22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

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22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby ParrotPatrol » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:53 pm

My computer crashed and when I tried to recover my document, it replaced the entire thing with pound (#) signs. When I reloaded the file, backups were turned off and read only was activated. Also, it prompted me for an ASCII filter on launch. I need some way to recover this document or I am completely SOL.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Safway » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:22 pm

Your condition reminds me of when I was in college working on papers and Windows kept on crashing on me. This is when I got so frustrated, I switched OSes--permanently. I feel for you.

Let me offer some information that might help. OO.o files are stored in XML format. You may be able to extract your information without the OO.o graphical interface and get to your data. Based on your post, I am assuming you were working on a word processing document so your file extension would be either .sxw or .odt. Copy (don't rename) your file to the file name test.zip. Use one of the many unzip programs to unzip your OO.o file into it parts. One of these parts is the file called content.xml. Look at this file with any generic file viewer (edit, notepad, writer, kate, vi, emacs, etc.) and you should see your data in XML format.

You can extract your data from this XML file.

To help clarify, here are the steps:
$ copy MyCorruptedFile.odt 1.zip
$ unzip 1.zip
Archive: 1.zip
extracting: mimetype
creating: Configurations2/
creating: Pictures/
inflating: layout-cache
inflating: content.xml
inflating: styles.xml
extracting: meta.xml
inflating: Thumbnails/thumbnail.png
inflating: settings.xml
inflating: META-INF/manifest.xml
$ edit content.xml
If someone posts a fix for your question, then please post a quick thank you and then go to your first post, use the edit button to add [Solved] as the first word of the title so other people can rely on the fix as well.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:29 pm

Have you looked anyway at the backup folder (see [Tutorial] The OOo user profile)?
In what format were you saving? Native ODF (.odt) or .doc? If latter case, quite no chance to recover anything. There are some threads about files with pound signs. I fear the worst.

Good luck.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Safway » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:35 pm

Hagar's post reminds me of another possibility. If you are using a UNIX-based OS, then you might be able to run the strings command on the DOC file to extract some of your data.
If someone posts a fix for your question, then please post a quick thank you and then go to your first post, use the edit button to add [Solved] as the first word of the title so other people can rely on the fix as well.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby ParrotPatrol » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:42 pm

Either I am doing something wrong or it's not working because every time I try to open the file as a zip, rar, or otherwise, the decompressor complains about it not being a compressed file/being a corrupted file.

EDIT: I'm running on Windows 7 and I am saving in odt
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby TheGurkha » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:49 pm

If you want, you could put it on MediaFire, a free file hosting site, and post the link here. We can have a look at it. But to be honest, it doesn't sound good. We all learn the hard way, but no matter what computer system or software you are using, save often and save in different locations. but, if you can let us see the file we'll check it out.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby ParrotPatrol » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:52 pm

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PGG5RZLR

I hesitate to post this file here. As the paper names specific people on a regular basis, it could cause some privacy issue. If somehow one of you manages to recover the paper, I kindly request you don't read it. It's very boring anyway.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Safway » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:53 pm

Probably you are doing everything right and the decompressor's complaint about it being corrupt is true.

On the page Hagar points out, he mentions the backup files location. Have you checked that?

When you say "crashed" does that mean the power dropped?

Have you rebooted since it crashed? If not, then the file might be in memory. You might be able to pull it out using a windows memory dump. Techniques such as http://www.networkworld.com/news/2005/0 ... crash.html and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/244139 might help. If you are not familiar with this, then research this using another computer and hopefully, windows won't meantime write over your stuff.

However, this is now grasping at straws. . . unless someone else has any good ideas.
If someone posts a fix for your question, then please post a quick thank you and then go to your first post, use the edit button to add [Solved] as the first word of the title so other people can rely on the fix as well.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby ParrotPatrol » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:55 pm

The power simply dropped. I'm operating on an ancient laptop, it likely overheated again. It does that on a regular basis. Having only 1gig of RAM I seriously doubt it's still there after the restart.

