Common Causes Behind Data Corruption and How to Prevent Them
Data corruption is a common problem faced by computer users. When a file is corrupted, it can cause you to lose valuable data and even disrupt your productivity. Therefore, it is important to understand how to fix corrupt files and even their causes so that you can prevent them.
In this article, you will learn in-depth about how to fix corrupted data and its causes. But before that, you should know what a corrupt file is first. Let’s see the full explanation below!
What is Corrupted Data?
Data corruption is a condition where a file becomes damaged or cannot be opened or used properly. This condition can happen to various types of files, including documents, images, videos, and more. Corrupted files may present with various symptoms, such as an error when trying to open the file, inability to edit or save the file, or partial or complete loss of content.
To understand how to deal with corrupt files more effectively, it is important to explore the main causes of data corruption. Here are some of the main factors that can cause files to become corrupt.
1. Hardware Failure
Hardware failure is the leading cause of corrupt files. When physical components in a computer system, such as the hard drive, RAM, or memory card, experience problems, the files stored on them can be affected. Wear and tear, physical damage, or bad sectors in the hard drive can cause data corruption resulting in corrupt files.
2. Electrical Problems
Electrical problems, such as sudden power outages or voltage spikes, can damage files that are in use. When a computer shuts down suddenly due to a power outage, the file storage process can be interrupted, causing damage to data and potentially corrupting files.
3. Virus and Malware
Virus and malware attacks can damage the files on your system. Viruses can infect and corrupt the data in files, while malware can alter the contents of files or even delete them. As a result, the files can become corrupt.
4. Software Problems
Errors in the software or program used to edit or open files can also cause damage. When the program crashes or experiences technical problems, the files being processed can be corrupted.
5. Corruption during Data Transfer
The process of transferring files, especially over a network or external storage device, can be a potential cause of data corruption. Errors during transfer can result in data corruption and cause files to corrupt.
6. Disc Sector Corruption
A damaged disk sector on a hard drive can lead to file corruption. A damaged sector is a small part of the hard drive that cannot be used for data storage, and if a file is stored in a damaged sector, the file may become corrupted.
7. Human Errors
Lastly, human errors can also cause data corruption. This can include incorrect editing or deleting of files, or even improper operation of the device.
How to Handle Corrupted Data
After understanding the various causes of data corruption, let’s now discuss the steps you can take to solve the problem properly. Here are some methods that can help you restore corrupted files to their original state.
1. Use Data Recovery Software
The first option you can consider is using data recovery software. There are many data recovery software available in the market that are specifically designed to deal with corrupted files. The software can recover data from corrupted files and allow you to save them to a safe location. Make sure to choose software that is reliable and trustworthy.
2. Check File Backups
If you have been doing regular file backups, check if you have a copy of the file that is not corrupt. If so, you can replace the corrupted file with this older version. File backups are the best way to avoid significant data loss due to corrupted files.
3. Use System Recovery Feature
Operating systems like Windows usually have a system recovery feature that can help you restore your computer to a point in time before your files become corrupted. This feature can be an effective solution if you can’t fix corrupt files directly.
4. Check Hardware Health
If you suspect that corrupted files are caused by hardware issues, then you need to check the hardware health of the computer or device. You can use hardware health monitoring software or contact a computer technician to perform further checks.
5. Scan for Viruses and Malware
If you suspect a virus or malware attack that is causing data corruption, immediately scan your computer with antivirus software, either built-in or third-party. Once you’ve eliminated the virus or malware threat, check if the corrupted files can be recovered.
How to Prevent Corrupted Data
Preventing data corruption is better than having to deal with the problem after it happens. Here are some steps you can take to prevent your files from getting corrupted.
1. Protect Computers from Electrical Problems
One of the main ways to prevent files from getting corrupted is to protect your computer from electrical problems. Sudden power outages or voltage spikes can damage the files you’re working on. Install a voltage-stabilizing device or UPS (uninterruptible power supply) on your computer to protect your system from unwanted electrical fluctuations.
2. Update Software Regularly
Make sure to update your operating system, antivirus software, and other programs you use regularly. These updates often address vulnerabilities that can be exploited by viruses or malware, so they can help protect your files from malicious attacks.
3. Download or Open Email Attachments in Caution
Avoid downloading or opening email attachments from unknown sources. Viruses and malware are often spread through suspicious email attachments. Be sure to verify the source of the email before opening the attachment, and do not click on suspicious links.
4. Maintain Hardware Cleanliness
Clean your computer regularly to avoid dust buildup that can affect hardware performance. Dust buildup can cause overheating or other problems with hardware components, which can potentially damage files.
5. Use Automatic Data Backup Software
You can use automatic backup software that will regularly back up your files to an external storage device or the cloud without the need for manual intervention. By performing automatic backups, you will have a copy that can be restored if the original files suffer damage or corruption.
Dealing with data corruption and preventing it is an important step in maintaining the security and integrity of your data. Successfully dealing with this issue can have a huge impact on your productivity and business continuity. By understanding the causes of corrupt files, you can take steps to avoid them, and if you need to resolve a corrupt file, you have several options that have been discussed previously.
It is important to always keep your hardware and software in the best condition possible, as well as use best practices in keeping your files safe. However, sometimes, even with all the right precautions, problems can still occur. This is why we recommend the SUPRBOARD app, a network monitoring system from AdIns that has been proven to help many companies maintain the health of their IT infrastructure.
SUPRBOARD allows you to easily monitor faults in your IT infrastructure. Features such as fault indication alarm generation and support for multiple notification channels will give you full visibility over your system health. With SUPRBOARD, you can detect data corruption and other issues before they leave a detrimental impact, save valuable time and resources, and ensure that your company remains profitable.
Contact us now to consult further and request a demo of this application!