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#46693 - 10/25/17 01:04 PM Documents won't open
Douglas Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'm using OS Sierra. I keep a separate folder for each of my customers. These folders generally contain files from .pages, .numbers, .rtf, jpg and .pdf. Some are original created files and some are downloaded.

I was looking at an old customers file and none of the 15 documents would open. Each doc I tried to open gave some sort of error message such as file may be corrupted or the application cannot open the file. I started to investigate and discovered that this is the same for a number of my old customers. I also noticed that the date created and date modified were exactly the same on every folder where files would not open. Each file had the same date created and date modified which is strange.

Just to check one file that would not open, a pdf, was still available online so I downloaded that file and it opened just fine. I compared the 2 pdf files and their sizes are exactly the same 217313 bytes. If it's corrupted it seems that the file size ought to be a little different.

Some of the RTF files won't open at all and some open to just gibberish. I made the files with Bean and save them RTF. Using TextEdit gives the same won't open or gibberish.

One of the pdf files which was a legal document now shows a picture of my dog when opened. Very weird.

I seems to recall something very similar happening in the distant past but nothing else. The only similarity it that files that will not open are always in folders with matching creation and modification dates.

I have moved the non opening files to a different location, out of it's regular folder and they still won't open.

Anyone have any idea? Thanks.


Edited by Douglas (10/25/17 04:25 PM)
Edit Reason: additions

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#46700 - 10/26/17 10:52 AM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Douglas]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
sounds like at least some directory corruption. run diskwarrior if you have it. otherwise at least run disk utility.
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#46706 - 10/26/17 04:45 PM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Virtual1]
Douglas Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Seattle, WA
I have now run DiskUtility and also TechToolPro. Both report no problems whatsoever.

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#46707 - 10/27/17 04:24 AM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Douglas]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Perhaps worth a try...

Send one of the "bad" documents to a friend on a different computer and then see if the document can be opened.

If nothing else, maybe you'll get a cue via error code or such re what is actually going on.
_________________________
Harv
27" i7 iMac (10.13.6), iPhone Xs Max (12.1)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#46708 - 10/27/17 07:13 AM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Pendragon]
Douglas Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Seattle, WA
I tried that. Send a text file and he was unable to open it either. No specific error code just a message saying this file cannot be opened.

I have found out that some of the affected text files can be opened but when open there is just gibberish showing, no recognizable text.

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#46709 - 10/27/17 07:26 AM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Douglas]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
When you ran TechTool Pro, did you run the File Structures Test?
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#46722 - 10/28/17 08:18 AM Re: Documents won't open [Re: joemikeb]
Douglas Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yes I ran the File Structures Test and File Optimization and Repaired Permissions.

Files still won't open. It's weird because some of the files that won't open, I haven't tried to look at for well over a year or more and also the fact that the date created and date modified are always the same for that file.

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#46724 - 10/28/17 08:59 AM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Douglas]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
This may be a long shot, but try changing the suffix on the name of the document (make the change via the icon for the document). That is, if it is mydocument.txt, change it to mydocument.pages or mydocument.pdf; any word processing or text type of suffix (those just mentioned plus .rtf, .doc, .docx, etc.) other than the current one.

You will probably get a warning asking if you want to keep the original. Don't, but remember what it is so you can go back if you want to. Also, don't do something like mydocument.doc.pdf. Use only one suffix for this experiment.
_________________________
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#46726 - 10/28/17 03:09 PM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Ira L]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Along the lines of Ira's suggestion:
Duplicate a file via ⌘-D and see what happens when you try to open it.

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#46732 - 10/29/17 11:12 AM Re: Documents won't open [Re: grelber]
Douglas Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Seattle, WA
Have tried changing extensions from .rtf to .txt to .pages Still opens to just gibberish or won't open at all. Also tried duplicating the file and that made no difference.

Seems strange how you could corrupt various different file times but only within given folder/folders and not all similar files on my system.

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#46733 - 10/29/17 03:48 PM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Douglas]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Searching for clues to the cause:
  • You said these are old customer files, how old are they?
  • Are the files roughly from the same time?
  • Do you have files of the kind (.txt, .pages, i]etc[/i] and same age that you can still open normally?
  • At any point were these old files copied or moved from a different computer, backup set, drive, etc?
  • By any chance do you have a Time Machine or other "versioning" backup of these files you might try recovering them from?
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#46735 - 10/29/17 04:15 PM Re: Documents won't open [Re: Douglas]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Douglas
Just to check one file that would not open, a pdf, was still available online so I downloaded that file and it opened just fine. I compared the 2 pdf files and their sizes are exactly the same 217313 bytes. If it's corrupted it seems that the file size ought to be a little different.

If you try to move the newly d/l'ed PDF to the same location as the old one do you get an "already exists" pop-up? And if you do and then hit "Replace", what happens? (Make a command-D copy of the original before trying.)

Originally Posted By: Douglas
One of the pdf files which was a legal document now shows a picture of my dog when opened. Very weird.

Have you interrogated your dog? tongue


Edited by artie505 (10/29/17 06:08 PM)
Edit Reason: More
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#46736 - 10/29/17 09:38 PM Re: Documents won't open [Re: joemikeb]
Douglas Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Seattle, WA
The files that won't open are 2009-2012.

Yes I have similar files from that time period that do indeed open normally, more files that open than don't open.

These files were moved from my previous MacMini to my current MacMini in June 2014. I used Migration Assistant to move files from old to new Mini. I am pretty sure that I opened them since but am not positive.

I don't use Time Machine but I do have a external HD that I use as a backup. I close my system about every 2 months and the files on the external HD will not open either and I have tried to open them by copying them to my internal HD and also booting into the external. Won't open.

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#46737 - 10/29/17 09:42 PM Re: Documents won't open [Re: artie505]
Douglas Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Seattle, WA
I tried moving the file I downloaded to the folder with the file that will not open. I get the popup saying file already exists. If I click replace the file opens normally. Moving the broken file back I get the popup and click replace and it won't open.

I have put my dog under the bright lights and she swears she isn't using my computer at night when I'm in bad. She did steal a peanut butter cookie once so she may not be trustworthy.

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