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Loss of document - URGENT help needed!
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john_smith_p2p
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:56 pm    Post subject: Loss of document - URGENT help needed! Reply with quote

Hi,

I have spent the last two days writing a 5000 paper for one of my university classes. I had the document saved in doc format (on my computer) instead of odt because otherwise I can't open it on the university computers. The document was open for at least the last two days but I continually saved it (or so I thought). I finished writing the paper about an hour and half ago and then proceeded to close all instances of OO. I then went to find the file so I could email it. I found the file exactly where I expected it to be but thought it was a little too small in size for a 5000 word essay so I open to check it.

As soon as the file opens I notice that this is the version of the file I saved a number of days ago and it is missing all the changes (about 4000 words worth). I have tried to find other instances of the file, I opened all the recently opened documents in OO, searched my computer for all files modified in the last couple of days and have found nothing!!!

The strange thing is that I didn't get a message telling me that I hadn't saved the file before I closed OO....

I am running Windows XP SP2...PLEASE someone help me, I dont have the time or the will to re-write this paper!

Henrik

ps I am pretty good with computers and I am sure I saved the document correctly
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9point9
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be odd for a file to not be saved when you were sure you were saving it. Have you run a comprehensive search of all of your drives for all file types that it might have been saved as?

If you weren't saving it on top of it, where was it going? Search for files by date modifed in the right time frame. Is the date modified on the outdated file you have consistent?
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john_smith_p2p
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very odd indeed.. I have tried searching for all kinds of files it could have been saved as for the timeframe. I thought the file was saving on top of the other file since I just opened it and started working, but apparently not.

I am in the process of doing a text-search using total commander to see if the text might be saved in some temporary file or if I have somehow missed the actual file, but so far nothing.

The date modified on the outdated file seems to be correct for when that version was saved.

What I dont understand is how I could have saved the file (ctrl+s) at least 50 times and not get an error once. Also if it wasn't saved why didn't I get an error when I closed the document? The recently opened documents menu in OO contained the file, but when I opened it, it was the outdated version.
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Hagar Delest
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm not very optimistic Sad
What is your OOo version ? I've had this issue once with the 2.0.1 or 2.0.2 (see here : http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=28907). You could check in your /Documents and Settings/[user name]/Application Data/openoffice.org2.0/user/backup folder to see if there is a backup file (had you check the option Always create a backup in the menu Tools>Options>OpenOffice.org>Load/Save ?).
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john_smith_p2p
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah i checked the backup directory, nothing there. Im running version 2.0.3

I have now completed 2 full-text searches of my hard drive for words contained in the paper (using total commander and the built in windows search function), but have found nothing, no temporary files, no other documents, so I am sure that I didnt save it under a different file name or different place accidentally... Also I didnt limit the search using the timeframe so even if the timestamp was wrong I should have found the file..but nothing

I will most probably have to re-write the paper, but I would still like to know how the hell this happened?!? I have been using computers for many years and I think this is probably the strangest bug (and the most inconvinient) i have ever come across.
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David
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Loss of document - URGENT help needed! Reply with quote

john_smith_p2p wrote:

ps I am pretty good with computers and I am sure I saved the document correctly


Apparently not. We've all been there, and we've all wondered why we didn't keep a backup copy. I've also been using for many years, and still have inadvertently [love that word] erased files I had no intention of erasing.

I don't know if this will help [I haven't tried it], but you might find something useful if you look here: http://www.nonags.com/nonags/filesearch.html

You should look for "Lookdisk". When using, you'd try to recall some content that is unique to that particular file content.

...and in future keep a backup!

David.
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ms777
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

john_smith_p2p wrote:
I have now completed 2 full-text searches of my hard drive for words contained in the paper (using total commander and the built in windows search function), but have found nothing,


That does not surprise me, as .odt files are zip files, with the text encoded ... The only (small) hope remaining is that while saving, you used a wrong directory. Searching for *.o*, sorting after last edit time may help. But the chances are low, I assume ...
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Hagar Delest
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Loss of document - URGENT help needed! Reply with quote

David wrote:
john_smith_p2p wrote:
ps I am pretty good with computers and I am sure I saved the document correctly

Apparently not. We've all been there, and we've all wondered why we didn't keep a backup copy. I've also been using for many years, and still have inadvertently [love that word] erased files I had no intention of erasing.