EDIT: I think this entire problem may have been exacerbated by the fact that I was in the middle of an auto-save when it died.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:17 pm

No way to open that file, even with some powerful GNU/Linux editors, I fear the file is indeed dead. Sorry.
Had you made some backups somewhere? like on USB key? in a mail attachment?...
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Safway » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:18 pm

Yeah, it is a blank data file:

Command: hexdump -C paper.zip
00000000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 |................|
*
0000aa90 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 |.........|
0000aa99


Command: od paper.zip
0000000 000000 000000 000000 000000 000000 000000 000000 000000
*
0125220 000000 000000 000000 000000 000000
0125231
If someone posts a fix for your question, then please post a quick thank you and then go to your first post, use the edit button to add [Solved] as the first word of the title so other people can rely on the fix as well.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby ParrotPatrol » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:19 pm

I have one backup on a usb stick. However, I don't know when it was made. I might lose 10 pages or I might lose 2 or 4.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:53 pm

What is your OS BTW? Is it an official OOo version downloaded from the OOo website?
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby ParrotPatrol » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:46 pm

I'm using Windows 7, and yes, it was an official version.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:11 am

Well, that's rather strange, it's at least the 4th case of such hashes.
-> Corrupted Writer file OOo 2.3 (GNU/Linux Linpus)
-> My 18 page file is now #######s (2.3, Windows XP)
-> ASCII Filter Options Dialogue Question (2.4.1, Windows XP)
-> Here, 3.0.1, Windows 7.
Added topics after first posting this message:
->"#######" when loading saved .odt Writer file., OOo 3.0.X on Ms Windows XP
-> problem with recovery function - now original file corrupted, power supply problem (oooforum)
-> Corrupted Document, no information (oooforum)
-> cant open impress files, no information (oooforum)
-> Retrieving document (3.0, Windows XP), again with a shutting down issue
-> File now contains nothing but # characters (3.1, Windows Vista)
-> Damaged File (3.0, GNU/Linux Ubuntu 9.04), again shutdown (?)
-> ###### No Text (3.1, Windows XP)
-> File save error (3.1.1, Windows Vista 64 bit)
-> Character Set issue opening an .ODT document (3.1, Windows XP)
-> Saving files incrementally each time ctrl+s is pressed (3.1, Windows XP), computer freeze
-> ASCII Filter Options (3.1, Windows XP), power loss
-> I can´t open saved text document (3.1), power loss
-> Botched file save (OpenOffice 3.1.1 on a Mac OSX Snow Leopard)
-> ASCII Filter? Help me save my doc!!! (OOo 3.1, Windows Vista)
-> Problem with file (OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista), computer crash
-> .odt corrupted, OOo 3.1 on Windows XP, power loss
-> My text turned to "######" (oooforum), on Windows XP
-> I can't open my spreadsheet, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista, no power loss, it's a spreadsheet this time
-> Ods file corrupted or worse, OOo 3.1.1 on Windows Vista, no power loss, it's a spreadsheet again
-> Cannot open saved .odt Writer file, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> File contains nothing but ####, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista, no power loss, nothing special it seems
-> Can't access doc file I was working on, OOo 3.1.0 on Windows XP, OS freeze
-> Documents being corrupted, OOo 3.1.1 on Windows 7
-> ASCII Filter Option prevents opening files, OOo 3.1.1, on Windows XP and Mac
-> Text all replaced with ###, OOo 3.2 (first case) on Windows XP
-> Text all replaced with ### (other user), OOo 3.2 on Windows Vista
-> Document broken, OOo 3.1 on Windows XP
-> Corrupted.doc file, OOo 3.1 on Windows XP
-> Saved as MS Office 97 Word Doc; now it's all pound signs, OOo 3.0 on Windows XP, saving as .doc
-> Corrupt file??? full of #####, OOo 3.1on Windows Vista
-> My document has been turned into pound symbols, OOo 3.2 on Windows XP. Overheating laptop
-> Important Writer Document corrupted, OOo 3.2 on Windows XP SP3
-> Recovered Document gone to Gibberish, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista, .doc file format
-> Writer document is corrupted, OOo 3.0, power loss at save operation.
-> Corrupted file (only hashes remaining), OOo 3.2.0 on Windows XP, crash at save
-> Problem with .odt file, can't see its content, OOo 3.2, Windows 7
-> System crash and data recovery, crash after saving the file. OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> IMPRESS odp file opens through WRITER - and is corrupted, OOo 3.0.1 on Windows Vista, laptop with old battery, USB stick corrupted
-> Locked Document, OOo 3.2 on Windows 7. Power shut down by mistake
-> Help Corrupt File, OOo 3.2 on Windows Vista. Power failure
-> Corrupt odt file, OOo 3.2 on Linux Mint 9, power failure
-> I can't open the file ..., OOo 3.2
