How To Recover Corrupted Files Efficiently To Minimize Losses

"Please help me on how to recover corrupted external usb hard drive (usb buffalo)...I have important documents and photos and I need it very badly. Your help is highly appreciated. Thank you." – from Susan Valmayor at Tom's Hardware


Is this scene familiar to you? Actually, storage devices, especially removable disks are very easy to encounter such problem. As an inexperienced users, you must be freaked out by this, but what we want to say is please don't be. We've got solution for you to recover corrupted files.

Nowadays, most people depend a lot on portable storage devices like USB flash drive, USB hard drive and memory card. Some of them use the portable devices within a short interval in every single day.

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For example, we used to saving phone number of friends and families as contacts in mobile phones for convenience sake. By the same token, we prefer to store important business documents, confidential files and precious photos to an external drive rather than keeping them in mind or writing them down on desktop. So, we'll mainly focus on recovering corrupted files from USB device.

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When you need to recover files from corrupted internal hard drive, you can read Data Recovery From Corrupted Internal Hard Disk – How To Do, which tells more on that.


If you still worry, we'll tell you how to recover corrupted files from USB step by step. And then, we'll introduce more about corrupted files and things you should notice to decrease the possibility of being depressed by corrupted files situations.

How to Recover Corrupted Files on Your Own

Now, we'll guide you through the entire process of recovering corrupted files from USB. MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a great recovery tool that is suitable for even users who're completely unfamiliar with data loss and data recovery.



Why Choose MiniTool Power Data Recovery


  • In all interfaces of this software, you'll be given a prompt to guide you through the corrupt file recovery process.

  • According to users' feedbacks, MiniTool Power Data Recovery owns easy and convenient operation, high recovery rate as well as wide using range. They admit that this free file recovery software is really the best tool they've ever used.

  • The comprehensive functional modules of MiniTool Power Data Recovery have helped a large number of users get back corrupted files safely and many of them have avoided huge economic losses by using that software.

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Since it sounds so fabulous, we'd like to show you the using skills now. You can download the trial version first to experience before buying a license.

Important Things to Know before Recovery


  • MiniTool Power Data Recovery is only suitable for Windows users. If you are a Mac user, please get Mac Data Recovery instead.

  • The free edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery can only support the recovery of 1GB of data. For getting back files more than 1GB, you need a paid edition.

  • Please backup all the existing data in the disk you plan to recover files from. Though this software does well in data protection, accidents may happen all out of a sudden due to human error.



Steps to Finish Corrupt File Recovery


Step 1: in the very first beginning, users should figure out the specific usage of each functional module.

"Undelete Recovery" – used to recover accidentally deleted files and folders.
"Damaged Partition Recovery" – suitable for users to get back needed data from corrupted, damaged and attacked drive.
"Lost Partition Recovery" – available when users need to restore data from the partition(s), which is (are) missing from hard drive.
"Digital Media Recovery" – specially designed for the recovery of multimedia data, such as music, photo, picture, video, and so on.
"CD/DVD Recovery" – it's useful in restoring files from a CD or DVD conveniently.


Step 2: choose a module that is most suitable for your case by clicking on it. Obviously, "Damaged Partition Recovery" is the one users are supposed to employ in order to recover corrupted files.

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In this interface, you'll find every module provides a "Previous Recovery Result" function for users to load the last scanning result conveniently; it helps to open result list quickly if users go back to the main interface after scanning by pressing the wrong button. However, this is not available in free edition. To use this function, you must buy a license first.

Step 3: in this window, we can see all local drives and the external drive connected properly to computer. Now, please choose the drive with corrupted files stored in. After that, perform a full scan to the chosen drive by pressing "Full Scan" button.

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The way to recover data from corrupted hard drive is similar to corrupted files recovery from USB, as long as the computer OS isn't broken.

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Step 4: when the full scan is over, all possible partitions with lots of files will be listed in above interface. And at this time, you are supposed to select the one which is most similar to your original drive and then look through them to search for needed files.

Note: if you can't find all data here, you can also check other partitions to look for the files you'd like to recover.

Step 5: in the end, you should pick out the files you want to recover from scan result by clicking on "Save" button, choosing a safe location for storage in the pop-up interface and clicking "OK" to confirm.

When all those operations are completed, users can exit the free file recovery software and end the work to recover corrupted files.


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This method can help you to recover documents, photos, pictures, videos, and so on. But if you need to know how to recover corrupted word files, you also have other choices.

About Corrupted Files

Do you really know what corrupted files refer to? If not, this will expand your horizon. Let's learn the definition of it and the possible causes together.

