Use Cases for Bit Rot Prevention Tools

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Use Case 1

Checksum Process

Use Case 2

Open file and Save Copy

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  1. Apr 20, 2011

    I' don't  understand how opening a bit-corrupted file and re-saving it could ever repair the effects of bit-rot. In the best case the bit rot might not be severe enough to prevent a viewer from opening and displaying the file, and re-saving may then result in a technically 'valid 'file, but that doesn't give you back the lost information (however small this may be)

    This seems to come from the PCMech article that is linked to in the parent page, but to be honest there's a lot of stuff there that looks a bit dodgy to me (e.g. "old files being notorious for bit rot", and statements that archive formats such as ZIP and RAR can allways be recovered).

  2. Apr 21, 2011

    Opening and saving does indeed not fix anything. You need to look at this measure more as a preventing measure, rather then a repairing action. Decays is not necessarily an incident in time, but can also be a steady loss of electronic, optic or magnetic integrity of the bits.  From the outside all appears digital, the fundamentals of storing and maintaining these bits are analogue. So if opening and saving produces this refresh, it might be worth looking at.  The digital world is far less different from the analogue world then we like to believe. Maintenance is one of the keys to preservation.