ASCII filter and ashes when opening a text file

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ASCII filter and ashes when opening a text file

Postby KevinBurke » Thu May 17, 2012 2:15 pm

Hi Folks,
I have a problem with this ASCII filter as well. I'm trying to open a .odt file that I access often, now the filer option dialog pops up, and whatever I set in it, the file now is just full of hash marks (########) and nothing else. Did this file get corrupted and is lost, or I need to set this filter option in a special way? Why is it popping up now, all of a sudden? Did it in OO 3.3 and just installed 3.4, same situation. Other .odt files open normally.
Thanks for any assistance.
Best Regards, Kevin

 Edit: Split from initial topic (different issue). Hagar, Moderator. 
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby RoryOF » Thu May 17, 2012 3:01 pm

Almost certainly this file is corrupted; try opening a copy of the file (made at system level) with an archive manager. If it opens, then extract content.xml; in that you will find your content, but will need to reformat. If it doesn't open (usual message is that archive is damaged/incomplete), look for files of about the correct size and date in the OpenOffice backup directory, with arbitrary names/extensions; move these to a temporary directory and rename to type .odt. Now try to open them.

Such file corruption can occur for a number of reasons: shutting down computer too fast after saving the file (disk buffers not yet flushed), working direct to a USB stick (they can and do go bad), working direct to a USB stick/device and not observing the operating system protocal for USB removal, or an OpenOffive or Operating System crash. Sometimes high demand applications (sound or vision playing) can cause such corruption. The message is "backup, backup, backup".
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby KevinBurke » Thu May 17, 2012 4:44 pm

Hi Rory,
Thanks very much for your quick reply. OK so it's corrupted, and I just checked the backup copy but it's bad as well, unfortunately. And just realized that OO doesn't make backups by default, has to be selected, and of course it wasn't selected previously, so no backup of the file. I figured OO would always make a backup of files, it auto-saves by default but doesn't backup, and most folks probably don't think of going in there to set that feature . . . . . might be a good change in a future version.
I found an archive manager named FAR http://www.farmanager.com have you heard of this one? I couldn't find any others, and not sure if this is what I need.
Thanks again for your assistance, it's much appreciated.
Best Regards, Kevin
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby peterroots » Thu May 17, 2012 9:38 pm

never heard for FAR but winzip or 7zip are two that spring to mind
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby RoryOF » Thu May 17, 2012 9:47 pm

FAR seems to be an archive manager in the sense that it tracks your documents. Winzip or 7zip are what are generally understood in computing as archive managers; they compress a selection of files into one large file, using differing compression techniques. Winzip or 7zip are probably on your computer already - try making a copy of your .odt file, rename it to .zip, and double click it. The inbuilt archive manager of Windows will probably open it to reveal the files stored inside.
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby KevinBurke » Fri May 18, 2012 6:10 am

Hi Rory,
I changed the filetype to .zip and tried with 7zip but would not open the file, told me "incorrect command line" No luck opening with Windows either, tells me that it is an invalid .zip file. If you have any other suggestions I'll give them a try, any sort of utility out there to crack open a bad OO file? Office has various 3rd party recovery programs, just curious if there's any way to save a .odt file, this must happen fairly often around the world. This file never left the computer, I suppose there was an OS crash that caused the corruption, I can't remember exactly.
I was looking for a place on the OO site to send a suggestion about the backup file saving feature, but didn't see any place to do that. A default backup would be handy, I bet most people wouldn't think to set that feature when they first install OO.
Thanks for your assistance, much appreciated.
Cheers, Kevin
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby RoryOF » Fri May 18, 2012 7:19 am

A typical fault with a zip file (nd all OpenOffice native formats are zip files) is that there is a damaged file index. There are some public domain utilities which will attempt to fix a bad zip file - so long since I've used any I can't even remember their names! Very rarely is there a complete fix, but one _might_ recover some text or data if it was a spreadsheet/database (outside chance in my view).

I am aware that there was some discussion on the dev lists about the save process; this got over-shadowed by the AOO 3.4 release. We will bring it back into prominence when AOO 4.0 is being considered.
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby KevinBurke » Fri May 18, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi Rory,
OK not a huge crisis, can probably scrape together the content again. What about http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1532, looks like it uses dos commands to unzip the file, I gave it a try and there's no similar command in Windows 7,not sure what the dollar sign is for either.
I found a few commercial zip repair utilities, but don't want to buy and install more software just for this issue. Thanks again for the assistance, keep up the good work with OO.
Cheers, Kevin
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Re: Disable the ascii filter options when opening a text fil

Postby RoryOF » Fri May 18, 2012 4:09 pm

The commands I have seen from a quick look at the URL you cite are linux commands. To get to DOS in Windows click on the Run setting on Start Button and type cmd. As far as I remember, Winzip 7 (no experience with later versions) has a Rebuild archive option, (perhaps "Repair damaged file") and can run under Windows. I think Winzip is currently at 16.5, so you can see how out of date my info is! Winzip 7 was (is?) freely downloadable. It would be worth finding a copy and trying it, because if you even get half your data back, isn't it better than none, but don't be too optimistic.
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