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Unwanted encoding messages on opening MSWord files. Inability to open MSExcel files and picture files. Apparently corrupted files?


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#1 Robin Oram

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:40 AM

Unwanted encoding messages on opening MSWord files. Inability to open MSExcel files and picture files. Apparently corrupted files?

I am having problems opening .doc and .xls and .jpg files in some (but not all) folders in my folder tree, e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\(username)\My Documents\Folder X. However, Folders Y and Z are apparently unaffected. This has arisen only recently.
My system is Windows XP (Home), and SP2 upgraded to SP3.

MSWORD EXAMPLE:- On opening a Word file (whether from Word or from Windows Explorer) I receive this dialog box;
"File Conversion - (filename).doc"
"Select the encoding that makes your document readable."
The already selected button is "Other encoding" and the suggested code is "Japanese". The preview pane shows only an array of characters, all the same.
On trying to select the button "Windows (Default)", the preview changes to a continuous array of lower-case xxxxxxx.
On returning to the "Other encoding" option and trying "Auto-Select", the selected code returns itself to "Japanese" with the display as already noted above.
On returning to the "Other encoding" option and trying "Western European (Windows)", the display reverts to the Windows Default style as already noted above, lines of xxxxxxx. I am unable to open the file.

MSEXCEL EXAMPLE:- On opening an Excel file, all I get is an immensely long string of a character in cell A1. Same character all the way. Again, I am unable to open the file.

PICTURE EXAMPLE:- On opening a .jpg file, from a picture program or direct from Windows Explorer, I get messages such as "No preview available" in Windows Picture and Fax viewer, or "Cannot open file (filename).jpg” in Corel, or just the boxed in little red X in MS Office Picture Manager. Again, I am unable to open the file.

CLUE:- I recently installed a down-loaded trial copy of BackUp4All, and ran it. I then had start-up problems, with a blue screen and message about computer damage, suspect hardware/software, etc, and the machine did a 100% Memory Dump and then rebooted successfully. This happened every time I started from cold. I then uninstalled BackUp4All, and removed all traces. The blue screen problem has not recurred. Could this have been connected with the problems noted above? It seems possible, and please note that since then, it appears that any new files I save to the affected Folders can be opened correctly, but still not the earlier ones. They are obviously corrupted.

Any help will be received with thanks! These files are valuable and I want them back!

Robin Oram
9/02/2009

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:07 AM

This sounds like it might be a malware infection.

Have you run any scans lately?

Did you download BackUp4All from a reputable source?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 Robin Oram

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 09:25 AM

Thanks, Budapest. I downloaded the Backup4All program from Softland, Romania, which is apparently the original source. (Unless you know better). I use MalwareByte's AntiMalware and it is always-on and it is up to date. No infections reported after a full scan. So there must be another reason for my problem.
Robin Oram

#4 jgweed

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 09:30 AM

Are the problem files limited to those you backed up and then re-installed? What happens if you take a sample document (or jpeg if that is easier) and save it to the problem folder and then save it next to another folder where you are not having problems?
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#5 Budapest

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 04:56 PM

In Explorer, check the size of the corrupted files. Are all these files now the same size?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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#6 Robin Oram

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 02:25 PM

In answer to Budapest, no, the files are all apparently their original size.

In answer to jgweed, the file loss problem isn't related to backing up, I never did an actual backup with the mentioned program. I only ran it to have a look at it, then the start-up problems I referred to started.

And, yes, I can copy a "good file" from another folder into an affected folder, and it opens OK. I can also save a good file from another folder, into an affected folder, and then open it again.

So, something happened to those few affected folders, and seems to have damaged the files therein.

#7 Budapest

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:08 PM

Right click on the C drive in Explorer and go Properties > Tools > Check Now (under Error Checking). Check both boxes then click "Start Now". A message will pop up saying that Error Checking will run after you restart the computer. Restart the computer and Error Checking will run automatically after the restart. After it’s finished it will restart into Windows automatically.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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