-> Emergency: Exam report is gone :S, OOo 3.1 on Windows XP, power failure during save
-> that post in this topic, OOo 3.2.1 on Windows XP, freez during save operation
-> Saved Spreadsheet as ODT, OOo 3.2 on Windows 7, bad hard disk involved it seems
-> Weird File Problem Help :(, OOo 3.2.1 on Windows. Battery died while edition.
-> File corruption? What happened?!, OOo 3.2 on Windows XP. Computer shut off after saving
-> Pound signs in document locked for editing by: Unknown User, OOo 3.2.1 on Windows Vista; power loss
-> Extremely serious problem - File corrupted, OOo 3.2 on xubuntu 10.04.
-> How can I fix my ODT file?, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> Possible Corrupt File?, OOo 3.1.0 on Windows Vista
-> Error report crashed, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7, power loss
-> Can't open my file. Nothing but ##'s, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> OpenOffice.org File Self-Mutilation, OOo 3.2.? on Windows 7
-> Autorecovery issue, OOo 3.2 on Windows XP
-> Previously functional text doc now unreadable, OOo 3.2 on Windows 7
-> ODT file wont open up anymore :(, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> Openoffice restore emergency, Go-oo/OOo 3.2.1 (guess) on Ubuntu 10.10, power loss (Ubuntu forum)
-> ASCII filter options, OOo 3.3 on Windows 7
-> Lost my file to text encoding!, OOo 3.2 on Ubuntu 10.10
-> 32 bit & 64 bit compatibility, OOo 3.2 on Windows Vista
-> Recovering a .odt (oooforum), no information
-> Computer crash destroys document?, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows Vista, computer crash
-> Hashes after a document recovery, OOo 3.2 on Ubuntu 10.10 (Go-oo build I guess, following a machine crash.
-> Loss of data in OOo Calc, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows XP after a power cut
-> Ascii Filter Options error, OOo 3.2.0 on Windows 7
-> That post in this thread, OOo 3.3 on Windows XP
-> Failed Save - File Content all #####, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> Computer power cut off document corrupted, OOo 3.2.1 on Windows 7 after a power cut during save
-> Recovering an OpenOffice.org file, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> Doc won't open--ASCII filter?, OOo 3.1 on Windows 2000, documents saved as .doc
-> Writer made all the text to a bunch of this #, OOo 3.2.0 on Windows 7
-> OOo 3.2 killed my spreadsheet, OOo 3.2 on Windows 7, system hanged
-> Ofice files been altered (Ubuntu forum), on Ubuntu
-> ASCII Filter Options pop-up (oooforum), Ubuntu 10.04
-> corrupted .odt file recovery - ubuntu (oooforum), OOo 3.x on Ubuntu
-> corrupted .odt file recovery - ubuntu (oooforum), same topic, 2nd user, power loss
-> HELP: Text all replaced with ###, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> File corrupted?! Help!, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7, power supply problem
-> My resume is all hashes, 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> Story in Writer shows only hashes (####), OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> I wrote a text and after a power outage the text reads #### (oooforum), no information
-> Pound signs in document locked for editing by: Unknown User, OOo 3.2.1 on Windows 7
-> Locking?, LibO 3.3 on Windows 7
-> Please help with encoded text, OOo 3.2.1 on Windows Vista, power shut down
-> Power failure and lost my essay for Uni, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista, power failure
-> ASCII filter options and hashes, OOo 3.2 on Windows 7
-> Sudden Program Reset?, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows Vista, machine shut down
-> Document filled with #####, OOo 3.3.0 on iMac
-> corrupt text in write document (oooforum), OOo 3.?
-> Corrupted files (oooforum), OOo 3.? on Windows 7
-> Cannot open odt document files (oooforum), no information
-> Loss of file, power cut during save on OOo 3.1 on Windows
-> Corrupt files, OOo 3.3.0 on XP, external drive removed too fast?
-> Need help opening .odt document, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows XP
-> .odt corrupted. Shows only #, Hex-Editor 00 everywhere, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows Seven, standby feature involved?
-> Openoffice file lost, power loss on Ubuntu 10.04
-> Using OpenOffice.org To Repair A Corrupted RTF File, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows
-> Inaccessible File, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> Text Replaced with Hashes after Power Loss, OOo 3.0.1 on Windows Vista, power loss
-> This post in this topic, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> ASCII filter and ashes when opening a text file, OOo 3.3 on Windows 7
-> Recover my Document after OpenOffice.org crashes?, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> Corrupt odf file in Writer will not open will not recover, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> help me urgently , i lost all my work (oooforum), power supply problem
-> power cut - document corrupted (oooforum), power supply problem
-> ASCII filter problem (oooforum), no information
-> Seriously?? There's nothing I can do..., AOO 3.4.0 (first case) on Windows 7, power loss
-> File corrupted (only hashes), AOO 3.4 on Windows XP
