Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

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Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

Postby Maya » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:22 pm

Hi,

I've been copying a book I use as main referent to write my PHD in musicology. When I switched on my computer (it may have crashed when I switched it off, I don't know how) and tried to open the file, I realized that all the characters were substituated by "#" signs.
I've been reading similar topic and I tried to follow the advices that were written there : I zipped, unzipped the file to work on the XML part, but nothing I did worked for this file.
Do you have any advice of how to deal with this problem ? And would anyone of you be so kind to check out the document and tell me if it is possible to recuperate it ?

Here is the link to the file :
http://www.mediafire.com/download/hz54w ... Massin.odt

Thank you very much for your help and support !
Open Office 4 ; Windows 10.
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Re: Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:38 pm

Sadly, quite nothing to do I fear, see: 22 pages term paper replaced with pound signs.

Check the temporary folder of the system (see in OO Tools>Options>OO>Paths). If there are folders like sgmlf.tmp with a file having the same name inside, make a copy of that file, rename it in .odt and cross your fingers.

If you want to help fix this problem, you can also do this survey created for this very problem: Document Recovery Survey.
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Re: Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

Postby John_Ha » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:13 pm

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. You will need to show hidden files by Start > Control Panel > Folder options > View > tick Show hidden files.

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. The default is C:\Users\your_name_on_your_PC\AppData\Local\Temp.

Rename recovered 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.

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.

Some hints ...

Always set AutoRecovery to ON. This saves a copy of the file every few minutes while you are working on it and 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 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 will need to switch on Show hidden files (Control Panel > Folder Options > View > tick Show hidden files) 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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Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

Postby RoryOF » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:15 pm

I confirm Hagar's finding - there is nothing recoverable in the file.

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.
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Re: Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

Postby RoryOF » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:28 pm

Very likely this file was damaged because the computer was powered off too quickly, before OO's housekeeping was finished. The OO files are more complex than flat files and take a little longer to prepare and write. Also, current computers use file buffering, both hardware and software, to make them react faster. So allow a few seconds more than you have been to prevent this happening again, waiting until you are certain all disk activity has finished.
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Re: Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

Postby RoryOF » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:09 am

Also, for future use, if one is using a book as a reference, one does not (in general) need to edit that book, so it is worth using (or making) a PDF file of it. A PDF file is designed to be uneditable, so that after each use it is merely closed, unlike an .odt or other editable format, which is closed and saved - it is the saving process that can fail if the computer is powered down too hastily.
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Re: Very important ODT file changed into "#" signs...

Postby John_Ha » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:26 pm

Check 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.

I have updated it extensively and, if you had AutoRecovery set to ON, you may also be able to recover the AutoRecovery files.
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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