Don't say that David because I confirm that it happened to me once (in fact, I noticed 2 other cases in this forum and one on the French forum). Here is how it happened. I was on Linux, I had a file on a USB key. I transfer it on my HD, then work on it. Save the file (on my HD of course and with the save icon in the toolbar) then transfer it back to my USB key. When asking me if I confirm the old file overwrite, I notice that file size is exactly the same (I had added pictures so it could not be the same). Strange. I open again the file on my HD to check: all the changes I'd made have disappeared! I look at the time stamp on the file: it is the time I had saved it few minutes ago (completely different from the time stamp of the USB key file and the time I had transfered the file on my HD). So how can you explain this ? I had only one instance of the file opened, time stamp proves that I DID save the file but nothing kept!!! I was so stunned that I don't remember having tried to make changes and save to see if I could reproduce it.
I think it may be linked to the issue about "error writing file" where OOo looses the link between the active file and its temporary version. NB: this issue never occured for me neither on XP, nor on Linux.
For both issues (and the second one is much more frequent than the complete loss of the changes) there should be a trigger but it's so rare that it is difficult to find any pattern.

ms777 is right, Explorer cannot search inside .odt files and I'm not sure Total Commander can (I've quickly searched the web for this information but it's not obvious). See this thread that could help : desktop search programs that support OpenOffice 2.0?.

Good luck.
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AlanDavidson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As noted on another recent thread, I have been burnt several times with OOo saves. I now use the option of having a BAK file. This saved me some work yesterday, but certainly not the 4000 words that john_smith_p2p lost.

Remember that to have an up-to-date BAK, you must save twice.

1) The first save causes your last normal save to be renamed to BAK. (Your last normal save might have been done several hours previously.)

2) The second save causes the save at step 1 to be renamed to BAK, and is therefore up to date.

I'm sorry that this does not help to get the 4000 words back.
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AlanDavidson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: Loss of document - URGENT help needed! Reply with quote

john_smith_p2p wrote:
I found the file exactly where I expected it to be but thought it was a little too small in size for a 5000 word essay so I open to check it.

As soon as the file opens I notice that this is the version of the file I saved a number of days ago


You recognized that the file was the version that you saved a number of days previously. But what was the actual file date?

(You might have the same problem that I reported in another post: the file has the correct time stamp, but nothing is actually saved.)
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Hagar Delest
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlanDavidson wrote:
Remember that to have an up-to-date BAK, you must save twice.

1) The first save causes your last normal save to be renamed to BAK. (Your last normal save might have been done several hours previously.)
2) The second save causes the save at step 1 to be renamed to BAK, and is therefore up to date.

Beware, it could backfire : imagine the file with the changes is saved. Then, it is saved as the new BAK file. If the bug occurs right now, if you save, you get the old file (you loose your changes) BUT perhaps (I don't know) the BAK file is also updated with the version that has lost the changes !
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AlanDavidson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: Loss of document - URGENT help needed! Reply with quote

Hagar de l'Est wrote:
See this thread that could help : desktop search programs that support OpenOffice 2.0?.


I don't think the link mentions:

http://desktop.google.com/plugins/indextheopenoffice.html
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David
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: Loss of document - URGENT help needed! Reply with quote

Hagar de l'Est wrote:

ms777 is right, Explorer cannot search inside .odt files and I'm not sure Total Commander can (I've quickly searched the web for this information but it's not obvious).


No argument that there is an issue. I have not had a chance to use it [that will be explained shortly], but did mention a program that claims to search within ZIP files for content, so I thought it might also search within this file, and so find one if actually missing.

David.
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AlanDavidson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used a global search for "recycle" in this thread. No results.

So, have you looked in your Recycle Bin?

I also searched for "network", "LAN", and "share". No results.

So, have you looked on your network?
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john_smith_p2p
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Loss of document - URGENT help needed! Reply with quote

thanks for all the help and advice! My problem is almost an exact copy of what Hagar de l'Est described..so seems I am not alone. I will have a look at the links and see if I can find anything.

I have run two text-searches, one of which turned up .odt documents with the words i used in them, but not the document I was looking for...

David wrote:
john_smith_p2p wrote:

ps I am pretty good with computers and I am sure I saved the document correctly


Apparently not. We've all been there, and we've all wondered why we didn't keep a backup copy. I've also been using for many years, and still have inadvertently [love that word] erased files I had no intention of erasing.


The reason I put that sentence in was so that people would realize this was not something I accidentally did. I am 100% sure that I saved the file (at least 50 times) before I closed it and I am also 100% sure I didn't erase the file accidentally, this is definitely a bug in the software.

If I find anything useful on this topic I will post a reply here in case someone runs into this problem again.

Thanks again.
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