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All files are corrupt.

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#1 drroywy


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Posted 03 January 2016 - 09:07 PM

My friend uses Windows 7.  She has an 8GB generic USB flash drive formatted MS-DOS Fat32 with around 4GB of Word (.doc and .docx) and PDF (.pdf) files on it.  The drive mounts fine.  All of the files look OK.  They can be copied, renamed, etc.  But every single file, whether opened from the original flash drive or from a hard drive they've been copied to, says it is corrupt and cannot be opened.  I've tried opening from the flash drive and from a hard drive copy using Win 7 Pro, Win 10 Pro, OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan, with various versions of Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Acrobat.  Any thoughts?

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#2 Demonslay335


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Posted 03 January 2016 - 09:56 PM

There are several possibilities as to the corruption. In lieu of all the ransomwares going around, that can be possible. I would check for any ransom notes or suspicious behavior on her computer - has she had any issues with files ON the computer?


Otherwise, if we can rule that out, there is always the chance of the flash drive having failed, causing corruption of files.


I would suggest trying recovery software such as Recuva to maybe see about any "former versions", or file repair tools (I don't recall the name of a reputable one specifically).


You can also try opening one of the .doc(x) files in Notepad - see if you can see some English in there somewhere, the rest is just formatting garbage (sometimes there is XML). I've also had some success in opening a PDF or Word document with 7Zip - seems bizarre, but a lot of files can be opened with it since they basically "archive" some assets in them.


If you are willing to upload a file to a third-party site for us to access, someone may be able to help you further.

Edited by Demonslay335, 03 January 2016 - 09:57 PM.

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#3 drroywy

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 10:51 AM

Both her computer and the flash drive are malware free, so ransomware is not involved here.  None of the files on the computer have any issues.


I agree that this appears to be corruption of the flash drive itself.  I've just never seen anything like this where the drive mounts as expected, files display as expected, but EVERY file states that it's corrupt when you try to open it.


By the way, none of the "standard" solutions for retrieving data from a corrupt file work.


I appreciate the suggestion to try and use recovery software.  It will be interesting to see if a "recovered" file opens correctly or not.  I'll try that after work this evening.


I'll check with my friend and see if she is OK with "sharing" her files or not.


Thanks for the reply.

#4 drroywy

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 03:11 PM

Just as a test, I created a new Word document and saved it directly to the flash drive.  It opens fine.  I copied a Word document to the flash drive.  It works fine.


But all of the pre-existing documents say they are corrupted.


I'm still planning on trying the recovery software this evening but this is so odd.  And, sadly, these are the the ONLY copies of these docs that my friend has.  There are no copies or backups.

#5 usasma


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Posted 05 January 2016 - 09:49 AM

If all the documents are corrupted - then it's less likely that they are all corrupted than there being a corruption of the MFT (Master File Table)

USB drives can survive many removals without using the Safe Removal protocol - but it just takes one during a disk write to screw things up.

The suggestion to use Recuva is probably the best thing.  If it doesn't work, then try some of the results of this Google search:  https://www.google.com/search?q=corrupted+master+file+table&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

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