What causes "corrupt or missing files"? - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

What causes "corrupt or missing files"?


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What causes "corrupt or missing files"?

  • Booting up last week, I got a "Windows cannot be started due to a corrupt or missing (I don't remember the exact file name) \windows\system32.. ,

    I was told to use the Dell Reinstallation CD and hit "r" but that didn't work.

    Thanks to Dell Support I was guided to getting back to what I had before, minus my data files and Favorites (why, oh why didn't I back up?); and after being guided in reinstalling drivers, etc; a process that took all of 45 minutes.

    What causes files to get "missing or corrupt" ? And aside from a regular backup schedule, what else can be done to prevent a reoccurrence? Are there any utilities designed to prevent disasters like this?

    Thank you


  • Anything from powering down without closing Windows, to a virus, worm or trojan can cause the problem.


  • And add to that, Murphy's Law

    Actually, there are so many potentials for causing problems, unless you are getting a certain error over and over, there's no way to track a lot of them down.  The powering down as mentioned without doing an "orderly" shutdown of Windows is one potential.

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  • mmmartell wrote:

    What causes files to get "missing or corrupt" ?  The installation of poorly engineered software, virus activity, spyware unknowingly downloaded/installed, the use of overagressive "Cleanup" utilities, uneducated movement/deletion of crucial system files, hardware failures, power outages/brownouts...the list goes on and on.

    And aside from a regular backup schedule, what else can be done to prevent a reoccurrence?  Avoid any of the above.  If you go to a site and get a popup offering to "download and install" something, press No (and adjust your security settings in Internet Explorer to prevent future occurrences).  Cheap software is not necessarily good software.  Know what you're installing, and know where it came from.  Review the Read Me information that usually accompanies reputable software prior to installing anything, and follow the instructions carefully.  Install and run a reputable junkware identifier/removal tool (such as AdAware, or Spybot Search and Destroy), and keep the garbage off your system.  (Review the Read Me/User Guide first.) 

    Are there any utilities designed to prevent disasters like this?  The best "utility" is user education.  Windows XP, for example, rarely requires any third party utility to do its job properly, but this assumes that the user hasn't installed junkware and poorly engineered applications which might affect crucial files.  If you're using the aforementioned Windows XP, pick up a copy of "Windows XP Inside Out" (Bott/Siechert - Microsoft Press) and get acquainted with how your OS works, how to perform regular backups, and how to recover from problems like you just experienced.  There are similar books for every other common operating system in use today.

    Backup, backup, backup.

  • Just wanted to thank you and ejn63 and fireberd for your advice re: "corrupt and missing files."

    So I am now thinking of getting an external hard drive for back up purposes. I have read somewhere that one can back up just as well(?) to CD-RWs. Your thoughts on this, please?