man with computer problemsNothing is more annoying than the sound produced when an error is encountered due to a corrupt file. Most users do not know how to locate and fix the corrupt files. The recovery disk ends up being the only solution that most of us are trying to avoid. However, there are always a couple of tricks that any computer user, experienced or not, can do to fix some of these errors. Of course, locating the corrupt files is the very first thing you should do.

Here are the steps that can help you locate and fix corrupted files:

1. Exit any current programs that are running on your computer and then restart it.
Restarting is necessary since it gives you the option of going into “Safe mode”. This mode allows you to safely make changes to some of the vital elements that Windows relies on to run smoothly.

2. Once you’ve restarted your computer, press F8 as soon as your screen starts displaying information. Choose “Safe Mode” from the list of options and press “enter”.

3. After successfully booting up in safe mode, you’ll need to go to “My Computer”, right-click on the hard drive that you suspect to have corrupt files and then choose “Properties”.

4. Click on the “Tools” tab and followed by “Check now” button (found under the label “Error-checking”).

Note that it will take some time before the scan is complete, and this depends on your hard drive’s capacity. Hard drives with large capacities generally take a longer time.

5. After you’re done with the scan, go to “Start” and then choose “Run”. Type in “sfc/scannow” and then select “OK”.

This tool also checks for corrupt files, but unlike the previous scan, it checks for unstable files as well. If corrupt or unstable files are found during the search, they are automatically replaced.

6. Next, you’ll need to perform a system restore. A system restore works by restoring your computer to an earlier date when you did not experience problems with your computer. To restore your computer, go to the start menu and select “Control Panel”. Locate an icon labeled “Recovery” and then click on “Open System Restore”. Follow the steps in the prompt to successfully restore your computer to an earlier time.

Using Software to Fix Corrupted Files

Though the tools that Windows offers for fixing corrupted files are excellent, they tend to be limited in some ways. To fix most corrupted files, you may want to invest in a software program. Here are some applications that you’ll find useful whenever you’re faced with problems concerning corrupted files:

File Cure

This application is invaluable when it comes to fixing broken file extensions. Additionally, it also fixes unknown file extensions thus allowing your PC to run at optimum performance. Though it doesn’t necessarily deal with all types of corrupted files, it tends to fix one of the root causes of a corrupted file: a broken extension.

RegCure Registry Cleaner

This is yet another wonderful software that has many similarities to Piriform’s CCleaner. Like CCleaner, RegCure Registry Cleaner increases the performance of your computer by fixing registry errors. These types of errors can also corrupt some of the files in your computer, but luckily, you can easily fix some of the errors with RegCure Registry Cleaner.

PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2011

Viruses can also corrupt some of the files in your computer. Viruses can end up in your computer in various ways – email attachment, flash drive transfer, download from peer-to-peer program, and etc. Without any anti-virus software, your computer will be vulnerable against virus and other malicious software. PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2011 not only helps you eliminate corrupt files, but also gets rid of spyware your computer may have.

One final thing you should know about corrupt files is that some of them cannot be recovered. If this is the case, you may be forced to re-install the same operating system after backing up your data.