ThePhotoStick® Omni Troubleshooting Guide:
What to Do if Question Marks Appear in Place of Your Files?
When viewing files saved to your ThePhotoStick Omni drive, you may see question marks or blanks for some or all of the files instead of a thumbnail for the file.
On Your iPhone, Your Screen May Look Something Like:
No matter how many question marks you may be seeing while trying to view your photos and videos, there are several scenarios that could cause this behavior.
The most common scenarios are:
1. ThePhotoStick Omni drive lost connection with your iPhone/iPad.
2. The file type is an unknown file type that your iPhone/iPad does not understand.
3. The file(s) is not readable or corrupt.
Scenario #1: ThePhotoStick Omni Drive Lost Connection with Your iPhone/iPad
If ThePhotoStick Omni drive gets disconnected or is suddenly not seen by your iPhone/iPad, ThePhotoStick Omni app will not be able to create and display thumbnail images of the files on ThePhotoStick Omni drive. As a result, it may only display a question mark placeholder for the files. In this scenario, it will look similar to this:
*NOTE: In this scenario, it will look similar to the provided image:
To know if your iPhone or iPad properly detects your ThePhotoStick® Omni drive, look at the LED on the drive. When the iPhone or iPad detects ThePhotoStick® Omni drive, the LED on the drive will always light up and blink initially.
Does the LED on ThePhotoStick® Omni drive light up and blink when first plugged into your phone? If not, do one or more of the following:
1. Unplug and plug back in your ThePhotoStick® Omni device.
a. Remove your ThePhotoStick® Omni device from your iPhone or iPad
b. Wait 5 seconds
c. Plug your ThePhotoStick® Omni device back into your iPhone or iPad
d. Wait 5-10 seconds for your iPhone or iPad to detect your ThePhotoStick® Omni device
2. Ensure the ThePhotoStick® Omni drive is seated fully into the Omni adapter and the Omni adapter is fully seated into your iPhone or iPad.
3. Some cases for iPhones and iPads may be too thick and prevent the drive from being fully plugged in. Try plugging the ThePhotoStick® Omni device in without the iPhone or iPad case on to see if the drive can fully plug in.
4. Flip ThePhotoStick® Omni adapter upside down and plug into your iPhone or iPad.
5. If ThePhotoStick® Omni drive was detected by your phone before but not now, did you leave the drive plugged into your phone for a long time? It is possible that the phone put the drive to sleep since it was not being used. In this case, unplug and plug back in your ThePhotoStick® Omni device.
After doing one or more of the steps above, try viewing the files in ThePhotoStick Omni app again by doing the following:
1. Tap the back button.
2. Go to Settings by tapping on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the app.
3. Whether or not the status says it detects your ThePhotoStick Omni drive, tap the “Select Your ThePhotoStick Device” button.
4. Select “PHOTOSTICK” (NOTE: do not select any folders under PHOTOSTICK), then tap “Done”.
5. Tap “View Files On Your ThePhotoStick”.
If it still did not resolve the issue, try fully closing and re-opening ThePhotoStick® Omni app by doing the following:
1. Open the App Switcher
a. On iPhone 8 or earlier, double-click the Home button to show the currently open apps on your iPhone or iPad.
b. On iPhone X and later or iPad with iOS 12 or later, from the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
c. If you are unable to open the App Switcher on your iPhone or iPad, see Apple’s documentation on how to do this by clicking here.
2. Swipe left or right to find ThePhotoStick® Omni app and then swipe up on it to close the app.
3. To open the ThePhotoStick® Omni app again, find the app on your Home screen and then tap to open it.
4. Go to Settings by tapping on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the app.
5. Whether or not the status says it detects your ThePhotoStick Omni drive, tap the “Select Your ThePhotoStick Device” button.