-> .odt corrupted. Need help seeing if its recoverable, OOo 3.2 on LinuxMint
-> File changed to text encoded, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> Broken .odt file from OO.o on Ubuntu Linux, OOo 3.1 on Ubuntu, power supply issue
-> Everything just switched to another language?????, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> Essay due tomorrow turned into ########'s, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista, power supply issue
-> Problems with saved document, OOo 3.3.0 on Windows 7
-> File always opening with Text Import, OOo 3.1 on ?
-> Broken file, please help !!!!, OOo 3.2 on Windows 7
-> ODP tries to open in Writer instead of Impress, OOo 3.3 on Windows 7
-> File corrupted showing symbols: #####, AOO 3.4.1 (first case) on Windows Vista
-> Locked for editing, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8
-> Writer has replaced all words with symbols, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> The ##### problem, OOo 3.? on Windows Vista
-> Essay turned to hashes ####, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> Help recovering document, OOo 3.? on Windows Vista
-> Help! My text is all ##################, OOo 3.1 on Windows XP
-> Work replaced with "##########", AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 7
-> Bunch of #'s, OOo 3.3 on Windows 7
-> Text on document turned into all #####, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> Essay turned to hashes ####, OOo 3.x on Windows 7
-> Frequently corrupt files, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8
-> ASCII filter and hashes (####), AOO 3.4.1 on Windows
-> ODS file asks for text import then get ####, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8
-> Document shows only signs like #########, AOO 34.1
-> Everything is #, ???
-> Help, Saved Presentation & it's all #'s, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 7
-> Cannot open Calc document after power shortage, OOo 3.2 on Windows Vista, after power shortage
-> All my file contains is #####, OOo 3.3 on Windows Vista; crash due to resource overload
-> Recover corrupted fileOOo 3.1 on Windows 8
-> here in this topic, AOO 3.4.0 on Mac
-> The Dreaded Pound Symbols ####, OO 3.? on Windows 7 in a rather odd context
-> 7 pages of #####!!! AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8, application crash
-> ASCII filter, OOo 3.3 on Windows XP, saving to an external drive
-> Recover corrupted file, AOO 3.4.1
-> Corrupted File - What to do?, 4.0 on Windows 7. Battery ran out while machine was in hibernation mode
-> Pound sign problem has light at the end of the tunnel?, LibreOffice 3.4.4 on Ubuntu
-> Please Help! My entire file is only #######, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> ALL original OpenOffice text files .odt will not open!, OOo 3.2 on Windows 7 after an OOo crash
-> Very strange file issue, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 7, power loss (from user)
-> After recovery i lost my 60 days effort, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8
-> OpenOffice Document Reduced to #signs, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8
-> 20 page document changed to a weird 542 page document, OOo 3.1 on Mac
-> Hard Crash, File Corrupted, No Backups!?!, AOO 4 on Windows 8 after hard crash
-> Data Lost, OOo 3.1 on Windows 8
-> Corrupt File need help, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7, power shortage
-> Document shows up as #s, OOo 3.1 on Windows, power shortage
-> Cannot open Writer file, OOo 3.1
-> My file has been replaced with the # key, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 7
-> A document won't open correctly, AOO 4.0 on Windows 8.1
-> Encription, AOO 4.0 on Windows 7
-> Problem with a .~lock.####.odt# file, OOo 3.3 on Windows 7
-> Help - ASCII Filters, OOo 3.1 on Windows 8
-> Problem with file encoding, OOo 3 on Windows 7
-> Suddenly only get ####.... can anyone help me? AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 7
-> Docs are Read Only & All Words Replaced With ##, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8
-> Need Help Fixing/Decoding Corrupt .doc, AOO 4 on Windows 8.1
-> Characters Have Been Changed On A Document, AOO 3 on Windows 8
-> ASCII problem, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 8
-> Lost documentsAOO 4.0.0 on Mac OSX 10.9.2
-> DOC created in OpenOffice Encoded, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows, computer froze at shut down
-> XLS file says Text Import and comes up blank!, OOo 3.1 on Windows 8
-> Corrupt File recovery/Translating raw ASCII data to Text, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> Document ruined after saving - puts 263 pages of ###, AOO 4.0 on Windows 8
-> File Recovery Failing, Need Essay for Tomorrow, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> 77 pages of my file suddenly show only "pound sign (#)", AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> # key error, but recovered file is numbers and letters, AOO 4.1 on Windows 8
-> Upgraded to 4.1.1 now can't open document from old version, AOO 4.1 (?) on Windows 8
-> Serious File Compatibility Issue, OO 3 on Windows 8
-> Writer changes my documents to "text encoded" on its own, OO 3.3 on Windows 8
