD drive in the garbage if it lost my files. I had it set to delete files on card after import…which is the PRIMARY reason that I bought a drive like this.

I also would like to add that I made sure that all firmware was updated before I left on this trip. If there is an issue with files above 4Gb it should be fixed via any fimware updates as opposed to having important files lost while you are trusting this drive…

Hi there.

First, I hope you didn’t actually lose any data - that is a scary proposition and would ■■■■, and I’ve had moments of panic but thankfully not actually lost anything (my wife, however, left her good camera in a rental car once and we never recovered it - lost a LOT of vacation/trip photos there).

Ok - so first thing you should know is the GoPro’s don’t record videos larger than 4GB. They call this “Chaptering”, and for a 1080 resolution video this amounts to around 17 minutes of footage. Longer videos are automatically “Chaptered” into 4GB and smaller chunks. It’s up to you to stitch those files together after the fact (I won’t get into that here, but it can be done with the GoPro Studio for editing). This behavior cannot be changed, and the reasons are two-fold:

  1. Prior to the advent of super-large capacity micro SD cards (larger than 32GB), it was typical to format memory cards as FAT32 - which cannot handle files larger than 4GB (larger cards are formatted ExFAT, which does not have this limitation, but the GoPro must accommodate both formats).
  2. By breaking footage into smaller files, corruption or loss of a single file would not wipe out the entirety of a video.
    Anyway, there is a good chance that everything is there, you’re just misled by the fact that you don’t have any really large (long footage) files. Check through all of the files to see if there really is anything missing - I’d bet it’s all there.

I’m not sure if you’re using the My Passport Wireless or the Wireless Pro, but I can also offer this: On my Wireless Pro, there is an option to “Import New” vs. “Import All”. What happens is if you copy a card once, then go and record more data to that card and copy it again, the “Import New” option tells the device to only import the stuff that it didn’t import the first time. This can create the illusion that things are missing, because the total contents of the memory card get split up across different import folders. This bit me just yesterday before I figured out what it was doing.

I don’t think that’s happening for you, if your device deletes files from the memory card after import (everything should be “new” every time you import). But it’s something to be aware of.

A piece of advice - Turn off the “Delete after import” option. You mention that’s why you bought this drive, and I get that. But that type of workflow completely contradicts the rule of thumb to always have backups. A “safer” approach would be to consider your Passport device as a real-time backup option. At a minimum, you should verify that all of your files copied successfully before removing them from the card. That should be fairly easy to do using the mobile app. If you must re-purpose the memory card to record a new event, just reformat the card in the GoPro once you’re satisfied that everything was copied to the Passport.

Hope this helps, and really hope that you didn’t lose anything!

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you. I think what you can do is to try to try a recovery software like Stellar Photo recovery. It might be able to recover your videos.