The Checks, Files

File under "Incredibly annoying things which I've lived with for so long it doesn't occur to me most of the time there might be a way around them". Or if you prefer, "irritations".

Most computers use CRCs - Cyclic Redundancy Checks - when reading and writing data. It's a way of both detecting and fixing errors in the data stream, and good thing too, because there's too many ways files can get easily corrupted. They're like children and politicians in that respect.

Unfortunately, in a bit of thuddingly bad design on the part of Microsoft, if you try to copy (or unpack) a file with just one single error that the CRC system can't fix...the whole file is deemed unreadable. This is a bit like being forced to throw away a book because a single misprint on one page makes it impossible to guess what the word should be.

Sometimes the data isn't really corrupt at all - it's just been misread by the CD drive. If you've got a dodgy drive, you might attempt the copy the file twenty times, and each time a different part of the file is misread, and you have to start again.

Now, file under "So astonishingly simple and useful I can't imagine how I ever managed to live without it and I'm so grateful to the inventor I'd bear his babies". Or "nice", if you like.

The application at this humble site. It's a Java application, which means you'll probably run it from your web browser. At least you will if you're like me.

Download the file "JFileRecovery.jar", and drag it into your browser window. The program will run, asking you for source and destination locations. Then get a cup of tea (or coffee, seeing as it's Java) and wait while this tiny little program copies what it can of the file, and skips what it can't.

And then goes back and tries to fill in the blanks. Even if it can't you've still got the great majority, which should be bearable for films or music.

Now I just need a small, useful program that'll scan every disc in the room and tell me what I should keep, what's obsolete, what's duplicated and what I'll never use even though it seemed like a good idea at the time.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds nice. I have lost much por..important stuff (yes that's it!) that to devil in the past.