How to Repair & Play Corrupt or Damaged Video Files

How to Repair & Play Corrupt or Damaged Video Files
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Almost all video media has transitioned from analogue tape storage to digital storage on computer hard drives in recent years. This is a positive thing since digital media can easily be backed up and does not diminish or fade away over time. 

But unfortunately, when a digital file gets damaged and refuses to open, all of the advantages of digital video storage could seem pointless. If you have faced the issue of unplayable video files, you should know that such files are probably corrupted or severely damaged. However, you shouldn’t feel disheartened. There are multiple techniques you could use to restore and play corrupt video files, and this article will assist you with them.

Possible Reasons for Video File Corruption

Video file corruption is caused by three major factors, including logical failures, physical damage, and mechanical faults. Let’s discuss each one in detail. 

1. Mechanical Faults

Electrical issues frequently cause hard discs to crash and become dead. It’s also possible that your Windows PC or Linux server could stop or crash as a result of the problem, or that the media device becomes unreadable and isn’t shown on your desktop anymore, implying substantial data loss. Another issue could be hard drive head failure, which is typically followed by a clicking noise or, in some cases, a beeping, which is a common symptom of a hard drive physical damage.

If the hard drive is generating a buzzing noise, it is most certainly failing. In such a case, any files and documents present on the device will become damaged or corrupted.

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2. Physical Damage

Physical trauma to a hard disk drive or flash card occurs when it is tossed, dropped, or otherwise mishandled. If you try a home repair on physically damaged media in a non-clean room setting, you risk adding physical harm to the media and badly distorting any video data.

3. Logical Failure

Logical problems include media with firmware flaws or drives that have overheated. Logical errors occur in direct corruption of the media’s file system; the file system is required to read and write your media files; any harm to it will result in damaged video files. Logical errors can also arise when transferring video files from one device to another; a disrupted transfer can lead to missing headers and metadata causing the corruption.

Solutions to Repair Corrupt Video Files

Concerned about how to repair corrupt video files? The methods listed below have been tried and tested to fix video files that are damaged or not playing.

1. Using VLC Media Player

VLC media player is one of the best free video players available. It’s also an effective converter and repairer of faulty video files.

To try and restore damaged video files with VLC, follow these steps: 

  • Navigate to the Media menu. 
  • Choose Convert/Save
  • To select a file, use the Add dialogue box. 
  • Click the Convert/Save button. 
  • From the drop-down option, select Video -H.264 + MP3 (MP4)
  • Specify a filename for the converted file by clicking Browse
  • Press the Start button.

Conversion may take a little while, but if accomplished, your corrupted video file should be accessible again. If it doesn’t work, you may try the following alternate method using VLC: 

  • Make a duplicate of the video file as a backup. 
  • The file’s extension should be changed to.avi. 
  • Navigate to Tools -> Preferences in VLC. 
  • Look for the Files area under Input / Codecs
  • Select Always Fix from the Damaged or Incomplete AVI File dropdown menu. 
  • Use the.avi extension to open your video file.
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2. Repair with Stellar Repair for Video

If a video file doesn’t get repaired with VLC, it could indicate severe damage in the file. In such a case, your best bet would be to use a dedicated video repair tool. We recommend Stellar Repair for Video for the purpose.

Stellar Repair for Video can repair 17+ video formats including MP4, AVI, FLV, MOV, MKI, and more. It can also repair several high-resolution videos like 4k, 8k, 360°and VR videos simultaneously to return them back to their working condition if they have suffered damage or corruption. With the help of this product, you can fix various problems in videos like stuttering, blurring, etc., that happen when you transfer videos between different storage media.

The software is easy to use and even a novice can use it to repair files. Follow the instructions given below to use Stellar Repair for Video:

  • Go to the official website of the tool and download its installer. Thereafter, install it with recommended settings
  • Once the software is installed, launch the tool.
  • At the home screen, click on the Add button to select and import the files you want to repair. Once they have been imported into the interface, click on the Repair button
Repair with Stellar Repair for Video
  • Depending on the size of the video(s) being repaired and your computer’s processing speed, you will need to wait for the process to complete
  • Once it is done, you can preview the repaired files and then save them to the desired location with the Save Repaired Files button
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To Conclude

File corruption is always a risk whether you keep your video on a local hard disc or in the cloud. In addition to the recovery procedures mentioned above, it’s a good idea to set up a backup system to avoid losing data. If free methods like VLC don’t work, use a professional premium tool like Stellar Repair for Video to repair damaged video files.

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