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Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:59 am
by Devon
I have been working on a large text assignment using OpenOffice Writer, and recently I saved as I normally do, but now when I open the file, it comes up with the problem in this attachment, with the ASC2 importing options, I click okay, the file opens and it's 6 pages of #####################. Is all my work gone?? Help!!

Re: Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:13 am
by RoryOF
I fear so. Look in the OpenOffice backup directory, pointed to by /Tools /Options/ Paths/ Backups and see if there is a bak file. Also look in /Tools /Options/ Paths/ Temporary Files and rename any files with arbitrary names to the correct filetype and see if they open with any of your information. Run PhotoRec or Recuva and see if a deleted version can be found.

Re: Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:46 am
by Devon
I downloaded Recuva and it recovered a .lock(filename).odt# file. Is that any use to me?

Re: Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:01 am
by RoryOF
The lock file is no use in this case. It exists only to prevent multiple writes to the one file.

Re: Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:25 pm
by Hagar Delest
Sadly nothing to do I fear. See: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs.
Still using OO 3? What version exactly?

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

Re: Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:43 pm
by RoryOF
It may help prevent this happening in future if you remember that the OpenOffice file structure is a compressed archive; this takes longer to construct than an ordinary file. To speed up their response, modern computers may use software delayed write buffers, and hard disks certainly use various forms of internal buffering, where files may be accumulated in their internal buffers, sorted as to their space on the disk platters, and then written in one pass of the disk head across the platter. These processes can take some time - only seconds, but if the computer is shut down too quickly such writes may not be completed, leaving the archive OpenOffice file in a partially written state; this can manifest itself as a "damaged archive", or in other circumstances as preallocated space in the archive which has not yet been overwritten by the correct data (the "####" sequence you have seen). To avoid these problems I recommend that one should not be too hasty in powering off the computer. Close OpenOffice, then collect your papers and pens, then power down.

By observing this simple procedure I can show several files with thousands of saves, the work of years.

Re: Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:58 am
by Devon
Thanks, I thought that was the issue, will make sure I take a while to power off from now on.

Re: Serious File Compatibility Issue

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:07 am
by RusselB
If you shut down using the Windows menu system, rather than the actual power button on your computer, then Windows (from 95 on, I believe) will not allow the system to finish shutting down until all disk writes are completed.
I see you that you are using Windows 8, and I can't say for sure about that version, but my systems, running Windows 7 won't shut down until the disk writes are completed.