Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

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Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby JayDee87 » Tue May 12, 2015 11:13 pm

I'm praying that someone can help me with this.

I recently fell foul of the problem that seems to have affected a number of people; namely an ODT file becoming corrupted to the point where it only displays a seemingly endless string of # symbols in place of the text.

Now when it comes to this type of in-depth tech stuff I'm pretty much clueless. I've looked through a numer of the threads on here and attempted to recover it without any luck so far. I can't find any back-up or temporary internet files. I made a copy of the file and switched it to a .zip file but was unable to open the content.xml file within.

I downloaded and tried a number of file recovery and previous version programmes (Recuva, Wondershare Data Recovery, Previous Version File Recoverer etc) and I thought that one of them had actually worked. It turned up a couple of earlier versions of the file going back a couple of weeks and I thought I'd stumbled on a miracle. When I tried to open that however it also appeared to be corrupted, displaying a massive amount of gibberish code.

As I'm so hopeless at this type of thing I don't want to give up because at times I feel like I'm close, or perhaps I'm just kidding myself.

So is it all over or is there anyone who can help either with further advice or by analyzing the document for me?
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby hellobrisvegas » Wed May 13, 2015 4:57 am

Hi JayDee,

I am having the exact same issue as you. Mine's a RTF file that I assume has fouled up the last time I tried to save it. I spent hours upon hours reading up on it last night, tried third-party software, searched for any little thing. I was almost at the acceptance stage. Then I noticed something, and I was wondering if you were in the same boat.

When I search 'Documents' for a specific keyword (that isn't in the file name), the correct document shows up, but when I try to open it, it's all pounds signs in OO and blank pages in any other program. When I use the Content view in the search, it even has the first couple of lines in the preview. But if I copy the file, this doesn't happen. The preview is blank, and the document opens the same way.

Also, the 'date modified' in search mode is earlier than the last (bad) save. When I go into 'Properties', the later time is listed in the general tab, but when I switch to the details tab, it has the earlier time, that sweet sweet time I'd like to return to someday.

I've looked for OpenOffice backups in the AppData folder, but there are none.

My question to y'all is, why is it I can type a keyword and have Windows find it in the document? Is it just messing with me?
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby acknak » Wed May 13, 2015 12:53 pm

Windows may have cached some results of a previous search.

If you see nothing but #s then there is no data in the document--it's all zeroes. The only recovery option is some other file: a backup, a previous version, a leftover temp file, or un-deleting one of these.
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby Bill » Wed May 13, 2015 1:19 pm

hellobrisvegas wrote:My question to y'all is, why is it I can type a keyword and have Windows find it in the document? Is it just messing with me?

Windows Search returns results from the search index, not the actual document.
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby hellobrisvegas » Wed May 13, 2015 2:14 pm

Bill wrote:[Windows Search returns results from the search index, not the actual document.


Alright, well I don't quite understand what that means, but assume it means that I, too, am screwed...

Luckily I managed to get an earlier version off my old laptop, which means I only lose one year of work instead of five. All I wanted was to understand why it was showing that preview, so thanks guys.
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby JayDee87 » Wed May 13, 2015 7:20 pm

Looking through many threads on here for help I noticed on a number of occasions people posting their problem files for others to look at, and try to see if they could recover anything.

Well here are my problem files. They were too large to attach here so I've used mediafire. The first is the original document and then the other two are previous versions that I was able to find using a recovery program.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/0qefz ... eviews.odt

http://www.mediafire.com/download/y3305 ... Review.odt

http://www.mediafire.com/download/jhvcs ... view_2.odt


If any of the real experts and geniuses on here could spare just a minute to look at them and see if there is anything at all that can be recovered I'd be eternally grateful
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby RoryOF » Wed May 13, 2015 8:46 pm

I got nothing from them - only the ASCII filter message, which for non plain text files means they are corrupt.
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby B Marcelly » Thu May 14, 2015 8:41 am

Hi,
I have created a small application that analyses the corrupted files.
You can download it from the thread Analyze your corrupted file.
I used it to test your files.
AnalysisResults.png
Analysis results
AnalysisResults.png (14.47 KiB) Viewed 2997 times

Using a text editor I displayed the Recovered Review files. File Recorded Review contains an ASCII text (coding), then zones containing zero-bytes and zones containing binary. File Recorded Review 2 only contains binary zones and zero-bytes zones.
I wonder if you really wrote an OpenOffice Writer (odt) document, or another type of document (Word ?). You should use a text editor to write programming code, not a word processor like Writer.
Here is what I could save.
ZippedText.zip
Zipped file containing programming code
(5.41 KiB) Downloaded 106 times
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby JayDee87 » Thu May 14, 2015 2:47 pm

B Marcelly wrote:I wonder if you really wrote an OpenOffice Writer (odt) document, or another type of document (Word ?). You should use a text editor to write programming code, not a word processor like Writer.
Here is what I could save.
ZippedText.zip


Yeah it was definitely an odt document.

As I said I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to tech stuff. What exactly should I do with what you've been able to save there?

Oh and thanks to both yourself and RoryOF for taking the time to try and help. :super:
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby JayDee87 » Sun May 17, 2015 1:39 am

Can I just check, that zip file that B Marcelly posted, should I be able to do something with that? With that will I be able to recover something? If so can someone instruct me how to because I've not been able to do anything with it
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby B Marcelly » Sun May 17, 2015 8:44 am

Since you don't recognize anything, the recovered data is in fact only junk. Totally useless. Your data is lost.
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby RoryOF » Sun May 17, 2015 9:26 am

A quick inspection of the file Bernard recovered suggests that is is an image left in memory (i.e., not cleared or overwritten) by some other script, relating to display of HTML data. Not relevant to JayDee87, I fear.

@JayDee87: you need to establish why your files are being corrupted. A common reason is over hasty close down of the computer before hardware/software write buffers have cleared. Try this approach: close your OpenOffice file. Then exit OpenOffice. Do something such as gathering your papers, which will take you some few seconds, giving the computer time to flush its buffers. Then power off your computer. Doing things in that sequence saves a lot of hassle with corrupt files.

Do not work direct to USB stick - work on the computer hard drive and transfer the completed file only when finished, and observe the correct USB removal protocols (again, this delay is concerned with flushing of write buffers). If you are using a USB device (be it stick or drive) with an indicator light, just for experiment look at it as you transfer a file. You'll see a delayed flash on it as the final writes take place. Note that USB sticks have a limited life - they can suddenly fail without warning.
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Re: Am I screwed? (The dreaded #### issue)

Postby JayDee87 » Tue May 19, 2015 2:10 am

Ok thanks guys. When Bernard was talking about recovery percentages and about posting what he could save I allowed my hopes to get up a little. But never mind

Rory - At the time I was last working on the document I had also been clearing out a bunch of old memory sticks and transferring data onto a new larger one. With one or two of the sticks however there were some problems. When I inserted them it immediately came up that they were damaged and tried to fix them. It made everything sort of screwy; pages freezing, internet crashing etc. And it seems that it screwed up my document because the next time I tried to open it was when I saw that it was all messed up
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