What Does It Mean When We Say File Corruption

The real meaning of file corruption refers to file errors (file can't be opened or messy codes show up after opening). They bring unexpected changes to the content of original file and they often occur when we are in the middle of writing, transmitting or processing file. But what we really mean here by saying "how to recover corrupted files" is drive corruption and the file loss it brings.

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As for the cause of corruption, it is too many. We'll take memory card for example here to show the possible causes in detail.

Classification of Causes for File Corruption

A drive is commonly corrupted due to two kinds of reasons: hardware failures and soft failures. So we must recover corrupted files in different ways. Hire professionals to help when corruption is caused by hardware failure; turn to Power Data Recovery when it is caused by software failure.

You tried connecting your memory card to different computers through different ways and still found it is inaccessible. What happened? Under this circumstance, you should suspect the existence of physical damage to your memory card.


Its circuit board may be burned due to large instantaneous current. On this occasion, you must forget about finishing corrupt file recovery yourself. It just can't be done no matter how hard you try. Meanwhile, if your memory card has been broken into pieces, you are provided with no way to recover corrupted files.

Physical Damage


It is worth noting that files lost due to hardware failures may be recovered, but the odds depends a lot on the damage degree and damage part. Here are some physical causes for file corruption:

  • Dust and water on the surface of a drive can interrupt the normal recognition of it. Thus, even if the external drive is connected to computer correctly, users still are not able to access it or any data in it. In this case, users should disconnect the drive and clean the surface with special cleaning tools. After that, try connecting the drive to computer again (or users can connect the drive to other computers with good condition).

  • Scratches are also a main reason for stopping the external device being read by computer. On this occasion, if the scratches are not so serious, users can try to fix them with brush or soft cloth.

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  • There is one condition in which data recovery can never be carried out: the drive has been broken into pieces. So in this case, users can forget about the data recovery and they have to try to minimize the losses through other ways.

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When you find the file corruption is caused by physical damage, you'd better hire professionals to help you with data recovery. Admittedly, data lost in this way can hardly be recovered, but you have to take a chance if the data are too important.

Logical Damage


The following soft errors can lead to external (or internal) drive corruption and much attention should be paid to them:

  • Human errors: if you connect or disconnect the memory card to computer in the wrong way, you tend to be put in the situation where memory card can't be recognized by computer and important files are inaccessible. There is also the possibility of people formatting the memory card by mistake. In both cases, corrupt file recovery needs to be performed immediately.

  • Virus infection: this is almost unavoidable since you exchange data from computer to memory card or vice versa frequently. Sometimes, even if you don't transfer data, you can make the memory card infected: you open a virus file in computer with memory card connected and it will be invaded by virus.

  • Software conflict: if the programs you installed on the memory card are not compatible with some computer programs, the OS will resist accessing it. And in this way, you are not allowed to enter the memory card to see any files in it through using that computer.

Those are common factors that may be blamed for file corruption. Of course, many other causes exist together with the commonly seen ones.

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Things for You to Notice

Here are things you need to do for avoiding file loss, by which you can minimize the possible losses.

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1. Reduce (it's best to avoid) operational errors caused by us. We have to plug in or plug out external storage medium to computer in the correct way. And we can't be more careful when managing data in it. To be honest, serious damages can even be resulted from a tiny operational mistake.

2. Pay enough attention to security; it is always the first priority no matter what we are doing. If we eat, food safety is the most important thing; if we work, a safe working environment must be guaranteed; if we live in someplace, the quality of house is what we pay most attention to, and then comes the practicability and aesthetics. Of the same reason, data security is the most important thing when data are involved.

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Therefore, when connecting portable device with vital data to computer, we have to make sure the computer and files in it are all virus-free. If we need to download something from the internet, we also must check its safety.

3. Please be alerted when compatibility is involved. Software conflict is almost unavoidable since we are not the software designer and don't have a correct understanding of its compatibility. When a computer is installed with more and more programs and software, the possibility of software conflict is rising. The only measure to improve this situation may be trying to only keep the programs and software we really need in computer.

4. Place portable device in proper environment. All of the portable device users are strongly advised to place their device properly in an appropriate environment to prolong the service life and prevent unnecessary physical damage. For instance, the device should be placed in the position with a moderate humidity and temperature. And this place should be waterproof and dustproof and it can't be exposed to sunshine directly.

Sum up


When we are using the drive containing important files, we should be very careful, in order to avoid unnecessary troubles. If unexpected accidents like file corrupted issue still happen, we should immediately take corresponding measures according to actual situation to recover corrupted files firstly. Here, we've provided the practical solutions for users to deal with corrupted files and summarized the things users should notice to stay away from sudden accidents.


Hope you all can protect and recover your data successfully with the suggestions we've mentioned in this page.

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