There are few things that can happen with your computer that are worse than when you cannot find one or more important financial files, or they won’t open any longer. A deep sense of dread or foreboding comes over you when this happens. Perhaps even panic! Can the file(s) be found again? If they’re corrupted, can they be fixed and if so, how much data will be lost?
Here we look at how to deal with problems with your financial files.
Lost or Misplaced Files?
Maybe you’re working in a home office and you’re having trouble locating your investing spreadsheet or a worksheet with the financial projections for the next year. It used to be in the finance folder, you thought, but now the shortcut won’t open the document anymore. Perhaps a database file is not where it should be, and the Windows application won’t open any longer. You’re confused. What do you do next?
When working with Windows 10, you can use the Windows Cortana service to search for files on your computer system. This works quite well and is reasonably comprehensive. It can find files that have accidentally been moved. Alternatively, the Search Everything application is an excellent tool for locating files. It can index drives with an NTFS partition and perform instantaneous searches once it’s had time to index your drive(s) completely first. After the file is located, it can be dragged over to Windows Explorer to drop it into the folder where it should have been.
Single File Corruption?
In a case where a single finance spreadsheet or financial database has become corrupted, but the file is still where it used to be, then this is a different matter. With Microsoft Excel, newer versions can automatically detect file integrity issues and offer to correct them. The software can create a backup version of the file first and then recreate the file. Some data may be lost in the process. With other types of file corruption, you may need to seek some technical help.
Advanced Recovery or Multiple File Corruption?
In the case of multiple files having been corrupted – possibly because Windows crashed in the middle of a file save operation – then the situation is troubling. There could be an issue with a database that’s got corrupted file tables mangled and data messed up; this situation is more serious with the database and its data needing to be reconstituted.
A specialist in either database recovery or multiple file recovery from a hard drive, solid-state drive, SD card and other storage medium should be called in. A company like Secure Data Recovery has the experience to know the best software and data recovery techniques to use in each case to obtain the highest success rate and most data recovered.
It goes without saying that backups are important. Whether using the cloud or offline storage, having a separate regular backup is extremely useful. If a file cannot be successfully recovered, being able to go back to a two-week or one-month old file or database is better than nothing. Be aware that the free cloud services often only keep one version of a file or hold files for a limited period, so don’t expect to recover files from months ago as you could be disappointed. Check the cloud plan details to be sure what service they’re providing.