From the phrasing of your question, I take it the existing file is experiencing behavior consistent with corruption. If so, then the answer is yes, copy / paste can indeed, in some cases, bring a corrupted element across.
Probably not the answer you wanted, but ...
This has been argued back and forth for years, but I was able to import a script, corruption and all, so it is possible
But in the old days we had nothing to go on. Now we have the Recover Log. Does it give any hints ?
> do I dare copy any elements from it? Do I dare copy any graphical objects, or import scripts, or copy elements from tables? Will the copy/paste catch any corruption of objects?
I think you are OK in copying over graphical elements; but you may need to redefine:
Scripts attached to graphical objects
Tooltips attached to graphical objects
Script Imports may be problematic because, if memory serves me, subscripts introduce the concept of precedence:
Example: Script A runs Script B which runs Script C
For this to work, the import order is 1: Script C 2: Script B 3: Script A or you will have some script missing errors on your import.
Did you try saving a no records clone? If so, did you lose scripting or layout elements in the clone?
Depending on how large your solution is and/or how anal you are and how much time you have, you could always copy the elements into a text editor and review the xml there for any inconsistencies. Not the best solution but definitely helpful if you think you can narrow down the corruption.
I have always acted on the side of caution.. copy nothing
It is save to Copy or Import any elements (complete tables, fields, scripts, layout elements, etc.).
Damaged elements would not be accepted by the receiving file.