Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

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Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby KKC91 » Sat May 04, 2019 3:15 pm

Hello there, I have been working on a document for quite a few weeks now and today when I tried to open it I kept getting hash signs instead of characters. I've tried following the steps to find a backup or a temp version of it but there's just nothing, (as clever me thought it was a problem with the program itself, so I uninstalled it and installed it again.) I really don't want to lose all of this, as there is about 84 pages, so I was just wondering if there is anything at all I can do to fix it? I'm desperate. Currently running Recuva as I'm literally clutching at straws. Any help would be really, really appriciated. Thank you very much.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RusselB » Sat May 04, 2019 6:37 pm

Welcome to the Forums.
While it sounds like you have taken the same initial steps recommended, I'll point you to some Tutorials, rather than re-writing them.
[Tutorial] The Dreaded Pound Signs: file reduced to ####
[Hint]How did I fix my ODT file NOTE: This is very long, with all of the replies (22 pages)
OpenOffice 4.1.7, LibreOffice 7.0.1.2 on Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate & Windows 10 Home (2004)
If you believe your problem has been resolved, please go to your first post in this topic, click the Edit button and add [Solved] to the beginning of the Subject line.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 04, 2019 6:39 pm

There will be nothing in the ###ed document, so forget it. If you cannot find a backup or the methods in this tutorial do not help https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=85038
Recuva is your best hope.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby KKC91 » Sat May 04, 2019 9:09 pm

I used Recuva and it was able to partially recover the file, I think. That's what the message said, anyway. However when I click on the recovered file, it's just a whole bunch of random letters jumbled together. I have no idea what to do now. I've tried downloading programs online that say they can repair corrupt documents, but I'm just having no luck. Should I just stop trying and begin the whole document again? :( Thanks for taking the time to reply :)
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 04, 2019 9:13 pm

At system level, rename the file to type .odt and then use OpenOffice to open it. All OO files are compressed archives, and unless the operating system is told they are OO files (by renaming at system level to .odt or any of the OO filetypes) it will use a plain text editor to open them, with the result that they look random letters. When OO is told that this is an OO file, it can then distinguish which component to use to open it.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby KKC91 » Sat May 04, 2019 9:40 pm

Thanks for replying so quickly. The file I recovered is an .odt file. Just to test it out, I made a copy, changed the file type, and then changed it back to .odt and opened it again. But the same thing happens. Whenever I open the file with openoffice, it comes up with ASCII Filter options and then opens the file, which as I've said is just a bunch of letters and symbols. Sorry if I'm sounding a bit dim, I'm not too good with this stuff. I just really don't want to lose 84 pages of writing. :( I will attach a screenshot of what I mean.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 04, 2019 10:00 pm

Open the file with a plain text editor (Notepad should be on your Windows to do this). If the first two bytes of the file are PK then the file is an archive and there may be hope for it in OpenOffice. If they are not PK, then I think you are out of luck.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 04, 2019 10:08 pm

This may happen if you were over-hasty between the close down of OpenOffice and shutting down the computer (powering off or closing a laptop's lid); it is necessary to leave sufficient time for the files to be flushed to disk from the internal buffering of the hard drive - this is a matter of a few seconds; unfortunately users often don't allow these in their haste to finish work.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby KKC91 » Sat May 04, 2019 10:22 pm

See I was in the middle of writing and my laptop just completely shut off. (Still don't know what the heck happened) but when I tried to open my file and continue, I kept getting the ACSII Script pop up. I assumed it was just the program messing up, hence why stupid me uninstalled it and reinstalled it. Um, first two... Okay, so I have no idea. Does that mean the first two letters? As I said, I'm hopeless. :( I have opened it with notepad though and took a screenshot. Thank you again for your replies. I get the feeling I'm going to have to start again :cry:
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 04, 2019 10:37 pm

I'm not hopeful - the first twi characers are zL - doesn't lok good. One last this: rename your OO User profile. OO will make a new one on next startup; very rarely a corrupt User profile can cause problems with OO files.

To rename your OIO User profile, with OO closed, click on any disk or folder on your computer. In the address bar at top of the folder window enter %appdata%\OpenOffice\4 and press Enter. Rename the "user" folder - "user.old" is a good choice. Start OpenOffice.

You should be prompted by OO for your name and initials; enter these, then try to open your file.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 04, 2019 10:38 pm

It is good practice to Save any important file with timed/dated backups. For future use you may find this extension of use.

You can download it from
https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?p=406045#p405921

Note that you must invoke it separately using its button; it does not replace the standard save mechanism.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby KKC91 » Sat May 04, 2019 10:45 pm

Nope, still coming up with the letters and symbols. I guess I will just have to start again. So frustrating, considering I don't even know what the heck happened. Grrrr. But anyway, thank you so much for all of your help. I am downloading that extention now, so hopefully I won't have this problem again! Thank you again :)
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 04, 2019 11:25 pm

One consolation: a second writing is often _much_ better than the first!

What probably happened is either over-hasty close down of the computer, or the computer being allowed sleep/hibernate with the file open - OO does not like that.

After you get the "OK to power off" message in shutting down, you should wait about five seconds for the internal buffers of the hard drive to flush to disk.
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Re: Anyway to fix a corrupted document?

Postby John_Ha » Sun May 05, 2019 4:28 pm

Did you follow the instructions in the tutorial Rory recommended?

See [Tutorial] How to find and un-delete AOO temporary files for detailed instructions on how to

a) use Previous Versions (W7 and later) to recover previous versions of the file (is there something similar on MacOS and Linux?);

b) recover your file as it was when you last opened or saved it, or as it was when it was last saved with AutoRecovery;

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

d) un-delete the temporary files AOO 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.
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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