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File corruption

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#1 Nigelajodha


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

Hi everyone,
I have an internal IDE hard drive that I have used as my storage / backup drive ...over the years. It has not been connected for several of those years now and I just took it out of storage
I have finally gotten an External hard drive for storage and when I went and slaved my IDE hard drive to my present PC all my files are now corrupted. The version of office I am running now is 2007 and the files were created / saved back in 2005 using an earlier version of office ( most probably Office 2000 ). The files are visible in their various formats word. excel. jpeg etc. However when I click to open them they open corrupted.
I have copied 2 of these corrupted files and tried the numerous software programs out there that "CLAIM" to be able to do various things. None have worked.
I have also read many an article on file corruption and am not clear on the standard. Are corrupted files actually recoverable?
One most recent method I just used is to copy the file and try to open it on another PC . Same thing. The jpeg images state " No preview available" and the word docs open with gibberish on that PC too.
Being as clear as possible this is the history of the drive. Its a standard Seagate IDE 80GB hdd. It was used as my external hard drive on many machines over time. The drive itself is good with no issues ( having also run CHDSK). Its not filled to capacity either. Also there are many other files that are opening on the same drive.
What could be done? Can I attach a sample of the word document for anyone's viewing??

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#2 Nanobyte


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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:38 PM

There's no particular reason why the files should be corrupt. It would need extreme circumstances for the HDD data to be damaged. Even moderate magnetic fields should not affect the drive encased in steel. The fact that the documents were made in older software versions should not affect the outcome.

The doc files will be mostly text. You could open some of them with Notepad to see the contents. There will be a lot of non-printing information together with a section of the actual text. The actual text may have some odd characters mixed in, for example where there is a new paragraph. If all text is garbled then you have serious corruption. If you have 10GB of files, you would need some form of automation to recover as many documents as possible (their unformatted text only).

Excel and jpeg are encoded files so you cannot do much with them if they are corrupted. Jpegs for example need the header. I've found jpegs particularly difficult to recover once deleted. If you have run out of recovery programs to try I can't see what else you could do. By recovery I don't mean "undelete", I mean programs that are designed to work with intact, specific format, corrupt files.

Hopefully someone else will have better ideas.

Edit: When looking for recovery programs, google strings like "repair xls" "repair word" "repair jpg" (all with no quotes).

Edited by Nanobyte, 24 November 2012 - 11:45 PM.

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