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Lost documents

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:31 am
by cnevi
The icon on saved ODT files turns sort of black and when opened I am directed to ASCII Filter Options. When I click OK the files open but usually consist of only the opening line preceded by two pound signs, and occasionally up to 90 pages of pound signs, slashes, and other gibberish that mean nothing to me. I have lost many files this way, some of which were opened and revised recently but most have not been opened for a while. Is there any way I can recover these files? I am a computer novice and do not understand even the simplest technical terms.

Re: Lost documents

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 9:05 am
by floris v
First, welcome to the forum.
If your documents only have pound signs, that means that they're lost. End of story. That may be a result of power loss while the file was being written to the hard disk, or damage to a usb device.
It's not bad to be a computer novice - everybody has been that. But it's a dangerous thing to be a computer novice if you work a lot with computers, and it will make working with complex programs like Apache OpenOffice a bad experience. It is essential that you get a basic understanding of the fundamentals, like that you don't turn of off your computer by pulling the power plug, don't turn off your laptop when you still have programs open that are doing something useful - remember that it may take some time before a file that you save is written to the hard disk, that's simply because the software that manages the hard disk "thinks" differently from you. As a result your file may not have been written to the hard disk when you think it has.

Re: Lost documents

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 10:04 pm
by Hagar Delest
Sadly, quite nothing to do I fear, see: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs.

Check the temporary folder of the system (see in OO Tools>Options>OO>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. If you have not rebooted, you might have those files still there.

If it had been a .odt, you may have been able to recover something but .doc is a binary format, hence the alien characters. Only MS guys might be able to decipher it. That's why open standards like ODF (.odt) were created...

If you want to help fix this problem, you can also do this survey created for this very problem: Document Recovery Survey.