IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

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IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

Postby OOo I'm Stuck » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:17 pm

I have OpenOffice 3, on Vista, for my sins. I dont have Microsoft Office on this computer.

I made a brand new multi-foil presentation through IMPRESS [of course, this has taken a huge amount of effort and time] and this now seems to be corrupted.
I religiously did alternate <Save-As>'s at various stages of development [alternating as .odp's and as .ppt's, so I would end up with two identical copies] though, sadly, to the same name each time, so only have the final version. [I had intended to copy the finished presentation to a USB stick so that I could use it on a computer with Powerpoint]
I did not have the auto-backup option enabled (though I have since learned about this and I do now !) and the backup folder is empty (no .bak's anywhere else that I can find either).

Now that I have come back to reopen the presentation on the original computer, both the .ppt version and the .odp version try to open up as WRITER documents when clicked. Prior to display (which is all # characters, and useless) I am presented with an "ASCII Filter Options" dialog box which gives list boxes for <Character set> <Default fonts> and <Language>, and radio buttons for <Paragraph break>. If I <OK> this, both files open up in WRITER, not IMPRESS [even if I start in IMPRESS and go <File> <Recent Documents> <Open>], displaying 4 pages of lines just full of "##########"s.

I notice that, in the same folder, there is a ".~lock.<myfilename>.ppt#" file, which I wonder whether indicates a crash ?

Other, pre-existing, Powerpoint files (which have been created on other computers using Powerpoint) open correctly in IMPRESS, so it seems to be some issue about creating and saving in IMPRESS [??]

Can anyone advise how I can [hopefully] recover and retrieve my work ? Many thanks !
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Re: IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

Postby RoryOF » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:34 pm

Rename the odp version to .zip and try to open it with some form of archive manager. I think simply double clicking on the zip file will be sufficient in Vista. If it opens, extract Content.xml, which may give you your content. But I'm not hopeful. The lock file is indicative of a crash, be it of OOo or of Vista, or too quick a closedown of a laptop. If OOo is closed any lock files can be deleted. Did you have "Automatic file name extension" checked in your Save As box? You should always use this.
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Re: IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:42 pm

Hashes? Then the file is lost: see that thread: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs.

What OOo version: 3.?.?

Have you noticed any specific event? Crash or power failure? Were you saving on your HD? on an external drive?
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Re: IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

Postby OOo I'm Stuck » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:04 pm

Many thanks RoryOF and Hagar de l'Est for your quick replies.

I'm resigned to having lost my presentation, so I'll have to crack on to remake it (by tomorrow !!!!!) before the grey matter stops sparking.

But here's some background, in case it helps to narrow down what seems to be an occasional "feature":-

i) the running version was 3.0.1, so I updated to the latest version 3.2.1 after the event, but got the same outcomes.
ii) I tried the zip trick but Winzip reports "cannot open file: it does not appear to be a valid archive"
iii) I read through Hagar's attached thread and there are so many similarities here:
a) I'm also on a laptop, with a cooked battery that lasts not as long as you would like, so it could well have hibernated (owner has cooked memory of his own !!); it would certainly have gone into some sort of power saving mode and been woken up while OpenOffice was running; it has since been recharged and rebooted.
b) I did have a USB stick in a port at the time. Its a 32Gb honky konky special, so perhaps it might have some dodgy blocks maybe, although I am sure I was manually saving-as direct to the hard drive (I have a manually mirrored backup folder on the stick, and I have since copied the duff files over, so I couldn't honestly say I haven't saved directly to the stick - but I dont think so).
c) Something else "funny" happened on this laptop/USB stick/user combination recently while backing up a .txt file [quite possibly with notepad open] .... when it was copied up onto another target PC, the .txt file existed, but had no content (on the stick). The content still did exist on the original laptop. Was there a technical gremlin or is the user just getting old and forgetting to save ??

Many thanks for your help, anyway.

On big pieces of work, I'm going to periodically <save-as> with different names, and open them back up as I go, to have a look, so I have lots of fall-back positions next time !!!
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Re: IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

Postby RoryOF » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:32 pm

Our standard advice is _never_ to work direct onto a USB device. USB implementations used delayed writes, so that writing and file closure was postponed for some time; if a USB stick was "whipped" out, as often happens, it might be before the final write of blocks to the device and proper closure of the file. An OpenOffice file being a compressed archive, this is most serious. Later updates in Windows have supposedly cured this delayed writes problem, but it is dependant on the fixes being applied (and, of course, the fix being a good fix!). There is _no_ substitute for good USB discipline, whatever the operating system.

A hibernating laptop has been known to cause unexplained problems in OOo, often resulting in file loss.

It might be worth running an in-depth disk check on your USB stick; before this you will need to take everyything of significance off it, as such checks are data destructive.

I should say that on stable Win2K and Ubuntu 10.4 (and earlier) systems, I have never had any data loss with OOo Writer or Impress (touch wood!); I am oldfashioned and run the minimum of concurrent tasks.
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Re: IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

Postby OOo I'm Stuck » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:39 pm

To give you some feedback, the problem may well be the USB stick, and nothing to do with the OpenOffice application after all. I religiously use the "Safely Remove Hardware" option before I remove USB devices but, even without removing this stick, strange things have been happening:

I've copied some more documents to to the USB stick and they have gone screwy as well: some have just disappeared from the folder list; some documents are "empty" when opened (.txts); some report being corrupted (pdfs); and some open but are just screwed (odps).

I did a disk check on the USB drive and it threw up 8197 .chk file fragments !!!!
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Re: IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:30 pm

Thanks for the follow up! I've updated my list in the other thread, in case a dev has a look at it one day.
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