-> Corrupt File [Needing a Miracle], AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8, power failure problem
-> Document become # symbols, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> Corrupt File: ASCII & Hashtags, AOO 4.1.0 on Windows 8.1
-> ############# Thanks, AOO 4.1.1.
-> How to recover document with Error 0x800300fb, OOo 3.1 on Windows 7
-> Saved .odt corrupted, AOO 4 on Windows 7
-> ASCII filters, AOO 4.1.0 on Windows 8
-> Corrupt file full of #####, AOO 4.1.1 on ???
-> Need help something wrong with DOC. file!!!, OOo 3.1 on Windows 8, power failure
-> Text Import - File won't open properly, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 8.1
-> OpenOffice turn my text into #, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1
-> ASCII Filter Options, file corrupted, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1
-> Does anyone know this problem, about encrypted document ?, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 7
-> Saved File Replaced with Pound symbol, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> Files open in Writer instead of Calc, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1
-> ASCII what did it do and how can I fix it?, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1
-> Entire word document is replaced by infinte loop of #'s, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 8.1
-> ASCII Formatting Help, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> Entire document has become Pound symbols, OOo 3.1 on Windows (?)
-> Corrupted odt document, AOO .4.1 on Windows 7
-> Calc file locked, AOO 4 on Windows
-> Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue), AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> Cant open ODT_0 file, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows
-> OO Writer shows # as text, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 7
-> Corrupt File Recovery! Help!, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8, OS crash
-> please help me save my file, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> ASCII filter options, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 8.
-> OO portable corrupted my file: ASCII error! ...S-O-S, AOO 4.1.1 portable on Windows 8
-> Spreadsheet data missing, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 7
-> Corrupt Odt file with hashtags, any new hope in 2015?, AOO 4 on Windows 8
-> File turned to hashes after power cut, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> Unreadable Text, AOO portable on Windows XP
-> Locked file, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> Help my document is nothing but ##### 's, AOO 4.1 on Windows 8.1
-> Crashed files with ####, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1
-> OpenOffice DOC text full of # (pound character), AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1
-> Lost spreadsheet (###), AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 7
-> My Whole Document Is Now ####### ..., AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 7
-> Document is ### problem, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 8
-> Can't open document, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 8
-> PC crashed my document is corrupted; showing just # symbol, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> File locked and full of ###, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10
-> Document Totally Messed Up, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> # signs and no text, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows
-> Characters Have Changed, AOO 4 on Windows 8
-> I cannot open my spreadsheet, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows Vista
-> All my text was replaced by #, AOO 4 on Windows 10
-> Locked File on OpenOffice, lost all coursework, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 7
-> Calc document opens now in Writer, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Powercut now can not open file I was working on, power shortage with OOo 3 on Windows 7
-> Document changed to only hashtags., AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Calc file opens in Writer, all #'s, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1
-> Document Opening Fail, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Corrupt files with hashtags, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 8
-> Cannot open writer file, AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 10
-> File locked by unknown user, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> File content replaced with ###'s, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10
-> Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs..., AOO 4 on Windows 10
-> So my masters thesis is now 100 pages of #########, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 7
-> Corrupted file after updating version, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 7
-> Corrupted file, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 7
-> OpenOffice text document, text showing as ######, AOO 4 on Windows 10
-> Corrupted document, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Can't open .odt file makes ####, AOO 4.1 on Windows
