Corrupted files often become a serious problem for Windows users. Often misconfiguration of programs reboots during Windows updates, and other ambiguous tasks can cause critical system files to get corrupted, causing the operating system to behave abnormally.
You may come across any of the following error messages caused due to corrupted files:
- The file is corrupt and cannot be opened.
- The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
- There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged.
Thankfully, there are both native and third-party tools available which can be used to fix such system files. Continue reading this post to learn about several tools that can aid you in fixing your operating system, rather than performing a clean install.
Table of contents
How to Repair Corrupted System Files in Windows
Use SFC, DISM, CHKDSK
Windows comes with built-in tools to scan and repair your operating system in case something seems off. However, these tools need to be run manually. Most of the time, these are sufficient to fix any problems that may occur due to corrupted or missing system files.
The System File Checker (SFC) performs a deep scan of your Windows system files and searches for missing or corrupted content. If it finds any anomalies, it replaces these files with redundant files on your PC that may be available at another location.
Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool is perhaps the most powerful repair tool in Windows. It can be used to prepare, modify, and repair system images. However, you need an active internet connection to download and replace corrupted content from Windows Update.
CHKDSK, or Check Disk, is a tool that scans your hard drive for corrupted files and fixes them. It also scans for bad sectors on the disk and attempts to repair them. If it fails to repair any discovered bad sectors, it informs the operating system not to use them.
You can learn how to use them to fix your operating system in this blog post.
This is a freeware and handy tool. It not only repairs the files but also provides a few additional functions.
File Repair repairs any corrupted files by extracting their data saving it to a new file. Any file formats not supported by this tool are converted into one which is supported so that those could be repaired as well.
It supports many formats like Word, PDF, excel, zip, RAR, etc. Its interface is simple and user-friendly. So, you can download it and use it for repairing your corrupt files.
Stellar File Repair Toolkit
Stella Repair File Toolkit is another file repairing tool that performs similarly to the one we have already discussed. It can be used to scan and repair system files that have been corrupted or duplicate them where required. However, this is not a free tool, and a license needs to be purchased to use it.
This tool supports Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ZIP files, etc. Stellar File Repair Toolkit opens the corrupted files and repairs them, then transfers the data into another file. This tool can even repair a password-protected file.
Install the tool and begin repairing your corrupted files.
Recuva is available in both free and paid versions. It not only repairs your corrupted files but can also recover the deleted files.
When you install it, the wizard will help you to use the tool. It can scan any file, image, or document. All you need to do is perform a scan of the directory. It can also scan your whole disk to find any damaged or corrupted files.
If you want to use its complete features, you will have to buy the licensed version of the tool.
Recovery Toolbox for RAR
This tool provides support for RAR files as many users use RAR instead of Zip folders. RAR files can also get damaged or sometimes their header gets corrupted. The tool is available to use as a trial. After the trial duration, it needs to be purchased to be used.
Digital Video Repair
This tool focuses on repairing video files. Videos can potentially get damaged and video players can’t play them anymore. In that case, you can use the Digital Video Repair tool to repair your corrupted video files so that they can be played without any warning or errors.
It supports many formats of videos like AVI, MP4, MOV, M4V, MP4V, 3G2, 3GP2, 3GP, 3GPP files. The one cool thing is that it can process more than one file at the same time.
As the name of the tool indicates, this is a “toolbox,” which includes 22 different small tools dedicated to repairing different kinds of files on a Windows PC. The tool is available as a demo, after which it needs to be purchased.
The tool supports the format: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, PDF, ZIP, RAR, Illustrator, Photoshop, and many more. Each of these files can be fixed in case they get corrupted. Just download the right utility for the file using the link given above and begin fixing!
Hetman File Repair
Hetman focuses on restoring corrupted files, which can include JPEGs, EXIFs, TIFFs, etc. In other words, this tool is excellent in fixing image files. That said, it can scan your system for free, but the tool needs to be purchased to fix corrupted files.
The table below highlights the key differences in the third-party apps that can be used to repair your corrupted files.
|Free/Paid||Diagnostic Consistency||Supported File Formats||Ease of use||Repair Password Protected Files|
|File Repair||Free||Very Effective||Office files, Pdf, Zip, and RAR||Easy and reliable||Yes|
|Stellar File Repair Toolkit||Paid||Very Effective||Office and Zip files||Easy and reliable||Yes|
|Recuva||Both||Good||All formats of documents, pictures, audio, video, etc.||Easy and reliable||Yes|
|Recovery Toolbox for RAR||Free trial, Paid license||Good||RAR files||Easy and reliable||Yes|
|Digital Video Repair||Free||Very Effective||AVI, MP4, MOV, M4V, MP4V, 3G2, 3GP2, 3GP, 3GPP files||Easy and reliable||—|
|Repair Toolbox||Free demo, Paid license||Very Effective||Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, PDF, ZIP, RAR, Illustrator, Photoshop||Easy and reliable||Yes|
|Hetman File Repair||Paid||Very Effective||JPEG, PNG, EXIF, JPG, TIFF, BMP||Easy and reliable||Yes|
These all are the best tools for repairing corrupted files, whether they are system files or any other document. Choose the one that suits your situation and begin repairing your files.
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