The problem of media corruption

Modern drives have advanced at a fast rate in recent years, but still, media corruption still remains an issue. Media corruption is the loss or change of computer data during transmission or retrieval, and occurs when the data transfer process is interrupted or disturbed. This can be caused by electronics failures, power surges or internal mechanical problems.

Media corruption can affect any type of device; hard drives, solid state drives, RAIDs, SD cards etc, and can modify or destroy information which can render the device inaccessible. When a device boots up, it has to access important information to communicate with the host device (laptop, camera, or other device). If this information becomes corrupted, the media can’t boot.

Most of the time, media corruption can’t be seen because it occurs deep in a drive. For example, in USB sticks the chip that controls the connection between the drive and the computer is deep inside. Similarly, with modern hard drives, it is very difficult to see corruption. With older drives, however, it is possible to see corruption when viewing the platter.

In some cases, media corruption can result in a difficult recovery, so make sure you always back up.