-> Document Turned to All Pound Signs, AOO 4 on Windows 7
-> File is corrupt, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows
-> File is corrupted!!!, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> My saved file turned into #'s, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 7
-> Doc corrupted in the process of saving while battery off., AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 10
-> Document Locked by "Unknown User." Displaying ####, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows (?)
-> Encryption, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> ########......., AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> ########......., AOO 4.1.3 on Windows XP
-> How did I fix my ODT file, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10
-> Corrupted file, AOO 4.1.3 on Mac OS X 10.9.5
-> Problem with a odt file to solve, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> ASCII Filter Options?, AOO 4 on Windows 10
-> Opening documents changed to all # signs, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 7
-> Spreadsheets Are Now Gibberish..., AOO 3.4.1 on Windows 8
-> Lost document, OOo 3.1
-> My file is corrupt or maybe crash ####, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 8
-> Corrupted files, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> Can't access a s/sheet ... to do with ASCII/text import?, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 7
-> Lost document, pound/hash symbol, OOo 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> Corrupted file, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 7
-> All words were substituted with '#', AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Document Display Not Working, AOO 4.0.1 on Windows 10
-> All text replaced with '#', AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Opened Document says 'Text Import' then is blank!!!, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> Corrupted .odt file, AOO 3.1 on Windows Vista
-> AOO 4.1.3 Asks for profile setup on each startup, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 8
-> Missing documents help!!, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Paper replaced with pound signs(#), AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10
-> Corrupted ODT file shows hashtags instead of my data, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10
-> Document where the text has turned into # signs, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Help Recovering A File -- ASC II & Weird Icon Question, AOO 4.1 on Windows 8
-> Hashtags, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> Cannot open OO Writer bcs ASCII Filter Options appears, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Content replaced with #############, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 8.1
-> Missing Files, AOO 4 on Windows 10
-> Cannot open .odt file *appears with strange symbols, AOO 4.1.4 on Windows 10
-> Help, unwanted ASCII !!!, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10
-> Can't read file in OpenOffice Writer, AOO 4.1.4 on Windows
-> Cannot open my documents, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> Cannot open my file (###), AOO 4.1.5
-> Lost writings, AOO 4.1.4
-> Unable to open work, AOO 4.1.5
-> ASCII Filter Options and #####, AOO 4.1.0 on Windows 10 with power shortage
-> After crash all text turned to ####, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10
-> Saved .doc / computer turned off improperly / coded .doc, AOO 4.1.4 on Windows 10
-> How to "recover" my documents, AOO 4.1.1. on Windows
-> Corrupted .doc file with #####, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows
-> Cannot open .odt file *appears with strange symbols, AOO 4.1.1 (?), on Windows 8
-> Restart and Read-Error, AOO 4.1.0 on Windows XP
-> Read-Only, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 10
-> Lost Data at AOO Writer, AOO 4.1.2 on Windows 8.1, power shortage
-> Corrupt file on LibreOffice, LO 5.4.7 on Windows 10
-> Everything has turned into hashtags!, AOO 4.1.1 on Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.4
-> Damaged Writer file, AOO 4.1.5 on Windows 10
-> Documents file that has gibberish, OOo 3.1 on Windows
-> Document text gone, AOO 4.1.3 on Microsoft Windows 10
-> ASCII filter !?????, AOO 4.1.5
-> Lost all my work on writter. Text is a symbol., AOO 3.1 (?) on Windows
-> My spreadsheet opens as a Writer document, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 10
-> Lost all data in important Calc file, AOO 4.1.5 on Windows 10
-> ASCII Filter options after shut down, AOO 4.1.1 on Windows 10, after crash
-> Corrupted ODT file!!!, AOO 4 on Windows 10
-> Spreadsheet crashed, AOO 4.1.3 on Windows 8.1
-> Document with "#" everywhere, AOO 4.1.5 on Windows 10
-> Cant open calc document from external harddisk, AOO 4.1.5 on windows 10
-> ASCII pop up destroyed my text, AOO 4.1.5 on windows 10
-> Destroyed legal document, AOO 4.1.5 on Windows 10, machine stalled and rebooted.
So it doesn't seem to be related to the OS, neither to the version. But that's the first time I see such cases in a short time. Moreover, that's the first time I see that behavior in 3 years on the forums. There is something here.

