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How to find corrupt files?

Last response: in Storage
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June 3, 2010 3:41:19 PM

Is there a utility to search a clone of my corrupt HDD to identify corrupt files? The drive was physically seperate from the system drive and contains "My Documents and Settings" (WINXP) for my wife and I. All I really care about though are both the My Doc's folders and the ten's-of-thousands of personal jpegs, docs, pdf's, mp3's and flac files.

I have the file copies backed up on jungledisk, a local HDD, some on a flash drive, and even a disk image (from 11/09) which might even be error free, but the date of the corruption was quite awhile ago and wasn't caught until recently (i.e. maybe the corrupt files were backed up?). I think the failure was an error in the MFT, I'm reaching beyond my understanding a bit here, but the system drive was spared and I've now restored that. We're not heavy users so most of the stuff if probably ok.

I don't mind the tedium of slowly copying back the files in small groups, but as of yet do not have a means of accurately determining the status of a file before I migrate it to an active directory.

In a test it seems that one file copied over to the new working drive/directory, and then didn't work--which is worse case scenario. And this was just chance. And of course some files won't copy or can't be deleted because they are corrupt.


More about : find corrupt files

a b G Storage
June 3, 2010 4:50:53 PM

I personally dont know of any way to automate that process.
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June 3, 2010 5:51:12 PM

First, I am only looking to find corrupt data files; no system files. It seems like there /should/ be a utility that simply attempts to access/open a file and if an error message is created it flags the file. I may not understand the limitations preventing the creation of such a utility. Still looking for an answer if someone has any leads! Thank you.
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a b G Storage
June 3, 2010 6:02:23 PM

You could try right clicking on the drive letter in windows explorer, properties> tools>error checking>check for errors. But I'm not really sure if this would work.
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June 14, 2010 8:47:15 PM

Thanks for the suggestion canadian69 I tried the winxp error checking via cmd prompt and it's pretty cumbersome to me.

The log from that is truncated due to all the corrections. Or I'm not using it correctly. No one else has any ideas? I'm really desperate. I just spent $55 on R-undelete (should've spent more time with the demo!) and it didn't really do what I wanted it to.

Again, one of my HDD's became corrupt and went unnoticed over a couple of months and I'm looking for some way to determine which files are bad so I can selectively use my backup file-by-file or at least know which files are gone....Thanks! Right now the only option seems to try opening every file to see if it's bad.
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October 18, 2011 7:29:45 PM

Hi, I would also like to use such an utility for finding bad files. Does anyone know such a utility? Standish, did you find one? Thank you in advance for an answer.
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November 24, 2012 2:50:49 AM

What you guys need is a file integrity verification tool using a hash check algorithm( for example, MD5).

Basically, before you put the files into storage, you should create an MD5 checksum for these files. For every file, there should be an only definite MD5 checksum code, unless the content of the file changes. If these's any changes in the files, even one bit, the MD5 code for that file will look complete different.


And then, whenever you guys what to check the integrity of the files, just compare the MD5 checksum of the files with the checksum created earlier.

My favorite free tool is ExactFile. Hope this will help someone.
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