What does it mean when a file is damaged or corrupted?

Surely on more than one occasion, when trying to open a file you find that it is damaged and it is impossible to open it.There are programs capable of recovering damaged files or recovering bad sectors on the hard drive that also prevent us from executing programs or individual files.Additionally, it is important to take all precautionary measures so that this does not happen and to avoid risking losing all our work.

Almost all of us who have used a computer have encountered one or another problem when opening a program or file. On many occasions this happens when we have a archive what is found damaged or corrupt.

What is a damaged or corrupt file

Every file in our system is a piece of data. It has a specific structure, depending on the type of file it is, and a specific content. With the correct information in the correct part of the file, it works normally; but if the information is not correct or written in the wrong place, the data is distorted and encrypted, leaving us with a damaged file.

Damage to storage media such as a hard drive or USB stick can also make some files inaccessible. So, it is possible that the damaged files will not open or we will see some other error.

These files are standalone, meaning they are not a problem with the original program. If we have a corrupt Excel document and it doesn’t open, it would still be possible to open other documents or the same program without problems.

Why is this happening?

The files usually get corrupted when we are saving the same. If our computer is turned off while we are saving a file; there is a chance that this file will be corrupted. Bad sectors on the hard drive can also cause a file to get corrupted, even if we have saved it successfully. Obviously, any malware can do the same.

What can we do?

Losing all our work would not be the best option, right? We have several types of data recovery software. Another thing we can do is try to open the same file on another computer. In the case of a damaged program or the operating system files themselves, they sometimes require a reinstall of the software to fix it.

Windows, for example, includes tools to recover damaged files. It is possible to use them to solve the problem or use third-party software to achieve it. In case the problem is the hard drive or the storage unit; we should consider how old it is, remember that a solid state hard drive should last about five years in optimal conditions.

if nothing works

Recovery programs can be extremely helpful, but they are not always effective. It is feasible that on many occasions we have no choice but to simply delete the corrupt file and start over. In this sense, we strongly recommend making regular backups to avoid losing too much work time.

The best choice? Make backup copies in the cloud, we have several free services available such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Apple iCloud or Dropbox, among others.

In this way we also gain the advantage of accessing the same files from various devices.

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