All text replaced with '#'

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All text replaced with '#'

Postby Anglo » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:17 pm

It appears that a piece of writing I have been working on has either been corrupted or reformatted in some way, I think. Otherwise, someone's accidentally ruined my work. Which... fine. I'll just have to redo it if that's the case. But I wrote around a page of writing last night, saved it, and when I've come back to it today, there is just seven pages of '#'. I'll be honest, I'm not happy, because that's just a considerable amount of my time wasted, time I spent writing something I was very happy with.

When I open the file, a small box opens up first saying "ASCII Filter Options" and with the options to change Character Set, Font and Language, all of which are set to normal (assuming that Character Set 'Western Europe (DOS/OS2-437/US) is normal). However, I've never seen this box appear on any other file I've used, whether I've downloaded it or made the file myself, and I've worked with hundreds, probably thousands of files. So the fact that I'm getting this box just here convinces me a little that something other than a simple typing error has happened.

Assuming this is a technological error and not a human error, would anyone be able to assist? I can send the file if needs be, but I'd rather not have to start from scratch because as I said, I was very happy with the product so far...
Thanks.

(P.S. I did also run several scans and my computer is clean)
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Re: All text replaced with '#'

Postby RoryOF » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:32 pm

Your file is damaged; experience suggests that the ### and ASCII filter message indicate there will be no recoverable content.

Your best hope of recovery is to try and undelete any temporary file OpenOffice was using. As soon as possible do the following:

Download Recuva or PhotoRec (only one needed) and let it do an indepth recovery of deleted files on your computer. You may get a file containing some or all of your data (or not). Do this as a first priority; other use of the computer may overwrite any existing but deleted files and prevent their recovery. There is no guarantee that you will recover anything useful.

Such file loss may happen because of over-hasty or improper close down of the computer; the OO file format is complex and takes slightly longer to write than a flat file. One should not (for OO file safety) hibernate a computer with open OO files; one should also use the formal shut down procedure or hibernate procedure and then wait a few extra seconds (ten ought be sufficient) for all disk activity to cease before powering off the computer. This allows time for the software and hardware write buffers to flush to disk - remember there are hardware write buffers within hard drives, so these must be given time to clear before power is removed.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 18.04.4 (mostly 64 bit version) and very infrequently on Win2K/XP
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Re: All text replaced with '#'

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:58 pm

See also: [Tutorial] The Dreaded Pound Signs: file reduced to ####.
Good luck.

I hope you had backups.
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Re: All text replaced with '#'

Postby Anglo » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:41 am

Thanks for the responses so far, I'll check out that link now. I'm running PhotoRec, hopefully that will turn up something.

Much appreciated!
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