If you've had enough courage to read until this, thanks! you may be interested in reporting your experience, see: Document Recovery Survey.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Safway » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:17 pm

Does *anyone* know if in the code of OO.o there is a time when it allocates memory and fills this allocated area with zeros before taking the actual contents of the file and placing it into the memory allocation? Is it possible that OO.o never gets past the point of filling with zeros before something happens?
If someone posts a fix for your question, then please post a quick thank you and then go to your first post, use the edit button to add [Solved] as the first word of the title so other people can rely on the fix as well.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby thales » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:56 am

i had the same problem. i was writing (openoffice writer) with my laptop. then the battery went down. afster that, instead of my document of 200kb, a document of 800 kb. when i try to open it, i have a box "options filter ASCII"... and when i open the document, it is only full of ###. i haven't never checked on the option about backups.
i tried to rename the file in .zip, but the zip seems corrupted.
it's a file i worked on for long time, there isn't some temporary file in the pc i can recover, in some folder?
please help me. it's a document of work...
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby TheGurkha » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:00 pm

@thales

You could look in the backup folder (see [Tutorial] The OOo user profile).

(If a document is important, back it up manually as you work on it. Save often, and save in different locations.)
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon May 18, 2009 1:58 pm

For the record, some additional information in that thread: ###### No Text, perhaps you should check and see if you can reproduce it.
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby johnnieskywalker » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:51 am

I had the same problem and couldn't locate any temporary files, and followed everything i found on google, including the rename to zip, temp files.... blah blah. The only thing that worked for me was using "recuva" a freeware undelete utlility by piriform and enabled "deep scan" . It found the same .odt file from the day before (in the same location as the newly fudged one) and successfully recovered it. no more pound signs.....
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Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby RoryOF » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:16 pm

Hagar de l'Est wrote:Well, that's rather strange, it's at least the 4th case of such hashes.
-> Corrupted Writer file OOo 2.3 (GNU/Linux)
-> My 18 page file is now #######s (2.3, Windows XP)
-> ASCII Filter Options Dialogue Question (2.4.1, Windows XP)
-> Here, 3.0.1, Windows 7.
Added topics after first posting this message:
-> Retrieving document (3.0, Windows XP), again with a shutting down issue
-> File now contains nothing but # characters (3.1, Windows Vista)
-> Damaged File (3.0, GNU/Linux Ubuntu 9.04), again shutdown (?)
-> ###### No Text (3.1, Windows XP)
-> File save error (3.1.1, Vista 64 bit)

So it doesn't seem to be related to the OS, neither to the version. But that's the first time I see such cases in a short time. Moreover, that's the first time I see that behavior in 3 years on the forums. There is something here.


It is difficult to get coherent statements of what happened with file failures and if USB devices were in use; any question tips the Poster off to what you are looking for, and they usually do not reply on tha subject. I haven't had a file failure in four years of using StarOffice then OpenOffice; my systems are stable - if I get one bluescreen in six months it is one too many. I don't normally use USB storage except for transfer to non networked machines or remote sites, but I have been using it somewhat more over the last few months to see if I get any funnies. I haven't had.

