Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

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Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby Mhumphreys » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:04 pm

Hello--when I try and open a file in open office it comes up with a request headed ASC11 Filter Options--Western Windows125--the next option to open read only or edit comes up with the letters changed to hash tags--how do I correct--Help needed--I am a computer novice !
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Re: CANNOT OPEN FILE

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:09 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum!

See: [Tutorial] The Dreaded Pound Signs: file reduced to ####.
Good luck.
I hope you had backups!
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby John_Ha » Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:27 pm

There are, in addition, some other methods in [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) find any temporary files AOO wrote while you were editing the file but which have not yet been deleted;

e) un-delete the temporary files AOO wrote while you were editing the file, and then deleted.

f) Some settings you can make to save AutoRecovery and backup files automatically.

d) and e) will recover your file as it was when you last opened or you last saved it.

If you cannot follow the instructions ask someone with more PC skills to help you. Act quickly - the longer you wait the more likely any temporary or deleted files are to be overwritten and lost.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby Mhumphreys » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:59 am

Mhumphreys wrote:Hello--when I try and open a file in open office it comes up with a request headed ASC11 Filter Options--Western Windows125--the next option to open read only or edit comes up with the letters changed to hash tags--how do I correct--Help needed--I am a computer novice !


Havn't managed to open the file --if I pay for and download the open office file recovery app will that work do you think ?
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:12 am

What recovery app?
Anyway, I don't think it will work, don't lose money on that.
Can you tell what is the size of the file? If less than 20KiB, then nothing to recover at all.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:14 am

The ### sequence indicates your file is damaged beyond recovery of that file (i.e., that sequence of characters). Try some of the methods outlined in the two tutorials referenced earlier.

My own advice is that if there is not a backup in the OpenOffice backup folder as detailed in those tutorials, I would immediately use a utility such as ReCuva or PhotoRec to search for deleted files of about the correct date.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby Mhumphreys » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:31 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:What recovery app?
Anyway, I don't think it will work, don't lose money on that.
Can you tell what is the size of the file? If less than 20KiB, then nothing to recover at all.



Its 239KB --I did some saving dating a few months back so I havn't lost everything I will just have to start again writing on some subjects--a lesson for me to learn here about backing up my work all the time--thanks for your help !
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:40 pm

Normally if a Writer file opens with the ASCII prompt and shows all ### or other repeated characters, there is nothing usable in that file, no matter what is the size of the file on disk. The ### sequence has replaced the text content, perhaps due to a crash or an over hasty power off of the computer.

One's best bet then is to try the various recovery methods, the sooner the better.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby John_Ha » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:48 pm

It is all explained in the tutorial I linked.

Showing that a problem has been solved helps others searching so, if your problem is now solved, please view your first post in this thread and click the Edit button (top right in the post) and add [Solved] in front of the subject.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:51 pm

Well, I would not say that the issue is solved.
Closed at best. Had the content been recovered, then it would have been solved.
I still don't know if LibreOffice does better with this issue.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:00 pm

An OO developer is working on aspects of this problem, but when or if there will be an absolutely fool-proof solution is another matter.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby John_Ha » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:58 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:I still don't know if LibreOffice does better with this issue.

I searched the LO forum and LO bugzilla and I see no posts about files full of ##### so I suspect the problem? bug? has been fixed in LO.
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Re: Cannot open file (text replaced by hash tags)

Postby John_Ha » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:05 pm

Mhumphreys wrote:... if I pay for and download the open office file recovery app will that work do you think ?

No.

Download HxD a Hex editor. Open the .odt file and scroll through from start to finish. It will look like the lower image where the file is full of null characters and there is no user data. See Why is my file full of ####? for an explanation.

If you want to recover the file follow the tutorials you have been given - they were written specifically to solve this problem and give many suggested methods. They have worked for others.

hashes.png
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