View Full Version : Strange "file is corrupt" Problem & Solution

06-26-2008, 04:34 AM
Today I was met with an interesting problem. Here are the symptoms:

Upon opening the "My Videos" folder, the computer would do one of three things:

Display the message "the file is corrupt" and hang.
Display the message "File is corrupt" and explorer.exe would close.

Otherwise the machine was perfectly fine, it was only this single folder folder giving issues. After ensuring the machine was free of viruses and spyware, and testing the hard drive, I ran chkdsk which found some minor issues, but didn't solve the problem. From there, I fired up UBCD4Win and started moving files out of the folder into a different one in groups, in attempt to find the file causing the crash. Unfortunately, after several attempts of shifting files back and forth I got nowhere.

I decided it was time to fire up a debugger to debug the memory dumps from when the machine reset. Attempting to install the debugger off my USB lead to an error dialog about one of the files it attempted to install being corrupt, so I decided to download it only to receive the same error. With all the corruption issues, I decided to run memtest on the RAM, and sure enough, hundreds of red lines went running down the screen. That's right, this whole thing was caused by a RAM issue.

Usually a stick this bad (errors came up immediately in memtest) causes a heck of a lot more problems and is easier to troubleshoot. I decided to debug the dump file, and sure enough that indicated memory corruption as well; should have looked there first :)

Hope anyone else that runs into this benefits from this information.

06-26-2008, 07:25 AM
Great post. I like the information. Its to common that we forget to check things like this unless you have a process setup.

I think more ppl should provide these types of diagnostics with every computer they touch granted they have the time. When I get a computer in my shop I not only fix their problems but run a hardware diagnostic on it the system and give the customer a report about anything found.

I just like to ensure the customer that even though I fixed his virus he may still have problems because his memory is bad, or is hard drive is bad and they should think about replacing it. This is also a good tactic to get a sale....Although I never present it the customer as a sales tactic and just let him know my recommendations, they can gave me replace it now or if they want come back later. I actually do it more as an added service for my customers then the sales opportunity.

06-26-2008, 09:00 AM
Thanks ClickRight, very useful info.

Generalj, what program/s do you use for the Diagnostics, do you use a single program or do you use multiple and put together a summary of all the reports, if so can you post the format of the report that you hand to the client?

06-26-2008, 03:01 PM
Great case study. This information is very much appreciated. I would never suspect a hardware problem to cause an error like this. I guess I'll know better next time. =]

06-26-2008, 11:29 PM
Great case study. This information is very much appreciated. I would never suspect a hardware problem to cause an error like this. I guess I'll know better next time. =]

Thanks, I wouldn't have thought so either so that's why I'm sharing the information.

PS. I heard you on Podnutz daily with some great tips. I think we're both about in the same boat at the moment as we're both young guys (I'm 19 and I've been doing this for 3 years) going at this business.