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Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:16 pm
by acknak
Just to be clear: I'm only guessing. I have absolutely no rationale or evidence that the quickstarter is causing a problem. I just wondered about it out loud.

The only recommendations I have are the ones I would make to anyone using OOo:
• Make regular backups, in separate files, as you work on a document.
Make the copies at an interval that you can afford to lose; if an hour's work is too precious, make them every half-hour.
• Work with files on your hard drive, and only copy them to/from a USB drive as needed to transport them.
• Work in OOo's native ODF format and make temporary copies in other formats as needed.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:35 pm
by exegete77
Since one of the threads involved Mac OS X Snow Leopard, that suggests that it is not Quick Starter, since that is not an option for OS X. Therefore, the issue seems more comprehensive than that.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:59 am
by Bellis
Hallo,
I had the same problem on three different .odt files which I protected with a password and kept on an USB external drive. I worked on them and experienced no issue with my PCs, but today as I tried to open my work file, OO didn't ask me the password as usual, but prompted me with a sort of encoding filter request; at last I found my file was full of pound signs. I checked my other documents and discovered two more similar cases.
I assure there was no problem with the safe removal of my pendrive, no system freezing or crash, and I have no Quickstart function activated for both my OOs. It is quite strange and I see that the spread of this problem is disturbingly wide. At first I thought the problem could be some bug in the password protection, but now I don't think so.
I hope the information I provided here will be somehow useful.
Regards.
Bellis

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:31 pm
by Christian
One question which may help to locate the source problem. Are the files that become filed with zeros around the same size of the previous working file?

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:03 pm
by Hagar Delest
From what I remember, no, they are usually smaller.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:36 pm
by Kaneda15096858
I have presicely the same problem. OpenOffice started freezing once or twice since a couple of days ago, but usually it recovered any document I was working on without a hitch. Then today, it happened again, but when I tried to recover and open the file I was working on, I get this stinker of a problem. Asci option and with the document full of #. Worst thing is that I remember specificially saving the file just before the crash happened. As in, I saved it, and started typing again, and then it froze, so I don't understand why Office screwd up the file. My only theory is it was still saving when the crash happened and so office corupted the shiz out of it. Really irriatating and frustating. Lost about 2 days of work. 15 pages.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:06 pm
by Villeroy
File corruption can happen at any time on any system with any software.
The one and only remedy is a decent backup strategy.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:32 am
by stu_griffin
Hi all
I have the same problem with an .odt file asking me to change the ASCII Filter Options and on opening the file is full of pages and pages of ################'s that grow in pages by the second.
I have read countless posts and tried many different recovery options but cant find the file where the back up would be saved to as the folder doesnt exist! I am aware my chances of recovery are bleak but am posting a link to the file so someone with a bit more expertise can take a look as a last resort.
Your help would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.mediafire.com/?u6192zynaq1cf46

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:23 am
by acknak
So sorry, there's no valid data in there to recover--nothing but zeros.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:13 pm
by stu_griffin
Thought as much but thanks very much for looking

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:32 am
by Matttttttttttt
I've had this same problem. One of many problems with openoffice. I was never able to recover the document and had to retype it. The only thing you can do is print your document before closing out, that way if it's messed up the next time you open the document you can at least retype what you had.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:58 pm
by TheGurkha
Matttttttttttt wrote: The only thing you can do is print your document before closing out, that way if it's messed up the next time you open the document you can at least retype what you had.


Or you could make backups. Even saving the file to the same hard disk, in another folder, with a diferent filename is better than nothing.

Re: 22 page term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 12:59 am
by aqualung
Looking at the loooong list of reports, diligently compiled by Hagar, from users reporting the same, or a very similar, problem, I wonder if OOo has a built-in "crash reporter" like some other open-source software projects (e.g., Mozilla)?

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 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:
-> 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
-> 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
-> 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 Seven
-> 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
-> 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

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.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:06 am
by Hagar Delest
Yes, there is one (you've been lucky not to see it once!!!). But it works only in case of "application" or "soft" crash: OOo shuts down by himself and either restarts automatically and the reporting dialog appears or it appears at next OOo start.

But in these cases, I fear there is something else that doesn't trigger the crash report. OOo sees the files as "just" corrupted but it can't find any trace of any crash. I guess that OOo needs to be still "alive" when crashing or at least being aware that he's dying and has enough resource to start the reporting process.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:50 pm
by aqualung
Well, I'm just trying to think of a way that this treasure trove of information that you've compiled -- literally dozens of reports of data loss -- can be leveraged to enable developers to fix the problem(s).
However, while the outcome is the same -- files that had content are now empty or filled with marijuana signs :mrgreen: hash marks -- the steps leading up to the event are not known in every case (and therefore not always reproducible). We know that it is not limited to any one operating system: it happens under all flavors of Windows, several flavors of Linux, and even Mac OS X.

One comment in this thread from forum volunteer Safway struck me as perceptive, but then again I'm not a software engineer and am not really qualified to evaluate it:

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?


There may be something during the sequence of opening a file, keeping a copy of it locked on the hard disk, and recovering from a crash that OOo does less well than other programs. If we could only cast this in language that developers will recognize, then maybe it will be accepted as a bug. And if accepted as a bug, maybe it will be fixed... some day.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:57 pm
by RoryOF
I suspect there is a flaw in the logic of OOo's file save procedure. It used be that one worked to a file, and when it was saved, it was saved to a temporary name, File.tmp. Then the old file was renamed to File.bak, and the new version File.tmp was renamed to File.odf so that even if there was a crash that prevented the new file being written, there was a .bak version of it available. I vaguely remember that there is some reason why this is not done in OOo, but I amn't minded to look it up. Time for a nap before dinner!

