[Hint] How did I fix my ODT file

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Re: [Hint] How did I fix my ODT file

Postby RoryOF » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:27 pm

Depending on a lot of things, the first thing to try is to make (on a working machine) a bootable linux USB key; if the broken computer has a functioning motherboard, it may then be booted from the linux USB key and the files in question copied to another USB key. If that does not work because the motherboard is broken, the next step is to remove the hard disk and put it in a working desktop.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 18.04.3 (mostly 64 bit version) and very infrequently on Win2K/XP
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Re: [Hint] How did I fix my ODT file

Postby John_Ha » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:03 pm

tazzy1981 wrote:Can anyone help me fix these files and maybe tell me how, so if I find more files I can reconstruct them myself?

I have never before seen a file like your two files.

They are not .xls or .xlsx files - they are flat ASCII files but strangely they are full of the " U " character so they cannot contain any user information, not even in encrypted form. I cannot understand how AOO could have created these files. When opened in a Hex editor the both look like this:

Clipboard01.png

You could see [Tutorial] How to find and un-delete AOO temporary files for detailed instructions on how to

a) use Previous Versions (W7 and later) to recover previous versions of the file (is there something similar on MacOS and Linux?);

b) recover your file as it was when you last opened or saved it, or as it was when it was last saved with AutoRecovery;

c) find previous versions of the file in the folder it is located in, but which have since been deleted;

d) un-delete the temporary files AOO wrote while you were editing the file, and then deleted. This will recover your file as it was when you last opened or you last saved it.

All .odt, .doc, .docx, .xls and .xlsx files are actually ZIP files and can be unzipped. For example this is what a .odt file looks like when unzipped:

Clipboard02.png

You should ask someone with good computer skills to analyse all the files on the disk. Some files and/or folders may be set to Hidden in which case you need to make them visible by Start > Control Panel > Folder options > View > Advanced settings ..., where you tick Show hidden files and folders.
AOO 4.1.6, Windows 7 Home 64 bit

See the Writer Guide, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and Writer for students.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: [Hint] How did I fix my ODT file

Postby RoryOF » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:30 pm

I confirm what John_Ha says: they are both flat files full of U's. They suggest to me that a hard disk failure occurred, and that a recovery program tried to clean the damaged area of the hard disk, but this is only a guess.
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