Why is my file scrambled?


I have a friend that had some MS WORD note pad files stored in her MY Documents file.

These were important emergency phone numbers, addresses and other personal information.

She called me tonight and said that when she opens these files up all she sees is a cryptic bunch of gibberish. I think she has a corrupt file problem?

I asked her to make a copy of these files on a floppy and I would ask you guys and gals for help. Is there anything I can do to restore these files? I have Norton Utilities will dose this have any thing on it to help us.




This question was answered on January 30, 2001. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

There are a few possibilities Before you do anything, do one thing--scan this file for viruses with the latest virus data files Do not open it again until you are sure it is clean.

If the file is OK, try the following:

Make a few copies of the file in the same folder, renaming the file Copy 1, Copy 2, Copy 3

Open Explorer and find the files.

Right click on one of the files and select properties Make sure that you can view the file extension type by selecting "View file extensions" in the View, Options menu What type of file is it? If it is known file type, try and determine what program it came from If you know, use that program to open the file, and if the file is still scrambled after using the correct program, it is corrupt.

Next, search the Windows Help file for the file type for clues to the origin of the file Try asking your friend how she created the file.

If she isn't sure, right click on Copy 1 and select Open With...

Select every word processing program that you have and try them all Try Notepad or Wordpad first--they have pretty good tolerance for different file types.

If this fails, you are starting to run out of options that are likely to work.

Some word processors let you Save As.. a different file type You can try this Save As.. every type that you are allowed.

Also, you might try opening it in Excel, and repeating the Save As.. steps Perhaps the file was created by a contact manager

If you are still reading these suggestions, I think your data is lost Sorry!

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Posted by Robert of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on January 30, 2001