ASCII Formatting Help

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ASCII Formatting Help

Postby lw21087 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:00 pm

Hey, I'm new to the forums, and I'm pretty sure this is a question that's already been addressed, but I had two very important files lost from OpenOffice Writer, and I wondered if there was anyone who might be willing to help me get them back? I've read through a lot of explanations and I know what the problem is (closing my computer too fast after saving, resulting in pages of ########) and I've tried about a dozen different things to try and get the files back. But honestly I'm just not very technical minded, and I only piece together about half of the steps I'm supposed to follow to fix it before I get lost. Is there anyone who might be willing to try and help me out? I'd be happy to send over the files, and I would be majorly thankful to anyone willing to give it a shot.

Thanks for taking the time to read!
OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows Vista
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Re: ASCII Formatting Help

Postby jrkrideau » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:00 pm

I assume that you read 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs and realise that the odds are not good.

On the other hand, it seems rare or unlikely that you would lose two files like that. I don't remember anyone ever reporting this.

I'd suggest posting the files here if they are small (128k IIRC) or using a hosting site such as MediaFire or Dropbox and posting the link here.

Good luck.
LibreOffice 6.4.3.2; Ubuntu 20.04
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Re: ASCII Formatting Help

Postby John_Ha » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:05 pm

You can try to recover the temporary files which Writer wrote while you were editing the file(s) and deleted when you closed Writer.

Using RECUVA to recover Writer temporary files

These may also be useful:

Using 7-ZIP

Inside an odt file

Hints on how to prevent it happening

Another on RECUVA
LO 6.4.4.2, Windows 10 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: ASCII Formatting Help

Postby lw21087 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:07 pm

Yes, I did haha, and it's not an especially encouraging sign. I thought asking someone more knowledgeable than myself was at least worth a shot compared to just giving up on them altogether, because it would be a pretty big loss if they do turn out to be unrecoverable.

And the files are a bit private in nature, so I would prefer to send whomever might be able to help a private message with copies of the files.

Thanks for taking the time to respond!
OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows Vista
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Re: ASCII Formatting Help

Postby lw21087 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:10 pm

John_Ha wrote:You can try to recover the temporary files which Writer wrote while you were editing the file(s) and deleted when you closed Writer.

Using RECUVA to recover Writer temporary files

These may also be useful:

Using 7-ZIP

Inside an odt file

Hints on how to prevent it happening

Another on RECUVA


Thanks, I tried Recuva and didn't have much luck, but I may give those others a shot. I appreciate it!
OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows Vista
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Re: ASCII Formatting Help

Postby John_Ha » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:11 pm

lw21087 wrote:And the files are a bit private in nature, so I would prefer to send whomever might be able to help a private message with copies of the files.

See my PM to you.
LO 6.4.4.2, Windows 10 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: ASCII Formatting Help

Postby John_Ha » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:55 pm

I am afraid all data has been lost from the files. The first is full of random garbage. The second is as empty as a blank sheet of paper. No application is going to get anything out of the files.

If you don't have a backup of your data, and you don't have Tools > Options > LoadSave > Save a backup copy switched on (it saves the previously saved version of fred.odt as fred.bak then your only chance is to attempt to recover some of the temporary files which Writer wrote while you were editing the files. See my posts about RECUVA and act quickly - the space occupied by the data has been marked as "available for use" and the longer you wait, and the more you use, power off/on the PC, etc, the sooner the space will be re-used and the data lost. I would have thought that if it happened in the past few days you have a good chance of getting something back.

IN future, try some of these:

To save backups, open a Dropbox account - it is free and you get 2GB of space. It creates a folder called Dropbox on your PC. Everything you put in the Dropbox folder on your PC (or in an folder in Dropbox etc) is copied to and saved on the Dropbox website. I'm pretty sure you can go back to earlier versions but if not, I would create folders like Day_1, Day_2; or week_1, Week_2; or even Jan 2015, Feb 2015 etc, so even if I completely overwrote good files with garbage files, I could go back to the previous day or week or month.

Another useful trick I used at work when writing long reports was to use PKZIP to create a ZIP file of the folder with the report files at the end of each day. I then saved the ZIP file as 2015_04_30_Report ABC, using the date in the name. I could then go back and find any day, and re-create the folder, and hence the report, exactly as it was on that day.

A 32 GB USB stick is about $10 - plug it in and copy everything to it every day using a free backup utility like Cobian. I use Cobian, and a hard disk, and I can recreate my PC to what it was at 4pm on any of the previous 45 days by doing Incremental backups; followed by a Full backup after 15 Incremental backups, and keeping 3 complete Full backups with their Incremental backups. I have never lost a data file in 15 years despite having my PC once destroyed by lightning, having a disk fail, and having to rebuild the PC from scratch on two occasions.
LO 6.4.4.2, Windows 10 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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