Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?

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Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?

Postby wavy3 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:07 am

Hi,

My computer crashed last night while my document was open (my 60,000 word novel, I'm an idiot, how could I do this?) and when I tried to open the file today it kept saying the file was locked by an unknown user and doing the select ASCII filter thing that I see people have had trouble with in the past. I found the .locked# file and deleted that, but still it pulls up the ASCII filter thing and the doc opens up tons of ######## instead of my book. No backup file in the folder.

I've been looking through old threads and see that I probably don't have much hope of recovering my file, but I want to ask just in case, because I'm desperate. Would it be possible for someone to take a look at my file? I don't want to believe that my entire novel that I've spent the past 5 years working on is actually gone for good. :(
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Re: Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?

Postby RoryOF » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:45 am

As soon as possible do the following:

To try and recover your file, you should look in the backup and temporary directories pointed to by /Tools /Options /OpenOffice : Paths. Rename any files in those to the type of ODF file used and see if they contain your data. 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.

Experience suggests that there will be nothing in the #### file. Have you made no backups in the five years?
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Re: Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?

Postby wavy3 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:59 am

Thank you. I checked the backup and temp folders and there's nothing there. I had some backups on another computer that died, and some from about a year ago. Stupid me, I guess. I am trying the Recuva now and will hold out some hope.
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Re: Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?

Postby RoryOF » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:07 am

The "dead" computer backups might be extracted; how to do this depends on why the computer is "dead". If it is hardware failure, the hard disk can be taken to another computer and read (provided the disk drive itself is working). If it is failure of the operating system the computer might be booted from a live DVD/USB in linux and the backups read. Either way needs some computer expertise which cannot be imparted in a simple forum message - you should go to your local computer store with the dead computer and tell their tech person the tale.

 Edit: There may also be automatic built-in backups in Win 10 - I do not know as I have no Win 10 experience 
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Re: Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?

Postby John_Ha » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:43 am

See Using Recuva to un-delete Writer temporary files for help recovering the temporary files which Writer wrote while you were editing the .odt file, and then deleted when Writer was closed. It does not work if you were editing a .doc file.

Search for files named something like TEMP_PATH\sv1kposb.tmp\sv1kv4ak.tmp, where TEMP_PATH is the Temporary files path set up in Tools > Options > OpenOffice > Paths; and \sv1kposb.tmp\ is a folder. Rename recoverred files with names like sv1kv4ak.tmp to sv1kv4ak.odt and try to open them. If what you were editing had images in it, some of the .tmp files will be images. You will need to show hidden files by Start > Control Panel > Folder options > View > tick Show hidden files.

It is a little strange for a folder to have a name like "sv1kposb.tmp", with a dot in the name, followed by the three characters tmp, which make it look like a file, but that is what Writer does.

You are therefore looking to recover files with names like "C:\Users\John\AppData\Local\Temp\sv1kposb.tmp\sv1kv4ak.tmp" - note that there is a ".tmp" in the folder name AND a ".tmp" in the file name.

Always set AutoRecovery to ON. This saves a copy of the file every few minutes while you are working on it - it protects you against things like power cuts, OS freezes etc. Do so by: Tools > Options > Load/Save > General ...

Always ?? set Create A Backup copy to ON. This keeps the previously saved version of the file fred.odt as fred.bak in the Backup folder. Do so by: Tools > Options > Load/Save > General ... The Backup folder location is shown by Tools > Options > OpenOffice > Paths ... You may need to switch on Show hidden files (Start > Control Panel > Folder Options > View ...) to be able to see the folder and its contents.

Why the ?? ? Because you should remember that highly_personal.bak will still be in the Backup folder long after you have deleted highly_personal.odt.
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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: Document turned into ## signs - hopeless?

Postby thomasjk » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:12 pm

If you have File History turned on in Windows 10 you may be able to find an older version. If so Right Click on the file and select Restore Previous Versions then select the Previous Versions tab.
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