Everything we store in a digital storage device is in the form of a file. It is the computer’s paper to read and write anything. Files come in many formats known as Extensions, used for storing different kinds of data.
But with the existence of files comes file corruption, which makes them unusable. This is a serious problem because some files contain our important stuff and we cannot afford to lose them. To solve this issue, there are various methods available which we will discuss in a few minutes.
Before that, let’s quickly check out a few reasons which can lead to file corruption.
Common Reasons for File Corruption on Windows
File corruption can occur due to many reasons, some of which are listed below. A corrupt piece of data cannot be executed or previewed unless it is repaired. So, it is essential to know what caused the corruption before starting the repair process.
1. Intentionally Corrupting Files
Corrupting files manually is a great method to prevent other people from accessing the data it contains. It is a way of protecting your sensitive content. You can check how I corrupt my file and later uncorrupt it to access the contents.
2. Virus Infection
A computer infected with a virus can result in its hard drive’s data getting corrupted if the virus is not removed.
3. Disrupted Transfer
If a data transfer is terminated midway, it can lead to a broken item in the computer or the storage drive. A disrupted download process from the internet (due to connectivity issues, etc.) might also result in a corrupt file in the Downloads folder.
4. Improper Removal of Storage Device while in use
If a storage device is not ejected correctly, the contents in the drive can get corrupted.
Best Methods to Repair Corrupted Files
1. Using System File Checker
System File Checker (sfc) is a built-in file checker utility in Windows, used to inspect all the essential Windows files on a computer. If the sfc finds a fault or corruption, it gets fixed immediately.
To use the system file checker,
- Press the “Windows + R” keys simultaneously to open “Run.”
- Type “cmd” in the box and press “CTRL+SHIFT+Enter” at the same time. This will open the Command Prompt as an Administrator.
- Type “sfc /scannow” in the command prompt window and press Enter.
The checker will inspect the entire system for corrupted Windows files and fix them if it finds any. Reboot your system once the scan is finished, and try to open the corrupted stuff you were unable to access earlier.
If the files are still not opening after the sfc scan, then move to the following method.
2. Using Check Disk
The check disk or “chkdsk” command is a terminal command used to check and repair a damaged or corrupted hard disk. Chkdsk also marks the corrupted sectors on a hard disk as “bad” and can be used to recover data from the disk.
To use chkdsk on your computer, do the following steps:
- Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
- Type “chkdsk c: /scan /forceofflinefix” and press Enter (you can change the volume name in the command for checking a different disk).
The command will run a disk check on volume C: as specified. It will scan and put the errors in a queue and fix them when the disk goes offline.
The disk check can also be done by another process, using the Windows Disk Error Checking tool. To use it,
- Go to “This PC” on Windows 10.
- Right-Click on the drive, you want to scan.
- Click on “Properties” and select the “Tools” tab from the top.
- Click on “Check” and then “Scan Drive.”
After the error scan and fix are complete, check whether the corrupted files are opening or not. If they aren’t, then move to the next step.
3. Converting the Files to another Format
Sometimes, file corruption can be caused due to using the wrong format. It can be solved by changing the format to a suitable one that can be used to open the item.
There are many free file converters available on the internet. Wondershare Uniconverter is one such converter that can convert images or videos from one format to the other.
NOTE: Always make a separate copy of the corrupted stuff before putting it in any converter so that if something goes wrong, you will still have the original data.
After converting the data to another format, check whether it works this time or not. If not, you need to repair the file corruption with an application to reaccess it.
4. Using Wondershare Repairit File Repair Tool
Wondershare Repairit can repair all types of file corruption. It is the most advanced repair tool which can be used to repair Word Documents, Excel, PDFs, Images, Videos, etc. Repairit is available on both Windows and Mac OS.
You can repair your corrupted file with just three steps, using Repairit. Before that, download Repairit from the official website of Wondershare and install it on your computer.
Now, launch Repairit and perform the following steps:
- Go to the “File Repair” section on the Repairit application and click on the “+Add” button. A windows explorer window will open, which can be used to navigate to the location of the corrupted items. You can select multiple items or just one of them to remove the corruption.
The Batch processing feature allows you to select and repair multiple items at the same time. Also, the application lets you know if you upload any incompatible file format.
The items you selected will be loaded and displayed on the screen, along with their metadata (name, size, location, etc.). You can also add more items by pressing the “Add” button at the bottom or remove added items by clicking on the Trash icon beside the item. There is also a “Remove All” button.
- After selecting the items, check if there is anything left to choose or remove from the list. Now, press the “Repair” button at the bottom right to start the process. The application will scan the items for errors and damages and repair all major and minor issues.
Wait till the process is complete. Please DO NOT close the application while it is fixing the items. A progress bar will show the repair progress for each item. The interface will also display the repair status of individual items.
After the process completion, a pop-up window will appear showing the number of items repaired, and a “Completed” sign will appear beside each fixed item.
- You can now preview the repaired items using the “Preview” button.
To save an item, click the save button adjacent to it, or click “Save All” to keep all the items that have been repaired. Finally, select the location to save the items and click Save.
The fastest and the most effective way to fix your corrupted stuff is by using Wondershare Repairit. It can be installed and used offline with “Repairit for Desktop” for Windows and Mac systems or can be used on the go with its online repair tool. The online tool provides 200 MB of repairing for free and is unlimited with the Desktop application.
Repairit for Desktop is free to use and can repair data of all the popular formats, like DOCX, PPTX, PNG, etc. It can restore photos, videos, and documents with just three steps and helps in saving your time.
Repairit can also fix corrupted data on cameras, smartphones, portable storage devices, memory cards, etc.
And, by getting a subscription, you can repair more than 20 different data formats and unlock the Advanced Repair feature for Photos and Videos, to recover severely corrupt items.
The methods mentioned here are the most effective ones to fix file corruption. In the event of severe data corruption, the first three methods might not be able to fix them. So, our recommendation is to use Wondershare Repairit, the most advanced file repair tool that can quickly fix all kinds of file corruptions.