Total recovery

Corrupted files are one of the more common computer problems businesses regularly face.

The causes are many — ranging from viruses to computer crashes — and the damage always seems to be to your most vital files.

”Small sectors of the file become corrupted and cause damage to the data file,” says Greg Olson, senior director of data recovery at Ontrack, a company specializing in data recovery. ”Sometimes it’s not known what causes the file to become corrupted, but the end result is that you have a damaged file that you can’t open and you need access to it.”

Ontrack has developed a software program that can repair files so that it’s possible to recover some or even all of your data when a file becomes corrupted.

”What the software is designed to do is repair a specific type of data loss,” says Olson, whose EasyRecovery FileRepair program can fix Microsoft Word or Microsoft Access files, depending on which module you purchase. ”The software repairs the files so they are usable again to Office.”

Users simply launch the program, select the file that is damaged and press the start button. Within a few minutes, a new usable file is created.

”It’s not always a 100 percent proposition,” says Olson. ”The software will save all recoverable data, but sometimes viruses may damage part of it so it cannot be repaired. Typically you can’t access part of the file, but you’ll get a percentage of it back or maybe even the whole thing.”

The software opens the damaged file, reads as much of it as possible, then creates a new Word or Access file. The original file, even though it’s corrupted, is left intact.

Modules are currently available for Word and Access, but the company expects to have modules that can recover Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint files by the end of the year. The software is only available at the company’s Web site, Todd Shryock ([email protected]) is SBN Magazine’s special reports editor.