Fix Corrupted Files

So, you have rolled up your sleeves to fix corrupted files in your computer yourself. Well, the method that you need to take, depends on the type of corrupted file, you want to fix. Without wasting much time, let us get into the details of how to fix corrupted files.
Well, you may be wondering how to recover corrupted files for a particular file type. May be you want to fix corrupt excel file or fix corrupt powerpoint file, but certain logic and procedure pertaining to all different types of files, continues to be the same. In fact, I believe, that these type of corrupted files do not pose a real threat to your system (though the data in these files may hold a lot of importance), but if system files get corrupted, you are in a real fix. We don't even understand what is a particular .dll file used for, when we suddenly encounter the popup, that a certain .dll file is missing. We will deal with all the procedure to fix corrupted files of all these different types in this article. Let us first try to understand the common steps that you can take to fix corrupted files.

Common Steps to Fix Corrupted Files
Try restarting the computer and opening the file. Well, I know you must have already thought of it. But then, it is a simple step, which won't consume a lot of time. If it works, well and good, else try defragmentation of your computer. To do so, go to the Start menu, and point to programs. Then go to accessories, and select System Tools. Here you get the option for Disk Defragmentation. This is the process for Windows XP, Windows Vista and even the lower versions of the Windows operating system like Windows 98. Another step that you can take is copy the file to a different location and try to open it from there. You can also check if the file extension is correct. For example, if you are dealing with document files, then check if the file extension is set to .doc. Most of the time, you won't be able to check the file extension. To check the extension, you can simply go to the 'Folder Options' in the 'Tools' menu of the folder in which you have the file, and uncheck the option, 'Do not show extensions for known filetypes.' You can also try renaming the extension to some other format like .txt and try opening the file with Notepad.

How to Fix Corrupt System Files?
Well, the answer depends on the operating system you are using. However, let me try to explain the procedure to fix corrupted system files for Windows XP operating system. The procedure is relatively simple. All that you need to fix corrupted files for Windows XP, is the original Windows XP CD/DVD, which you had used to install the operating system in your computer. Put the CD/DVD in your computer's DVD ROM and wait until the computer recognizes it and you see the icon of the setup CD/DVD in your 'My Computer'. Once you see that the CD/DVD ROM has detected the setup CD/DVD, simply go to the Start menu and click Run. In the dialog box that appears, type the command sfc /scannow. Hope, this simple procedure will solve your problem. Now, let us go into the details of how to fix corrupted files for some common file formats.

How to Fix Corrupt Excel File?
Well, here I will mention the procedure to fix corrupt excel files, without the use of any third party software. Microsoft Excel has some built in methodologies to fix corrupt files. Open Microsoft Excel and try to open the file you want to fix, using the open and repair option. To do so, go to file menu, click open and select the file. Click the arrow key next to the open button and click open and repair and choose one of the methods to recover data from your workbook. If you can't open the file in excel at all, then for at least recovering the data, you can change the file extension and try opening the file in some other software. However, if it doesn't work, then you can try making some changes in Microsoft Excel and opening the file after it. One of the changes that you can try is setting the calculation option to manual. To do so, go to the tools menu and select options. In the options, you will find a calculation tab. Set the Calculation tab to manual and click OK.

If you have opened the file but, you cannot save it, then you can select the option, 'Revert to Saved Document', which will give provide you with the last version of the file. In the File menu, click open and select the name of the file. A dialog box will appear, with the message 'Revert to Saved Document?' Simply select it. You can get back to the last saved version of the document, using this procedure.

How to Fix Corrupt Powerpoint Files?
There are some easy steps that you can take to fix corrupt powerpoint files presentations. Simply open a new file and click on the 'Insert' menu. Here you will get the option to insert 'Slides from Files'. Simply, browse the corrupt file using this option and select the corrupt file. Once you are done, you can simply import the slides of the corrupt file into your new file and save it. If in case, this option does not work, select the option 'Insert to insert individual slides'. You can also try to open the file in 'Safe Mode' if the previous method does not work. To do so, go to Run from the Start menu and type the path of the powerpoint file, followed by '/safe' and then try opening the file. This was some information on how to fix corrupt powerpoint files. Now let us take a look at the methods for fixing corrupt media files. Let's take the example of wmv files.

How to Fix Corrupt WMV files?
The best method to fix corrupt files of wmv format is to use some third party software. You can also try 'Windows Media File Editor' which comes along with the package of Windows Media Encoder, a freeware for all such people who are running a genuine copy of Windows Media Player. You can also try other third party software like 'All Media Fixer' to fix corrupt wmv files. These third party software can in fact be used for many other media file formats too, like wmv, asf, mp3, mp4, etc.

I still vouch for the fact that data backup is the best way to recover any file. There are many open source data backup software available, which you can try out. In case, you do not want to use these open source data backup software, then you can find out options in the application software that you are working on, which allow you to automatically create backup of files that you create. Hence, the process to recover corrupted files becomes a relatively simpler task.
By Shah Newaz Alam
Last Updated: 10/4/2011
Bouquets and Brickbats | What Others Said