What Causes a Corrupt File?

I have had an excel spreadsheet I worked on now for over 1 and a half. No probs. Last Friday after saving it I went to reopen it and it was corrupted. I went to Microsoft.com and they confirmed the error message was a corruption.

Fortunately with excel it is easy to get DATA out of a corrupt file. So I got the data out. Pasted it into a new spreadsheet and saved it. When I went to open it --> Corruption.

So I uninstalled MS Office. I ran a virus scan (none found) and reinstalled office. I then extraced the data out. Saved it. When I went to reopen it it was fine.

Then thinking as I pasted it it may have been a corrupted formula. So I went back to a blank workbook. I opened the file of data that saved and I pasted it as values only.

It looked Ok. I saved it. Opened it thinking I found my problem. Then I closed it. Tried to reopen it and --> CORRUPTION.

I guess now I will have to piece it together a little at a time to see where the problem is. But just what causes a file to all of a sudden become corrupt?

There are no macros in it. It is has only 3 months of data on it. I used the same file last year for 12 months no problem. That one still opens fine.

There is no memory issue.
Temp files all cleaned out.

The last thing is once I close the corrupt file, if I try to reopen it it says it is still in use. So I have to reboot.

The file is just numbers and the most complicated formula is the sum of a row.

Could it be an issue with the file structure on your harddisk? Does the corruption also occur when you save the file on to a floppy or a network drive?

I’ve seen this sort of thing with Word. Copying and pasting the data only copies the part of the data that causes the file to crash.

If possible, try this: instead of copying and pasting, save the file as a commma-deliminated ASCII file. Then load the saved file back into the spreadsheet. The process may convert whatever’s crashing your file into ASCII text, or just leave it out. You might be able to get most everything back.

Absolute power. Absolutely.

runs away

With Microsoft Office programs such as Excel and Word, “fast save” is often the culprit. If you turn it off you may see file corruption a lot less often. This is particularly likely if the only types of files you have coming up corrupt are MS files, not JPEGS or MP3 or whatever other flavors of files you work with.

In contrast, if you’re getting corrupt files left and right, you’ve got some type of read/write problem going on. Fix your drive’s architectural problems (Microsoft OS: fdisk MacOS 9: Disk First Aid or Norton Utilities; MacOS X or Linux: fsck) and see if that makes it happier.

Or it could just be peer pressure I suppose :wink:

I actaully extracted the data and saved it as a TXT file and that seemed to work (cross fingers).

The question is WHAT causes the corruption. I remember form DOS days a , out of place could kill your program.

I really don’t have problems with my computer freezing so I don’t CTRL ALT DEL. I heard that can cause files to corrupt.

I hear that pasting pictues that you copied from the web (yes I know it is illegal) can cause MS Word to Corrupt.

Strange things happen all the time to computer software…that said, have you tried running Scandisk to see if your hard disk is not without bad sectors? Try running the fast scan first, then the thorough one…

Were any background program running when you are saving the files? That is, before you save the files, there is already hard-disk activity.

BTW, the last two points you raised doesn’t sound, erh, right to me. Firstly, unless you press CTRL-ALT-DEL when the file is being saved, it shalln’t cause any harm to your system (shalln’t, but computers are complicated). Second, MS Word has no way of knowing which pictures are ‘stolen’ and which are not…(I guess…) At least in Photoshop I believe there is no way to ‘mark’ a picture as ‘yours and yours alone’.

Just my two cent worth…

Well, there are many ways files can become corrupted. I don’t know what OS you are running but here are some ideas.

#1. Create a new directory on your hard drive and copy the OK files to the new directory.
#2. IF your OS lets you, restart the computer in MS-DOS mode.
#3. Switch to the root directory by typing cd c:\ and then hitting enter.
#4. Type in dir *.tmp /s/p and hit enter. If you are in DOS mode there should be no .tmp files. If there are .tmp files write down all the directories that are listed.
#5. IF you have files listed in #4 Change directories to the first directory you wrote down using cd:\directory
#6. (Note, do this at your own risk) Use the del command to delete all the .tmp files. The command is del *.tmp.
#7. Go down the list of directories repeating steps #5 and #6 but change the directory to the next one on the list you made in step #4.
#8. Once all the .tmp files are gone restart the computer and run a thourgh scan disk.

Then try it again.