Very strange file issue

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Very strange file issue

Postby katiediddesign » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:08 am

I'm hoping somebody can help me! I've been using Open Office for years and I've never had this happen.

I have this working file that I use constantly for work. On Monday morning, I did what I always do. I saved off a copy of everything so far with the date, then cleared out some of the old stuff, and kept working. I've saved it hundreds of times over the last three days since then.

At 8:30 this evening, my computer went screwy... something minor, but I was sick of dealing with it, so I pulled the plug. I knew my file was saved, and who cares about the open browser windows.

I started the computer back up, opened it... and I was looking at the file it as it was Monday morning. ie: EVERYTHING I typed and saved in the past three days... is gone.

When I look at it in Windows Explorer, it even has a "Last modified date" of Monday morning! Even though I've worked in it and saved it hundreds of times since then!

I am totally baffled as to how this could have happened.

Furthermore, in that folder, there is a .log file and a .~lock.file.log# file there. THOSE have the dates for when my computer shut off this evening.

So I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that somewhere on my computer is this data that I've been saving so many times! I have no idea how to make Open Office restore it, though.

Please, somebody... tell me how to find this data! I can't bill for these three days of work unless I find it!

I already looked in the backup folder for the auto-recovery thing, and it's not there. In fact, auto-recovery was off... thought it USED to be on. It's recovered tons of documents over the years. I don't know if it got switched to off the same time my file went through a three day time warp or some other time.

Edited to add... I have found a few other people discover that the same thing happened to them! Right down to the "modified date" being days old and not the current date that we were saving it!
https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/v ... =7&t=55865
https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/v ... =7&t=32903

ANYONE know what's going on?
-Katie

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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:13 am

Hi and welcome to the forum!

I'm really sorry about that. The problem may be with the file caching of the OS that writes the files later when the machine is more idle. But if you've saved it many times in between, you should at least get a not so old version of the file.

Check the temporary folder of the system (see in OOo Tools>Options>OOo>Paths). If there are folders like sgmlf.tmp with a file having the same name inside, make a copy of that file, rename it in .odt and cross your fingers.
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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby RoryOF » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:14 am

This looks like an inadvertent invocation of Windows Disk Protection, caused by the Power off
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_SteadyState
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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby katiediddesign » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:33 pm

Okay, Hagar Delest,

I went to that folder, and I found a file that is the right size and the exact same timestamp as those .log files I had. It DOESN'T have the right file name... it's sfjd3u6w.tmp. But it's 218 KB which is right.

So I'm thinking my data IS there... but how to get it?

This file was an .ods file, so I copied the file, pasted it, and renamed the extension to .ods... but I got a spreadsheet with exactly 1 number in it. (Not 218KB of data)

I tried renaming it to .odt just to see what it did, and I got pages and pages of ##########.

Any more tricks on how to get OpenOffice to decipher that data again?
-Katie

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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby Bill » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:50 pm

If you right-click the file and select Properties > Previous Versions, does a newer version appear in the list?
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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby katiediddesign » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:56 pm

Here are the files I've got so far:
Capture.jpg
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9iYoIDYk0SMVHNfMjVPOFdWUDA/edit?usp=sharing

TM.ods is the file that I was saving quite a few times a day. (Every time I step away, etc.)
11-11 - 11-24 is the copy of it that I made Monday morning. As you can see, that has a slightly later timestamp. That means that after I made that copy, when I re-opened TM.ods and started working, nothing since then was really getting saved to the file.

But both of those are 211 KB. (They're identical).

The 11/27 8:36pm timestamp (crazy coincidence that they're both 8:36) is when I pulled the plug on the computer and closed the file I THOUGHT I'd been saving for three days.

The .~lock.TM.log# file with that timestamp was already in this folder.

The TM.log file was also already here.
I tried renaming it TM log copy.ods, but that's not working.
Opening it as it is in a text editor just gives me one line of boxes.

svjd3u6qw.tmp was in the temp files... I moved a copy over. Then renamed another copy which you see here... but it only gives me one character.

But as you can see, all of those files are 218kb which has got to be right... the 211 kb with what I added the last three days.

The question is... HOW to get/read that data?
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: pic embedded
-Katie

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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:16 pm

Can you upload the temporary file renamed .ods here (see How to attach a document here)?
NB: you've to rename it indeed .ods for spreadsheet. I thought that you were talking about a text document (hence the .odt).
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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby katiediddesign » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:42 pm

It won't let me upload it because the maximum size is 128kb.

I've uploaded it to my google drive and set the sharing to anyone with this link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9iYoI ... sp=sharing

Maybe that'll work?
-Katie

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Re: Very strange file issue HELP!!!

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:21 pm

Sorry, I get hashes only, usually coming from a similar problem: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs.
I think that the power loss prevented the file to be saved. You have at least an old copy, in most of the cases, users don't even have such a copy...
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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby katiediddesign » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:19 am

Well, thanks for trying.

The thing I don't get is why it was not saving for those three days. Generally, when I click save and watch the thing run across the bottom, I feel justified in assuming it is saving.

Evidently it wasn't... for three days!

How can I know in the future that it IS saving? That's what's got me even more concerned.
-Katie

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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby RoryOF » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:09 am

Read the note I pointed to. I think windows cached everything and lost it all in the restart.
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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby katiediddesign » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:21 am

I did read it... but... are you saying that it WAS saving for those three days, and when I pulled the power, it somehow deleted everything going back to Monday morning?

Remember... that temp file isn't readable... but the file I was actually saving and working in (The TM.ods you can see in my screen shot) IS readable... just without any of the additional data I added and saved for three days. That's the part that does not make sense to me... how/why the computer would delete just three day's worth of additions, instead of corrupting the whole thing. I can understand how files can get corrupted. But I do NOT understand 1) How it could simply and exactly erase everything since it was last opened, or 2) How/why it would be acting as though it was saving even though it wasn't... and how I can know in the future if it's doing this again.
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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby RoryOF » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:29 am

I can't say why all that happened with any certainty. I have moved away from use of Windows because of increasing unreliability and uncertainty. In general, no matter what operating system I use I would not let a workstation work continuously for several days without shutting it down every six or eight hours. This may be unfashionable but it is the result of years of experience.
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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:58 am

Katie, I understand your fear. And I agree that 3 days is a bit long, even if you don't reboot.
I use OOo/AOO since 7 years now, 8 hours a day at work (mainly Writer) and have never faced this problem. However, I experienced this once with a 2.x version some time ago: the file was not damaged but the last changes had not been saved (so I didn't lose very much). And it was at home on a GNU/Linux system.
At work, running Windows Seven, I reboot rather rarely my laptop (between 1 and 3 times a week), use the hibernation each evening, sometimes with opened documents and have never had any problem. But quickstarter is deactivated, it may be a trigger that perhaps prevent the OS from saving the file correctly. Is the quickstarter running on your machine (AOO icon in the system tray)?
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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby katiediddesign » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:57 pm

Yes quickstarter is running.
-Katie

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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby RoryOF » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:47 pm

From memory, sometimes when Quickstarter is running, OpenOffice files (Base?) are not flushed until the Quickstarter is closed or the computer shut down.
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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby katiediddesign » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:43 pm

I'm almost the same as you... I use Calc 6 days/week for work, about 6-8 hours/day, and I only shut it down a couple of times a week. I leave the documents open all night, but I hibernate the computer. I save it quite frequently because of how valuable this file is.

I just never dreamed it could pretend it's saving without actually doing it! Even backing up online or some other place wouldn't have worked, since it would have been backing up a 3-day-old version and not what I actually had open!

I guess I'll deactivate Quickstarter. And I guess I should start a new routine... save it, save a second copy in a new file, re-open one of the two to make sure the changes really did save, then shut down the computer every night.

Thanks for trying!
-Katie

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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby RoryOF » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:53 pm

My routine for major work in progress is to copy the file from MyDocument.odt to MyDocument 20131129.odt before editing today, so that at most I lose today's edits/additions. So far my current document in progress has had 170+ hours of editing and 1650 saves, with no need for any of the backups. I work on the principle that if I sleep my computer(s) sleep, unless one is involved in a big download or a major processing task.
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Re: Very strange file issue

Postby Bill » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:26 pm

You should at least check that the recommended write-caching options are set for your storage device:

How to Enable or Disable Write-Caching for a Storage Device in Windows 7
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