This message is for Brian Barker to thank him for his help. Hagar suggested the address to reach Brian.Daniel K.
On Sunday, December 24, 2017 3:12 PM, Daniel <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Brian,Thank you for the prompt and detailed reply and suggestion.You'll be happy to know (as I am) that I actually backed up the file on a separate flash drive. So I can retrieve about 95% of the text. I'll confess that I am not always that conscientious about backing up files So that will be a good object lesson.As I checked into the problem further I noticed that the last time I saved the file it ended up in my picture folder. How?? I have no idea. That's the file that is giving me the problem. It still shows the file type as odt.Anyways, Thanks again for the suggestions.I'll try them of course.Dan K.
On Sunday, December 24, 2017 2:51 PM, Brian Barker <[hidden email]> wrote:
At 13:36 24/12/2017 -0500, you wrote:
>I opened a text file in 4.1.3 and instead of the text it shows
>########### etc. I did not have this problem before. Anyone knows
>what is happening and how to get a readable file back?
Yes and no.
Those hash marks are what you see if you attempt to interpret an
unused area of your system's disk as text. What your operating system
is offering you as the document file is an unused area of the disk
and not a valid file. Sadly, there may not be any way to recover
anything from what you have: it's very likely that there is nothing
available to retrieve. Some error - either a user error or a software
glitch or a hardware fault - has corrupted your document file.
Go back to your most recent back-up copy of the document file and
continue working from there. Note that, because things like this can
happen at any time, you need to keep regular, reliable back-up copies
of all your files on some external device - perhaps a flash drive or
an external drive or somewhere in the cloud. Put simply, any document
of which you have only one copy you don't really have at all. You may
want to keep hard-copy back-ups too, so that any document could be
reconstructed if absolutely necessary. I'm not preaching here: we all
make mistakes and do not keep recent enough back-up copies, but
unless you have these you will lose work in exactly the way that you
probably have done.
o In OpenOffice, go to Tools | Options... | OpenOffice | Paths.
o Make a note of the path shown for Backups.
o Outside OpenOffice - using your operating system's facilities -
navigate to that folder.
o Is there a file with the same name as your document file but with
the .bak extension?
o If so, *make a copy of this in one of your own folders*, rename the
copy to change its extension to the original (.odt?), and open this
file in OpenOffice. Continue working from there.
If there is no back-up file present, it may be that you do not have
this option selected. Go to Tools | Options... | Load/Save | General
| Save, and tick "Always create a backup copy". That will be no help
for the present problem, of course, but might help you in the future.
You will want to investigate the true cause of the failure. Your
computer manufacturer will have provided diagnostics - possibly on an
optical disk that came with the computer or available on its web
site. Very often, such diagnostics are available in the system and
can be stimulated by operating an appropriate key during system
start-up - before your operating system starts. This varies between
computer manufacturers. In addition, your operating system will have
diagnostics which you will want to run. Unless you correct any errors
now, you will continue to see file corruption.
If by a "text file" you mean a plain text file, there may be some
point in searching the disk for remnants of the file and stitching
them together. But if - as I imagine - you mean a text (Writer)
document file in OpenOffice's native Open Document Format format,
there is little point in doing this. Because of the internal format
of these document files, it is practically impossible to recover
whatever remains of your document file on the disk. Others may
recommend you to obtain and install file recovery software and to use
that to attempt to recover your file. Although this might recover
parts, those are no use to you without more details that will have
been lost. Files are saved in sections, very probably not contiguous,
and there will be no way to discover which order the sections are in;
more significantly there will be no way to discover how much of the
last section is file and how much is garbage. So I don't recommend
this. The important thing to understand is that the file as saved on
the disk does not have the document contents in immediately readable form.
Sorry that this is not more positive.
I trust this helps.
Brian Barker - privately
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