Repairing Corrupt Files

Sometimes, when opening a file in an application, you’ll be presented with an error message that it cannot be opened due to corruption. The issue of data corruption – which occurs when data in a file is changed -  is far bigger than you might think.

There are many reasons that data can become corrupted. Perhaps the most common is down to the age of drives – studies have shown that as hard drives get older, the chance of data becoming corrupted increases. Media degradation, which happens when the bits stored on the magnetic platters lose their orientation over time, is more common the older a drive is. One other reason is sudden power loss. Improper shutdowns that can be caused by power outages can result in a corrupted hard drive directory. With solid state drives (SSDs), if the controller in the drive stops working, this can result in a similar outcome to that of power outages in mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs). Data corruption can be detected or undetected.

So can corrupted files be recovered? The short answer is – yes. The longer answer is – you may be able to repair the file structure yourself, or you may have to consult a professional data recovery expert to do it for you. We would advise users to exercise caution when it comes to attempting DIY files repair, particularly if the file is especially important. If you do go down this route, never work with the original data – copy the file(s) over to a secondary drive or USB stick. This will prevent further damage to the file structure, and stop you from permanently destroying the file.

We see files that have corrupted data all the time – generally, they are precious family photos or Word documents like university assignments. At Data Recovery Specialists, we used highly specialised tools to repair the file structure of corrupt data, and in many cases are better equipped to deal with these situations.

file recovery