There are different ways in which a file or folder can get corrupted such that system applications become unable to open, modify or delete them. In case this can happen, we can use some of our own tools that Windows 10 incorporates to try to solve it or opt for third-party applications developed for this purpose.
Why files and folders get corrupted
We speak of a corrupt file or folder when there are problems with writing, reading or during its processes, which makes it impossible for it to be read by the different applications of the system. There are different ways by which a file can be corrupted, not being an isolated event since it can happen to us when we least expect it.
A file can get corrupted when we are transferring it from one place to another and the process is interrupted unexpectedly, for example, a power outage. This leads to a loss of information from the file that can prevent its execution. It can also be due to a problem with a virus or malware, or that the storage system that contains the file is damaged. It is also not possible to download that it is a hardware problem and that the file has been corrupted due to having a damaged RAM module or a bad SATA cable.
How to repair a corrupt file or folder
If we find that we have a file or folder that is corrupt, we can use some solutions that we can find within the Windows 10 tools.
Check the system for errors
The first thing we are going to do is try to check if the system could contain errors that could be the cause of file or folder corruption. To do this we open the File Explorer (Windows + E). Later we select the unit that can be found damaged and click on it with the right button. A contextual menu will appear where we will select the option of “Properties”.
Within the “Tools” tab, we click on the checkbox “Check” within the “Error checking” section. In this way Windows 10 will take care of checking for file system errors within the drive.
Run Windows Defender
The file or folder may be corrupted by a virus or malware. To solve it, we can try to use an antivirus like Windows Defender or any other that we have installed on our computer. For this we can write “Windows security” in the search engine of the start menu. Once executed, we can select Antivirus and Threat Protection and perform a “Quick Test” to see if we are facing a virus problem in the files that prevents us from executing it.
Use the memory diagnostic tool
Another option that we have available within the Microsoft operating system is the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. Through it we can make sure that the problem of file or folder corruption is not due to a RAM memory failure Of the device. To run it we write “Windows memory diagnostic” in the search box next to the Start menu.
Next, a window will appear to check if there are problems with the memory of the equipment. We choose the first option from “Restart now and check for problems (Recommended)”, making sure to save before any work that we were doing and close the programs that we have running.
Check the integrity of the hard drive
Windows 10 has a tool to fix corrupted files and folders errors such as the chkdsk command that is run from the command prompt. To do this we must write cmd in the search box of the Start menu and launch the Command Prompt as administrator. Once open we will write the following command:
chkdsk /f c:
In the event that the damaged drive was not C but another drive, we will change the letter to the one corresponding to that drive and press Enter. This tool works for both external and internal storage drives.
Repair damaged files
Windows 10 has its own file repair tool, such as the sfc / scannow command. This command will scan the drive for damaged or corrupted files that it can repair. To launch it, we must open the command prompt as administrator, typing cmd in the search box of the Start menu. Once open we write the following command and press Enter.
Once executed, the process will take a few minutes to carry out, informing us at all times on the screen about the percentage carried out. Later, it will notify us of the results obtained and if any problem has been solved.
Repair corrupted USB drive files
In the event that the problem is not in a file or folder, but the USB drive is directly corrupted and therefore prevents us from opening files, we can solve it using the ATTRIB command. To do this, we must run the Command Prompt tool as administrator. For this we will write cmd in the search box of the Start menu. Once open we must write the following command and press Enter:
ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:*.*
Here we must replace the letter X with the letter of the drive where the USB drive is connected and press Enter. Now we can only wait for the damaged files to be recovered.
Third-party programs to repair files
If with the different tools that Windows 10 has, we cannot solve the problem with corrupted files, we can use some third-party applications that will help us to that end.
Wondershare Data Recovery
It is a deleted file recovery software that can also be used to recover damaged files. It stands out for being compatible with more than 500 types of files. Once executed, we must select the type of file that we want to recover (audio, videos, images, office …), as well as choose the location and identify the path or folder where the corrupt file is located. It only remains to click on the Start button to start scanning and it will show us all the results so that we can choose the one we need to recover.
Wondershare Data Recovery is a paid tool, but it has a free trial version that we can download from this link.
It is a suite with 22 corrupted file recovery utilities, each one different for each type of file. Supports all kinds of formats such as Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Outlook, PDF, ZIP, RAR, among others. It is very easy to use since we will only have to select the damaged or corrupt file, give it a name and click on Repair.
Repair Toolbox is a paid application that has a free trial version for the different types of supported file formats