There are reports (sorry, no reference to hand) of USB sticks bought over the Internet which are suggested of questionable quality; it was suggested that they failed quality control and have had bad blocks mapped out by cowboy merchants who bought the rejects, but that a User reformat inserts such blocks into the memory map. My suspicion, and it is only that, is that there is much bad USB discipline - sticks whipped out without the correct Eject procedure. Earlier versions of Win2000 and XP had delayed writes to the USB device, which delayed writes wre removed by an updated USB kernel in later SPs. Also, I suspect that many people finish a file and immediately slap the laptop lid down or press the Off switch, trusting (vainly!) that the OS will save everything. These are only my thoughts on what may be happening. I have one friend whom I advise; she is a heavy user of USB sticks and has had observance of the above points firmly impressed on her; she has not had a file failure.

Edit: loss of the working file in case of a sudden system shutdown, be it hardware fault or power failure, is to be expected. Europe is not in general given to brown-outs affecting the power, so we may not hav so many failures due to sudden shut-downs.
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:42 pm

Well, honestly, I don't think the problem is with USB sticks. Usually, users do tell that the file was on a stick.
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:24 am

Have filed a bug report, I hope the devs will consider it: Issue 107847 - File content changed to hashes at crash or power loss.

 Edit: Jan. 5th 2014
For the record here are the discussions about this problem on the AOO mailing lists (devs don't come in this forum):
- On dev ML (Dec. 15th, 2013): http://www.mail-archive.com/dev@openoff ... 15177.html (no reply at all as of today)
- On users ML (Jan. 4th, 2014): http://www.mail-archive.com/users@openo ... 02730.html 
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:28 pm

As I thought, I got the standard reply of the devs. Not really surprising but still disappointing.
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby shubhanyu » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:43 pm

What was that standard reply? They won't work on it? :crazy:
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:58 pm

Not reproducible. Then they can't work on it.

That's the common way of saying: too hard to track, no time for this. I hope it won't backfire in the future if a critical hidden issue will get systematic until certain circumstances and lead to massive data loss for users.
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby kai_paul » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:28 pm

Thanks for the effort made on this so far. I have Ubuntu 8.10 at home, Windows NT (2003, I believe) at work. OO 3.1 on both systems. I have my files on a USB stick. I have three corrupted files (ascii filter question, all # sign) in the same folder today, all of which I worked on in the office, now broken at home. I also had a few separate incidences earlier on a different memory stick. I changed the memory stick as a result of that a few weeks ago. Thus my USB stick is quite fresh, branded (Lexar) and I don't do stupid things (like pulling it out without ejecting). I always close OO before shutting down the computer. There MUST be a systematic bug here. I will check whether I can reproduce it. (But even if I can, it will probably just be on my systems...sigh)
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby acknak » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:40 pm

... I don't do stupid things (like pulling it out without ejecting). I always close OO before shutting down the computer.

Closing OOo may not be sufficient; you may have to exit the quickstarter as well. In fact, I wonder if this could be the source of all the trouble, and the reason that it seems to affect WIndows more often: OOo uses the quickstarter by default on WIndows; only a few Linux systems use it.

Also, do you open the files directly from the USB stick? If so, you could make things a lot safer if you only use the USB stick to transfer files--copy the files you want to work with to the hard drive and open the files only from the hard drive. Copy them back to the stick when you need to take them somewhere else. That will always leave you with a safe copy of the current version of you documents.

If you're on Linux, you can use the rsync command to synchronize the contents of the USB stick with your hard drive, no matter what files have changed on either medium. I'm sure Windows has something similar.
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby kai_paul » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:51 am

Thanks acknak, I will use these hints to minimize the risk and see how it goes. I find the suggestion that the QuickStarter is the culprit plausible because (for me at least) these problems never occur during a session, but only when I shut down my Windows computer after working with OO. I also think this affects only files I had worked with in that session (but I'm not entirely sure about that). Is quickstarter doing something with the files that had been open?
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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

Postby vasa1 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:35 am

So one possible way to minimise the ###, is to turn off Quickstarter. I've done this in Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Memory. Here, under OpenOffice.org Quickstarter, I unclick "Load OpenOffice.org during system start-up".

Is there any other precaution to be taken to ensure that Quickstarter doesn't pop up again like Glenn Close did for Michael Douglas in some movie?
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