What does it Mean When Your File is Corrupted?

If a file is corrupted you lose access to the data contained within because it is no longer opening properly. Corrupted files can be fixed and may operating systems, like Microsoft Windows, have built-in tools to help find and recover corrupt files.

One of the worst things that can happen to you when opening a vital data file on your computer is to get an error message that the file can’t be opened or is lost or corrupted.

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What do we mean when we say that a file is corrupted? Essentially that means that a file, which might have been working just fine a minute ago is damaged and now refuses to open properly.

When is a file corrupted?

When the wrong data was written to your file, your file will be corrupted. Either you won’t be able to open it outright, or you can but some data is missing or what data is shown is garbled.

Sometimes a corrupt file is the result of damage done to the storage medium, so this could be a hard drive that no longer functions properly or a storage device that is not properly formatted, for example.

Corrupted files can indicate a problem in your application or on your operating system.

Common reasons for your file becoming corrupted

By far the most common reason that a file and the data it contains were corrupted was because there was a problem while you were saving it.

Interruptions during the saving process, such as your computer shutting down because of a power loss, will result in what you “saved” being corrupted. Corrupted files can also occur due to problems with your hardware, if your hard drive is damaged or there are bad sectors on your storage device.

A virus or a malware can be designed specifically to make your system “lose” or corrupt your file. This is why it’s important to be wary about clicking on unknown links or opening strange files.

What to do if you suspect that your file is corrupted?

First of all, you should determine that it’s really the file that is the problem. Sometimes an application can be damaged and will report all files as corrupt or unreadable. Try opening a few other files on that application to make sure that it is indeed the file.

If it looks like the problem is the computer program or the operating system and not the file, you might have to uninstall and reinstall the faulty software.

If, however, the software seems to be fine – is opening other files without any problems, than the trouble lies with the file.

Microsoft Windows and other operating systems often have built-in tools and techniques by which you can find, recover, and repair lost files. You can try repairing your file using those.

However, one of the most effective methods of dealing with corrupted or lost files would be to have data recovery software installed in your computer. There are data recovery programs that repair and recover files from specific programs, like DataNumen Excel Repair or DataNumen PowerPoint Recovery, you should install the ones for the programs you use the most. You can also consider getting a general suite of data recovery programs with DataNumen Office repair.

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