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"File conversion" dialog box appears - Word documents

by tapasray / October 16, 2007 11:12 PM PDT

I had created a Word (.doc) file on my laptop with OpenOffice Writer (Save As > Word), and copied it on to a flash drive. Since I accidentally deleted the original file on my laptop, I thought I would simply copy the flash drive version back onto my hard drive and use it.

However, this file can't be opened. When I click on it, a "File conversion" dialog box. Whatever I do, the two or three-page document opens with 1,084 pages of garbage - mostly special characters. Meanwhile, other Word files - those created in Word on other computers, as well as those created in OpenOfice Writer on my laptop - continue to open correctly on the laptop.

I searched the forums and found that others have also faced similar issues, but could not find any definitive solution.

I would really appreciate some help with this problem.

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Re: corrupted document
by Kees Bakker / October 16, 2007 11:23 PM PDT

Apparently, it's corrupted. To be sure, compare the size (with what's reasonable for such a document) or use a hex-editor to see what it really contains and compare that with a real undamaged word-document.

If you don't have a backup, I'm afraid nothing can be done about it. Are you sure you always use the 'safely remove hardware' method to remove the flash-drive?

Kees

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"Safely remove"
by tapasray / October 17, 2007 12:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: corrupted document

Thanks. Yes, I always make it a point to do the "safely remove" operation.

Will try the steps you have suggested ... though not sure at this point what a hex editor is ...

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Re: hex editor
by Kees Bakker / October 17, 2007 4:27 AM PDT
In reply to: "Safely remove"

That's a program that shows the numerical (in hexadecimal notation, because it nicely fits into two characters) value of every byte in the file (and lets you change it, if you need). Rather a programmer tool, but helpful in cases like this also.

Personally, I still use the good old DOS-program list.com (it only shows the contents, and it doesn't allow changes), but I'm sure you'll find something more suitable for you in http://www.google.com/search?q=download+hex+editor

Kees

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Hex
by tapasray / October 17, 2007 6:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: hex editor

Thanks. I found a hex editor and used it on the file. The result - yards of weird characters - was rather mystifying. I will try the other type of program you mention when I get back to my computer tonight.

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The meaning of all those digits ...
by Kees Bakker / October 17, 2007 6:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Hex

is totally ununderstandable and irrelevant, although the editor might have something like an 'ASCII view' and than you'll recognize some text in a Word document (and quite a lot of non-text!).

It's only meant to compare the contents with a regular bona fide Word document. If it's corrupted, the difference might show in seconds.

These are the first bytes of an empty Word 2000 document I just created. It's 19.456 bytes and contains nothing I typed myself. The first column are just numbers 0, 16, 32 and so on. The remainder of the lines are the data. And I think DO CF 11 E0 and so on means it's a Word 2000 document. Only the programmers at Microsoft know.

000000 D0 CF 11 E0 A1 B1 1A E1-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
000010 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-3E 00 03 00 FE FF 09 00
000020 06 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 01 00 00 00
000030 21 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 10 00 00 23 00 00 00
000040 01 00 00 00 FE FF FF FF-00 00 00 00 20 00 00 00
000050 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF-FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF
000060 FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF-FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF


Hope this helps.


Kees

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