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Author Topic: xlsx corrupt file, password protected, can't open...need help  (Read 5087 times)
superboyac
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« on: March 23, 2012, 09:20:06 PM »

I've created a *valuable* xlsx file that I've been storing on my USB drive.  Everything was fine until I copied a multi-gigabyte folder to my USB drive, which seems to have corrupted the xlsx file.  Now, Excel can't open it.  It gives the message "Excel has found unreadable content..." and asks me to continue if i trust it, so i say yes, and then another message pops up saying it's corrupt.  This is all Excel 2010, by the way.

Now, had I not password protected it, I may have been able to recover it (not sure).  i tried all the stuff on the internet about that message, nothing works.  It probably is unrecoverable, but I figured I'd ask the gurus here just in case.

I'm not sure what the lesson to be learned here is, maybe multiple ones.  Don't use xlsx, stick to xls?  Don't put valuable files on a USB drive (although I'm not sure about a better way to keep valuable files portable that you need to work with all the time)?  Don't protect valuable excel files, it's just not worth it?

It will take be many hours to recreate this work, but I can do it I suppose.
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skwire
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 09:46:20 PM »

I'm not sure what the lesson to be learned here is

Backups...and lots of them.
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4wd
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 09:55:46 PM »

I'm not sure what the lesson to be learned here is

Backups...and lots of them.

On multiple devices.
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superboyac
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 10:03:34 PM »

 Sad...sigh...yeah.  The last backup is from a month ago.  I didn't want to rely on cloud services, so I haven't really figured out a good syncing solution with usb drives.  I can use ftp from a static remote computer, which I use with SFFS, but with USB I need something a little more mobile and complex.  So in the meantime, I haven't been backing up much and now I've paid the price.
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peteg05
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 05:09:34 AM »

Hi,

try to rename the .xlsx to .zip and see if you can recover at least some of your data.

I hope this helps a bit.

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Shades
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 05:40:32 AM »

Try reading the file with a different Office suite, for example LibreOffice. From personal experience, and YMMV, I can tell you that I have received on several occasions MSoffice document(s) that were unreadable by MSOffice, but LibreOffice could open them just fine. Save the document again and it would open up in MSOffice as well. For these events (and PDF creation) I have a portable version of LibreOffice on my system. Always.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 06:49:23 AM »

Don't think LibreOffice and OpenOffice can read XLSX ?

How about using recovery software on the USB stick?
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Shades
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2012, 07:10:58 AM »

The recent versions of LibreOffice do read the .xlsx format. Just verified that with my portable LibreOffice 3.3. As far as I know the latest portable build available is version 3.5. Granted, it doesn't go fast, but that doesn't rule it out as a salvage option now, is it?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2012, 11:07:52 AM »

Good to know - I don't use LibreOffice on a daily basis but I didn't think that was there last time I looked. Good to see it is developing.

OpenOffice seems pretty dead (been at 3.3 for a long time).
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40hz
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2012, 02:25:40 PM »

The recent versions of LibreOffice do read the .xlsx format. Just verified that with my portable LibreOffice 3.3. As far as I know the latest portable build available is version 3.5. Granted, it doesn't go fast, but that doesn't rule it out as a salvage option now, is it?



I've had luck doing that myself.  Thmbsup

I'm guessing that Libre just ignores everything it can't parse and loads as much as it can. Which is fine if your primary goal is to recover data.

Most of the problems I've run into with Excel file corruption revolved around formatting or macros getting pooched. At which point Excel refused to do anything with the file. However, the underlying data was usually ok. Worst case was the table got truncated. But even so, any partial recovery is better than a total loss unless you enjoy typing.

Popping the Libre portable on a keyring is a smart idea. I've got it on my "field" key. Having a familiar wordprocessor or spreadsheet handy no matter where I went was always handy. And the ability to read a grumpy Office file is always a plus.

 Cool
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2012, 02:33:18 PM »

Out of curiosity, when you password protected it, was that using native Office protection or something else?
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2012, 06:52:32 PM »

Sad...sigh...yeah.  The last backup is from a month ago.  I didn't want to rely on cloud services, so I haven't really figured out a good syncing solution with usb drives.  I can use ftp from a static remote computer, which I use with SFFS, but with USB I need something a little more mobile and complex.  So in the meantime, I haven't been backing up much and now I've paid the price.

If you're like me you've probably got a drawer full of small capacity thumb drives. Next time save a copy of your file to a couple (or more) different flash drives & you'll be prepared for disaster. smiley
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2012, 06:55:17 PM »

From my experience with MS the other point is don't use passwords in future either - lock up the thumb drive!
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4wd
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2012, 07:39:09 PM »

...but with USB I need something a little more mobile and complex.

Unfortunately with MS putting the kibosh on autorun.inf, (which was a good idea - the removing of it, that is), there doesn't seem to be an easy way to run removable based programs on insert unless there is a program on each host PC to initiate it - which shouldn't be too hard to do in AutoIt, (the initiating not the syncing).

FWIW, I use SyncBackPro on my PCs and it's set to perform backups when certain removable drives appear on the system.
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superboyac
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 01:16:25 AM »

Out of curiosity, when you password protected it, was that using native Office protection or something else?
native office protection.  Just a password protected workbook xlsx file.
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