6. Select “PHOTOSTICK” (NOTE: do not select any folders under PHOTOSTICK), then tap “Done”.
7. Tap “View Files On Your ThePhotoStick”.
Scenario #2: The File Type Trying to Be Displayed Is an Unknown File Type by the Phone’s Operating System
ThePhotoStick® Omni is designed to back up and share all your photos, videos, documents, and audio files between all your devices. It works on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS/iPadOS.
That said, these four operating systems do not always understand and have the ability to read the same file types. For example, there are particular file types that can be read and viewed on a Windows computer but not on an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad.
*NOTE: In this scenario, it will look similar to the provided image:
In the above screenshot, the question marks are four .AVI files that were backed up from a Windows computer.
To ensure the four .AVI files are ok, plug ThePhotoStick Omni drive back into the Windows computer and ensure they can be played. If they can, you will know the issue is that iOS does not understand and cannot play that particular file type.
There are third-party apps, like VLC, that can play .AVI files on iOS devices. So, for example, you can install and use the VLC app to play .AVI files from you ThePhotoStick Omni device.
Scenario #3: The File(s) Is Not Readable or Corrupt
There are a number of reasons why one or more files may be unreadable or corrupt on your ThePhotoStick Omni. This scenario is rare but can be caused by:
a. You are using an iPhone or iPad that is running iOS version 15.0, 15.1, or 15.2
b. ThePhotoStick Omni drive was unplugged before it was finished copying
c. ThePhotoStick Omni has a hardware issue
A. If you are using an iPhone or iPad that is running iOS version 15.0, 15.1, or 15.2:
If your iPhone or iPad is running iOS version 15.0, 15.1, or 15.2, you should upgrade your iOS version immediately. iOS has an exFAT bug in 15.0, 15.1, 15.2 that can result in files getting corrupted when they are copied to a drive that is using the exFAT filesystem. To check your iOS version, do the following:
1. Tap on “Settings”, then “General”, then tap “About”.
For more information on finding your iPhone or iPad software version, please click here.
B. ThePhotoStick Omni drive was unplugged before it was finished copying
When a backup is complete, make sure the LED on ThePhotoStick Omni drive is not blinking when removing the drive from your phone. A flashing LED indicates activity on the drive and that the copy is finishing up. Pulling the drive too soon could cause incomplete copying of one or more files resulting in them being unreadable and corrupt.
To resolve both of these issues, do the following:
*NOTE: If you are running iOS 15.0, 15.1, or 15.2, be sure to upgrade your iOS version before doing the below steps. You can update your iPhone/iPad iOS version by going Settings > General, then tap Software Update. Please see Apple’s documentation for more assistance by clicking here.
1. Plug ThePhotoStick Omni drive into a Windows or macOS computer and check the drive for any errors.
a. On Windows, plug in your ThePhotoStick Omni drive into an available USB port, right-click on ThePhotoStick Omni drive, then “Properties”, then “Tools”, then “Check”, then “Scan and repair drive”. When it completes, click “Close”, then “OK”.
b. On macOS, plug in your ThePhotoStick Omni drive into an available USB port, Click Launchpad in the Dock, type “Disk Utility” in the search field, and then click the Disk Utility icon. Then, choose “PHOTOSTICK”, then “First Aid”, then “Run”. When repair is complete, click on “Done”.
*NOTE: For more information on Apple’s Disk Utility, please click here.
2. Once ThePhotoStick Omni drive check is done, delete any files that are not readable or corrupt.
*NOTE: If you prefer to just delete all the files backed up to ThePhotoStick Omni drive, simply delete the My_Files folder. If you do this, ALL backed up files that are on ThePhotoStick Omni drive will be permanently deleted from the drive.
a. In this example, there are four files that are unreadable. Select those four files and then delete them.
3. Back up the files that were not readable or corrupt again to ThePhotoStick Omni drive.
Continuing this example, ThePhotoStick Omni drive was plugged back into an iPhone and the four files that were unreadable were selected and backed up again. See provided image for example: