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Lost all data in important Calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:06 pm
by andrew18
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and so wanted to start off by saying thanks for the great info I've gotten from reading posts on this forum in the past.

I'm hoping someone can help me with an issue that came up today, at first glance it looks like I've lost all the data in an important calc file I was doing for my business, and I hope there is a way to recover it.

What happened: A file I've been working on all this week (no issues with it before) was open when my computer abruptly crashed last night. When I went to open the file this morning the icon looked different and it asked me to enter my name, a popup box with something along the lines of "need to re-register your version..." or something to that effect was what was displayed. I went through whatever process it asked me and when I finally could access the file it was completely blank, no formatting or anything in any cells. I tried to open it in a trial version of excel and just got a page of # signs.

What I've done so far: I found a few threads on this forum that recommended certain things, which I've tried to no avail:
- I renamed the file into a zip file as one threat suggested, in an attempt to unzip the contents.xml to view some of the data, unfortunately I keep getting an error that "the compressed file is not an archive" and so I haven't been able to do that.
- I eagerly read the info about Calc having a backup folder, went to the backup folder hoping to find my file and then was very depressed to see nothing there. Needless to say I have auto-backup turned on now (man i wish that had been on by default, my fault for not knowing about it though).
- Tried other Calc files (all my other ones work fine), and tried opening this file through "open file" when calc is already open.

My system:
I'm using Windows 10, & open office 4.1.5

I've got 6-8 hours into this file including a lot of thought put into the numbers, if anything can be recovered even just a wall of unformatted text for me to sift through that would still be very useful to me. I'm willing to offer some compensation via paypal as a thank-you to whoever can help me get this info recovered.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:34 pm
by RoryOF
Download and run Recuva or PhotoRec (only one needed); let that do a recovery of deleted files. These (of about the correct date) may need to be renamed to .ods (or .xls - whichever you use) before examination. You may or may not recover anything useful. Your existing file is damaged beyond repair; waste no time with it.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:27 pm
by thomasjk
When I went to open the file this morning the icon looked different and it asked me to enter my name, a popup box with something along the lines of "need to re-register your version..."

The statement re-register your version worries me. Did you download from http://www.openoffice.org/download/? If not you may not have a genuine version of AOO. I would run a malware scan also. Please post your actual version number.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:56 pm
by andrew18
Thanks, I'm going to try Photorec right now.

I don't think it had anything to do with malware (I run updated antivirus/firewall and ran a check anyway just to be sure, no issues) it didn't ask for email or do anything malware normally would, just seemed like a normal "using this program for the first time" type questions that you could ignore and still move on to the next box.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:58 pm
by RoryOF
If you are happy that it was the "first time registration", which OO uses to identify the author of a file, then there is no need to worry about malware.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:24 pm
by John_Ha
See [Tutorial] How to find and un-delete Writer temporary files for

a) detailed instructions on how to recover your file as it was when you last opened or saved it, or as it was when it was last saved with AutoRecovery;

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

c) how to find and then un-delete the temporary files Writer 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 and is probably your best hope.

It also works for spreadsheet files.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:08 pm
by andrew18
John_Ha

Your post is definitely helping me get somewhere, in my appdata/local/temp/sv1cr4cq folder there is a temp file named sv1dtato.tmp that was last modified right around when the computer crashed last night. I changed the extension to .ods and tried to open it, when I do that I'm given a popup window of a "filter selection" listing a variety of formats. I have tried all the ones that make sense (anything related to open offic calc, excel, text etc) and always just get an error message when I try top proceed to the next screen.

Is there a particular "filter selection" format I should be picking?

I changed the sv1dtato.tmp file to a .zip and couldn't get it to open (error: the compressed folder is invalid), using 7-Zip

Also, a correction to my previous post, I'm using version 4.1.2 of open office.

Thanks for your help so far, I feel like I'm very close just can't get past this step.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:25 pm
by RoryOF
The "Filter selection" message usually means that OpenOffice cannot understand the file format; it is almost always (i.e., except in the case of opening imported text files) an indication that the file is either some form of encoding (perhaps a zip or PDF) or is corrupt. Don't waste your time with choosing options - they won't work.

Re: Help requested, lost all data in important calc file

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:29 pm
by andrew18
So, looks like a dead-end with the temp files.

I'm learning photorec and will try to see what I can recover, looks like it will take 3 hours to do the whole drive so I'm going to run it overnight and I'll report back here if I have any news.