Why Is Your Program File Corrupted? Repair And Data Recovery Tips

by Rod Dunne on November 17, 2010

in Data Recovery

File Corrupted - Repairing Corrupt Applications And OS Data Using Software Solutions
  • Share
  • Share

Discovering an application or system file corrupted on your PC can be infuriating. The standard way to try and fix this issue is to use repair tools to rectify the fault and/or resort to data recovery. In this article, we’ll cover the various computer repair and maintenance techniques you can try using.

Repairing a system file corrupted by viruses/application changes

If you find your system files corrupted by a virus then your first reaction should be to try using anti-virus applications to rectify the fault. You may have to run Windows in safe mode (i.e. reboot the PC and hit F8 to access this option) if the virus is stopping your application from starting a scan.

On other occasions, you may find a system file is corrupt due to application changes to the Windows registry file or updates to shared DLLs. One option to consider using is the System Restore utility (located under accessories > system tools) which maintains editions of your OS programs and registry files on the hard disk. You can select a previous date and replace these files back to earlier healthy versions.

When a file is corrupt due to disk issues

If you find the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable for a number of programs on your system then this can often indicate that there has been corruption to your hard drive memory (e.g. bad sectors).

Windows provides its own disk checking application which you can access through the properties window for each hard drive partition. It allows you to scan the drive for bad sectors and attempt to make repairs. If a repair cannot be achieved then this section of the drive will be flagged as unusable for saving any further data. Some commercial tools (e.g. HDD Regenerator) may be more capable at repairing partition faults then the Microsoft utility some male to be work considering using.

Recovering backup versions of the corrupted file

Any file corrupted during the process of being saved to disk may be retrieved by using work in progress versions of the file. The majority of applications store backup versions of your file as they are being worked on and these can be reused simply by changing the file name extension.

For example, Microsoft Word creates backup files using the .wbk file extension which can be renamed (to .doc) so that they can be opened within Word.

Using specialist tools

One option for application files corrupted during normal operation is to resort to using a specialist software application for repairing the damage caused. There is a huge variety of these tools which are created specifically for individual programs. Here is a small selection of what you can find on the web:

  • Outlook Express Repair: For emails from Outlook Express
  • XLS Regenerator: For Microsoft Excel Files
  • Flash Recovery: For image files
  • DOC Regenerator: For Microsoft Word documents
  • Music Recovery: For audio files such as MP3 and WMA

Using data recovery software

Data recovery applications are more traditionally used for recovering deleted/formatted files, but they can work just as well at finding corrupted files. They can be used to scan the hard drive to search for data clusters belonging to the corrupted file and will also be able to identify failure versions of the file (referred to as data shadows or electronic footprints) which can attempt to reassemble.

Suggested tool: Remo Undelete – FAT/NTFS support, All Windows OS; Free trial scan.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: