Must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

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Must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

Postby Helpmeouthere » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:09 am

Earlier this morning, when asked if I wanted to overwrite, I mistakenly hit yes, overwrite. HUGE MISTAKE. I just wanted to change something/add to in a large document. It overwrote the file AND here's the worst of it....it was my husband's manuscript! :crazy:

I searched for anything to UNDO my error. There was nothing. What am I missing here? Is there anyway I can get this file back? My son (who is 2,000 miles away got on skype with me and he gave me some computerese to start a foremost program into the Terminal. We can communicate until tomorrow morning. But, when that program finished running, it said no files extracted. Does this mean I am sunk? This is a monumental goof. I have a copy from 2 weeks ago, but all the work done since 7/31 is in the cyber inferno?

Have mercy, if anyone knows how to undo my horrid mistake, please write, but please be detailed...as in open your document you changed, click ????, then go to ????

I'm an artist ....not a computer wizard. But, I can follow exact directions!

Thanks
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OS is Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Using Open Office 3.2.0
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Re: must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

Postby FJCC » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:25 am

Using any OpenOffice document, go to the menu Tools -> Options. A new dialog will appear. On the left will be a list with plus (and possibly minus) signs next to the items. Find the one that says Load/Save and if it has a plus sign next to it, click it. This will expand that item. Click General from among the sub items of Load/Save. In the right part of the dialog there will now be several options with check boxes. One of them, the fourth one down on my system, says "Always create backup copy". If that is checked, then a back up exists in your user profile. The location of the user profile is explained here. Look inside that user folder for a folder called Backup. Inside of that should be the next-to-last version.
May the force be with you.
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Re: must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

Postby Helpmeouthere » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:45 am

Thanks....How I wish that box was checked...but it wasn't. Do you have any idea of anything else, or an "file extraction" program I could run? As I said previously, the information for foremost typed into the Terminal said 0 files extracted. In my limited computer scope, that says to me this wasn't the way to find it. My son did mention it's a type of program law enforcement uses to extract files from a computer seized from a suspect. They must run a different program, because unfortunately there are tons of files on my husband's desk top. (FYI on my son - after receiving aero engineering and physics degrees he is a missionary in South America, so he's not inept in the computer world, but they're not his favorite thing, either.) There won't be a lot of sleep here, so I'll be watching for your kind reply. I think we need a little more power for "the force". :( I've got to retrieve my husband's manuscript!!
OS is Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Using Open Office 3.2.0
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Re: must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

Postby FJCC » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:06 am

I'm no expert and that was my one idea. The guys in Europe will be on line in a few hours and may have a better idea. In the meantime, please explain exactly what you did, step by step.The more people know about the details, the more likely that they will think of a way to get your file back.
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Re: must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

Postby Helpmeouthere » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:45 am

OK...Thanks. Here goes the step by step as to what I did. It will be verbose and tedious, but if I pare it down, there might be something you or they need to know.

I work on a laptop, my husband uses the desktop. On my laptop, I wrote a nearly 4 page Word doc about a meeting he wanted to insert in his book. The book manuscript WAS on the desktop. We both use the same system of Ubuntu and Open Office, by the way, that I already submitted when I started this series of postings. First, I emailed the 4 pages as an attachment to his email (Gmail) from my email (also Gmail).

I went into his office, opened the email attachment. I hit save as, brought up my location options. I had already sent half of my notes on this meeting to him a few weeks ago. I guess I had a
Joe and the Volcano brain cloud
moment, because I was thinking I'd inserted the notes on the meeting into the manuscript already. Because, instead of searching out that doc (which was not already in the manuscript doc) I ended up selecting the manuscript doc and when the prompt to overwrite came up, I was thinking I was just replacing the incomplete notes that I'd already sent. Only seconds later did I realize what I'd done. I went to edit to see if there was any "undo" option...and there was none. The rest is history. I contacted Ubuntu forum. Unfortunately, I kept receiving pretty cryptic instructions. I'd write back asking for more details. That's when they suggested putting in the "live CD" my son burned when he installed Ubuntu and Open Office on both of our systems, then they said use "foremost". I reached our son in VZ. He searched out and gave me the instructions to type into the Terminal command window. An hour or so later is when it said "0 files extracted". Prior to that, with the CD in, it wouldn't take the commands. He had me remove it, make the adjustments in BIOS re booting up. Then we ran it. ...and 0.

That's it. I've just got to retrieve my husband's manuscript. And, no, I haven't gone in and checked the backup box in his computer yet. I was afraid that would thwart any retrieval effort. But, when this is done, I WILL do it!! Mine is already checked and done. Thanks in advance for any and all help.
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Re: Must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:29 am

Hmm, this is really an OS question. AOO cannot do anything else now. But was the option for the backup activated on your husband desktop (I'm not sure if you've checked on your laptop or on the desktop)?
Check the backup place of your husband too, perhaps if had made a copy very recently.

Else, I'm not an expert with file systems. I guess you've installed Ubuntu with EXT4. Not sure how it works when you overwrite a file: does it replace it all together or does it write it elsewhere and erase the former file later? In former case, nothing to do I fear. In latter case, you may have a chance. I've used PhotoRec successfully on Ubuntu in the past but for deleted files, not overwritten files. Still worth a try.

Are your documents on a separate partition (different from the root or the /home folders)? If so, you can safely boot on Ubuntu, install PhotoRec and perform the recovery on the specific partition (restrain the file types to .zip and .odt).

Good luck!
AOO 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 19.10 and 4.1.5 on Windows 10 (with winPenPack port).
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Re: Must undo overwrite- my MONSTER, HORRENDOUS MISTAKE

Postby RoryOF » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:07 am

I'm not sure that Ubuntu 10.04 used Ext 4 filesystem by default, but I think that may be irrelevant. I'm assuming the OP has an "out of the box" install of OpenOffice. I've checked on two of my Ubuntu systems, which have such untweaked installs and find that there is one directory worth investigating. On these systems, the temporary files may be stored in /tmp (under main filesystem). Look in the /tmp directory.

I'm working on a later Ubuntu, so my details may differ slightly.
Open Places (should be on the Ubuntu Toolbar, from memory middle entry to the left).
Click on Computer and a window of directories should open.
From these directories click on tmp.
Another window of directories should open.
On the View menu on the file explorer toolbar click List view; your directories icons will resolve into a list of directories with date and time information.

You are looking for directories with a date and time about when you last used the lost file. They will have arbitrary names - I append a screenshot
lost file.png


Copy any such file of approximately the correct size and date to a working directory and then rename its .tmp filename to .odt and try to open this. If there are files of earlier dates, work your way back through them; it may be that you won't get a file of today, but you may get a file of yesterday - anything later than your last copy of two weeks ago will help!
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