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Corrupted files are computer files that suddenly become inoperable or unusable. There are several reasons why a file may become corrupted, including due to defects or bugs. In some cases, it is possible to recover and fix the file, but at other times, it may be necessary to delete the file and replace it with an earlier saved version.
A corrupted file may occur due to a defect or bug in the software used to create and manipulate the file in question. Often, this is a temporary problem that will occur once, then disappear forever. At other times, the bug may be the result of an infiltration by a virus or other foreign software that disrupts the function of the program. When the user attempts to open the file, the system may lock up or provide a message identifying a problem with the file.
When this happens, the first line of defense is to make use of system tools to attempt to fix the problem. If the corruption occurred due to a temporary glitch in the operating system, this will often fix the problem and the file will be accessible once again. Also, it may be possible to run a virus detection program and isolate the origin of the issue and correct it. Once the corrections are made, the software performs as it should, and the problem file will open and close as usual.
When the corrupted file cannot be repaired, it may be necessary to use some method of data recovery. In extreme cases, backup files may be use to effect a total database recovery to get around the problem. This is one reason why making regular backups is important. In the event that a file becomes corrupted and cannot be fixed, uninstalling it and reinstalling a saved copy will allow the user to proceed with a minimum of loss in data and time.