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:59 pm
by Hagar Delest
aqualung wrote:Well, I'm just trying to think of a way that this treasure trove of information that you've compiled -- literally dozens of reports of data loss -- can be leveraged to enable developers to fix the problem(s).

You can try to add a comment in the bug report. But I think that the devs are quite afraid to dig into it. I hope they are aware of it because it's a major bug leading to data loss (even without crash sometimes IIRC) and it started from 3.0, there had never been such reports before 3.x.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:55 pm
by malorimer
I was opening the file, and my computer locked up. I was reading on here and tried some different stuff. I thought it was hopeless.
In Windows 7 What I found to work was:
Goto the File location - Right Click On The File > Restore Previous Session .... Windows searched for a bit and Then found files from the last time I saved it.

Praise the Lord! :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo:

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:18 pm
by Bill
malorimer wrote:I was opening the file, and my computer locked up. I was reading on here and tried some different stuff. I thought it was hopeless.
In Windows 7 What I found to work was:
Goto the File location - Right Click On The File > Restore Previous Session .... Windows searched for a bit and Then found files from the last time I saved it.

Praise the Lord! :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo:

Should work for Vista Business and Vista Ultimate, too. For Vista Home, use Shadow Explorer:

Recover Files with Shadow Copies on Any Version of Windows Vista

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:26 pm
by korg91
on Linux I SOLVED (more or less) this way: I managed to recover a friend's document looking for an older (but one of the very last) version which is treated as a deleted file. So I used a data recovery tool: Foremost. Note that the document was a .doc file. I think that there are some problems with .odt files (read something around)...anyway you could try another tool...take a look here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DataRecovery

here are the simple steps for noobs:

1) install foremost:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo apt-get install foremost



2) copy every deleted .doc file from the whole hard disk to the usb key (i didn't try checking only the folder where the file was saved...anyway you could give it a try...):

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
sudo foremost -t jpg -i /dev/sda -o /media/<usb key name>


where <usb key name> is your usb device name

Note that recoverd files will not have their original names...they will just have some numbers instead of it...good search :)

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:56 am
by Lyris
I just had the same thing happen to me. Words honestly do not describe the feeling. I was 99% close to submitting a 30 page tech report.

Yes, I know, I should be making backups, but let's be serious, I don't feel the need to cover myself this way in any other program. This is not the first time OO has done this either.

Fortunately I managed to recover a 75% complete version with the Windows tip that malorimer posted above - I would never have thought to try that, so many thanks.

This is not the first time OO has wiped a document. Accordingly, I will be moving to MS Office.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 5:25 am
by thomasjk
Well shortly you will be complaining about the same thing with MS Office. Guess what you can't recover anything when Word corrupts your document. You better have good backup strategy.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 5:43 am
by Lyris
Really? I used MS Office for many years before moving to OO and haven't ever had this problem with it - or any other Windows program, for that matter.

Granted I've come across corrupted files before. But generally I could get something out of them. The OO problem where the entire file is wiped and replaced by #s seems pretty unique.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:20 pm
by acknak
There are plenty of anecdotes on both sides. I've used OOo for nearly ten years and never had a corrupted document. Others here who use MS Office have lost more than one.

Such stories mean nothing. All it takes is for your specific system to have some kind of memory glitch--a cosmic ray, maybe--and your document is toast, no matter what software you're using. You have to be prepared to lose everything open in the current session; that is, if there's a glitch and you lose everything in the current document, it shouldn't be a disaster.

The simplest way to do that, with OOo or any other document preparation software, is to develop the habit of saving a new copy of the working file, under a different name, any time you've done enough work that losing it would be a big problem. That might be every 15 minutes, or once a day, depending on what you're doing.

I generally handle that by adding the current date in the file name, then I can just add a letter at the end, or edit the date, as I save new versions.

You're right: it should not be necessary, but it is, no matter what software you're using.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:00 pm
by RoryOF
Like acknak, I've never lost an OpenOffice document; I have two substantial documents under regular editing, 100K+ words, each showing 3500+ saves. No difficulties ever with them. I make a point of saving each day's output before I start the next day's edits, so that at most I would lose a day's work. I also keep several copies on other machines and on a few backup devices. So far I have not needed any in five years using OpenOffice

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:33 pm
by Xyzzy
Lyris wrote:I used MS Office for many years before moving to OO and haven't ever had this problem with it... Granted I've come across corrupted files before. But generally I could get something out of them. The OO problem where the entire file is wiped and replaced by #s seems pretty unique.


That might be because until a few years ago, word processors saved documents as uncompressed text with (often special) characters as formatting codes. "Corruption" in those cases was often just a bunch of special characters missing or in the wrong place; that's why we could often retrieve what we'd written in them even if a file was so damaged that its word processor couldn't read it.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:00 pm
by vincelight
Same general problem: OO spreadsheet that I update every week. This week upon opening, it
complained about ASCII FIlter Options. Using the default, it opens in a text document (?)
and it's all #'s
I've tried some of the previous suggestions...zip file didn't work. there's no backup file. can't
even make any sense of the document if opened in a regular text editor. tried checking the file
system for any corruption, but none present.
I keep the file on an SD card which I thought would prevent me from ever losing
the file...sigh.

Is it gone? Anyone have any ideas?

http://www.mediafire.com/download/x75pb ... s_copy.ods

Thanks in advance!

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:22 pm
by thomasjk
Unfortunately your file is gibberish. No useful data is there. Was this file originally a .xls file? Check the user profile viewtopic.php?f=74&t=12426 for filename.bak. Hopefully you have made backup copies.

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:29 pm
by vincelight
it was a pure ods file. created as ods and kept as ods. no backup copies. :(

Re: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:02 pm
by acknak
Try this one:

(attached file deleted)