ISO files are an effective way to distribute sensitive programs and store important information without the risk of any sort of data compression. But like any other file type, ISO files can suffer from corruption. It can be corrupted because of a sudden power loss, malware infection, or an unforeseen error during the data writing process. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to restore the corrupted ISO files on a Windows device. In this article, we will show you what this file is and follow that with three simple ways to recover a corrupted one.
We will also explain how you can open these files on a Windows PC without a hitch. Let’s not waste any more time and start this journey with a brief explanation of the ISO files.
What is an ISO File?
An ISO file is an optical media file system that got its name from the file systems used in ISO 9660 CD-ROMS. To put it in simple words, an ISO image is an exact copy of every single bit of data stored in the optical media, such as Blu-ray discs, CDs, and DVDs, including the whole file system. These files are normally copied or transferred sector-by-sector to the other storage media without any form of file compression. The concept behind the ISO image files is to record a complete digital copy of an optical disc.
As a result, if you use the digital copy of the image and burn it into another optical disc, the new optical disc would turn out the same copy of the original disc. Most operating systems and utilities will treat the ISO image file as a virtual disc. In other words, all apps and programs will treat the ISO image as if it’s a completely different optical disc, which you have just inserted into your computer.
The ISO files often contain critical information, especially the data that is used for backup purposes. Therefore, if you accidentally delete or lose ISO files due to corruption, it can be quite a big problem. However, losing your files is not the end of the world. In this section, we will show you three methods to restore the corrupted ISO files.
1. Restore Corrupted ISO Files from Recycle Bin
Recovering the deleted files from the Recycle Bin is a pretty straightforward process. But there’s a catch. Not every file deleted from your computer goes to the Recycle Bin. For example, if you delete any file using the “Shift + Delete” keys, they won’t move to the Recycle Bin as usual. Instead, it will bypass the Bin and be permanently deleted from your PC. As long as you didn’t bypass the Recycle Bin when you accidentally deleted your ISO files, you can still get them back from the Recycle Bin folder. Here’s what you need to do:
- Double-click on the “Recycle Bin” logo on your Desktop to open it. Alternatively, you can press the “CTRL + R” keys to open the “Run” dialog box, type the “shell:recyclebinfolder” command, and press the “Enter” key to open the Recycle Bin.
- Once the Recycle Bin opens, look for your ISO files. If you find the files you were looking for, select them and right-click on them.
- Click on the “Restore” option and the ISO files will return to their original locations (The folder they were originally located before deletion).
2. Use File History to Recover ISO Files
The File History is an amazing tool that comes pre-equipped with every Windows 10/11 device. This tool allows you to backup data from selected locations and restores them if the need ever arises. File History helps you backup the files of your chosen folders at regular intervals. That helps you keep your important files safe. Then, you can bring back the files’ previous versions if you accidentally delete the files, overwrite them, or if the files suffer from corruption.
However, you need to set up this tool to regularly backup the files before the files get erased from your computer. Thus, if you have set up “File History” to back up your computer’s data before the deletion or corruption of your ISO files, follow these instructions below to retrieve them:
- Click on the “Search” icon on the “Windows Taskbar,” and type “Control Panel.”
- Once the “Control Panel” shows up in the search results, click on it.
- Now, navigate to System and Security > File History.
- Next, click on the “Restore your files with File History” option.
- After that, click on the “Restore personal files” option on the left panel of the File History window. A new window will show up containing all the files that File History backed up previously.
- Look for the ISO file backups from a date that is before the ISO files have been deleted or corrupted.
- Once you find the ISO files you were looking for, select them and then click on the green-colored “Restore” button located at the bottom of the window.
That’s it. Now, the files you have selected will be sent back to their previous locations.
3. Utilize Data Recovery Software to Restore Corrupted ISO Files
Previous methods will only work if the deleted or corrupted ISO files are still in your PC’s Recycle Bin or you have a file history backup. But what if you have no backup of your corrupted ISO files and the files aren’t inside your Recycle Bin either? In these cases, using a professional data recovery application is the best option to retrieve the lost data. Although you can choose any such software, you should always pick one that comes from a renowned data restoration company. You should also make sure that your chosen software has plenty of positive reviews, and that the data recovery experts have tested it.
However, even if you narrow down your scope using these filters, there are still hundreds of software to pick from. We know that it can take tens of hours to select one that is perfect for you. That’s why we have created a list of the best data recovery software for your PC. Using this guide, you can pick the top-rated software based on your needs and all within a few minutes.
Please Note: Most professional data recovery applications have a similar data restoration process. As a result, the steps for data restoration we have mentioned below apply to every popular data rescue software.
Performing a Data Recovery Software Scan for ISO Files
Once you select the data restoration software of your choice, follow the steps below to restore the corrupted ISO files:
- Download and install the application on a different storage medium. While you can install the application on your computer, experts advise against it as it might lead to a data overwrite that can wipe out the deleted ISO files from your computer’s hard disk drive. Thus, unless you have no other choices, always install the software in a different storage medium.
- Next, connect the storage media to your PC and launch the data rescue software.
- Select the drive you want to scan to restore your data and click on the “Scan” or the “Search for lost data” option. For example, if the ISO files were located in the “C:” drive of the internal HDD of your PC, then you must select them before starting the scanning process.
- Once the scan is complete, the software will show all the recoverable files that were deleted from your chosen drive.
- Find the files you were looking for and select them. Once you’re done selecting the ISO files, click on the “Recover” button.
- Now, select a location you would like to download the chosen files. Once you’re done, click on the “OK” button. The files will be downloaded to the data path you picked.
Opening ISO Files on a Windows Computer
If your computer runs on Windows 11 OS, you should be able to open the ISO files without the aid of other third-party programs. But it doesn’t hurt to always be prepared. That’s why you should always have the best archiving tools, such as WinRAR installed on your computer. Here’s how you can install and use WinRAR to open ISO files on Windows PCs:
- Download the right version of the WinRAR setup files.
- Once you download it, follow the on-screen steps and instructions to install WinRAR properly on your PC.
- Now, open the “WinRAR” app and click on the “File” option located in the top-left corner of the window.
- After that, click on “Open archive.”
- Next, go to the folder that holds the ISO files. Select the file you want to open and click on the “Open” button.
- Now, the data stored in the ISO file would appear in the WinRAR application. Click on the “Extract To” icon to extract the ISO files’ data to the destination of your choice.
That’s it—this is how you can launch an ISO file on a Windows device.