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How to recover corrupted files on Windows 10 and Linux

How to recover corrupted files on Windows 10 and Linux

At some point you went to open a program and an error appeared saying that the software cannot be executed thanks to a file that was damaged? It is a disappointing situation, mainly at the time when it is required to use that program for work or an enterprise. In most cases, it is very difficult to recover that damaged file and in its precise location, although there are some ways in which you can recover it in a few steps.

Now we explain why files get corrupted, how to recover a corrupted file, and how to avoid being corrupted later.

Why are the files corrupted?

The files have the possibility of being corrupted by numerous causes. Among the most frequent causes is due to malicious software or a virus on your PC. Malicious program can be found in its entirety, infecting and ruining files that matter in order for a program (or even your system) to run. Even after removing malicious software from the system, most of the time it does not corrupt a file and return it to its normal state. It gets rid of the inconvenience – the infection – but it does not always restore the damaged file that the infection lost or got rid of.

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Damaged files have the possibility of occurring at the moment when there is an error during the development of writing a file on the hard disk. Among other things, if you are saving, among other things, a three-dimensional model in which you were doing work on the disk, but the software gives you an error or experiences a failure during that development, possibly the file of the three-dimensional model is damaged and cannot be opened.

Sometimes the software will trigger an error message and let you go back to trying to store, but on other occasions, you will not realize it until the moment you try to open that file again, and it will give you an error saying which is corrupt.

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If you have a mechanical hard drive, corrupted files have the possibility of random manifestation thanks to a hardware failure (that is, an imperfect area or areas). If they are not replaced soon, more files will start to get corrupted and you could lose various data. This is the reason why it is always good to have a solid backup plan.

In the end, the files have the possibility of being corrupted if the system is not shut down properly. Among other things, if an interruption is generated and the set shuts down unexpectedly, any changes made to the files may cause them to be damaged. In most cases, the moment the set is turned off, everything is closed and safely stored so that this does not happen. Hard closures prevent that safety feature from being completed.

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Restoring damaged files

Unfortunately, there are not many accessible settings to repair the corrupted files you created (among other things .doc files, 3D models, etc.). On the other hand, the replacement of files that are specific to the system and the program is very simple to repair.

One thing you can do is as easy as downloading those specific files from the Internet and putting them back in their precise location. In most cases, it can take the file name of the error that appears when you try to open the software or the affected section of the system, and in most cases it will also show you a file path. This makes it very simple to hook the file from the Internet and put it in its correct place.

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Windows 10 system file checker

If you have a specific problem with system files, Windows makes it very simple to check the integrity of those files. To verify if there is any problem (and solve it automatically) we must perform the System File Checker utility through the Command Prompt.

Open command prompt. You can get in easily by clicking on the Start menu and simply trying to find “cmd.” Additionally, this operation will work in Windows PowerShell.

Once any of the programs are open, type the command DISM.exe / Online / Cleanup-image / Restorehealth . See the spaces before the slashes; be sure to hold them in command, otherwise it will not work properly. When you press ‘Enter’, the operation may take a while to complete. If the command doesn’t work, you may need to open Command Prompt as a manager.

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At the time you run this command, DISM (which is Windows’ System File Checker software called Deployment Image Servicing and Management. Essentially, it runs through each and every system file and checks the integrity of all, or well, in other expressions, which are working correctly) it will be executed through Windows Update to recover new files that will replace the damaged system files, which is why this development may take some time.

This command works for most system files, but not for protected system files. To perform a scan on protected system files, type the command sfc / scannow . This will replace your damaged protected system files with a cached copy located elsewhere on your PC.

When the commands are run through their operations, they should end. You should receive a message that the repair was successful or that Windows could not find any integrity violations (which is good!).

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Games for video consoles

Game console games tend to be simpler to repair than other programs. Most of the games are currently delivered via digital interfaces, such as Steam. They make it simple to repair damaged installations. Simply choose the game you are having issues with and press a small button under the Steam property settings for games called Check the integrity of the game cache . It is going to take and replace some file with which you have inconvenience. Even then, several games that do not run on a digital interface usually have a built-in “Recompose files” button that can be easily used without the need to reinstall the finished game.


Sometimes you can store corrupt documents, mainly in Microsoft Word, which uses a feature called Open and recompose . Commonly, Microsoft Word does this automatically the moment a file is opened, but if you find that you need to do it manually, it is very simple. In Microsoft Word, in the tab File , click on To open . Navigate to the file you want to open, select it, click on the button arrow To open and choose Open and recompose . This should rebuild and open any corrupted archive files you have. Several other Office programs, such as Excel as an example, propose similar built-in utilities to assist with the inconvenience of file corruption.

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Other files

As we discussed previously, there is not considerably more that we have the ability to carry out for the files you created, except that the software you used to make an archive has its function within Open and Recompose. Among other things, with a three-dimensional modeling program like Autodesk 3DS Max, there are not too many specific “repair” functionality built in, but the software automatically creates backups of your situations in a separate folder.

So, look for a specific function that your programs may have to rebuild files or even backup files, since you may be able to save or recover them. Just keep in mind that recovering the damaged files made up by the user is very difficult and usually impossible. This is the reason why we suggest having an acceptable backup strategy, since it can save a lot of work if there is any loss of files.

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Restoring files in Linux

In Ubuntu Linux, there are a handful of programs that have the ability to assist you in fixing corrupted files. One of those programs that you can get in Ubuntu is TeskDisk. It is free and open source, used primarily to recover partition tables that have the possibility of being accidentally deleted or even partitions that are compromised thanks to a virus or human error.

What everyday individuals could most generally use is Photorec, another open source utility. It is incredible in restoring images, but it is also incredible in restoring documents, lost files, files from hard drives and CDs. It works so well because it ignores the filesystem and targets “latent data” directly, so you will be able to recover files even if the integrity of your media system was hardly compromised. You can find detailed guidelines for using PhotoRec here.

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And that’s all there is to do! The loss of files can be devastating, especially if we talk about files made up by the user, because they are considerably rather difficult to correct if they become corrupted. Luckily, there is still something you can do, and if at any time you have problems with the system files, these are at least simple to repair, if you follow the steps described previously. And to reiterate, it is always good to have a backup plan in place, since you never know when a virus or human error can put certain of your most essential files in a compromising situation. Having a backup plan means that you can always recover clean editions of your files after getting rid of the inconvenience that caused it first of all (that is, malicious software).

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Do you have any tips that you have used to repair damaged files? Make sure to leave a comment in the comment section now. We would love to understand from. And if you require additional assistance, be sure to check out the PCMech Discussion Forums for technical assistance.