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ODB file has become an ODT file?!

asked 2017-03-22 01:50:22 +0200

JG15 gravatar image

I'm stumped; in an effort to save a copy of my database it has transformed itself into a text file. Curiously all previous backups have also magically become text files. The ODB file is still listed under "previous files"; but will not open. I'm not sure how I caused this. Is there any way to retrieve my database? Thanks!

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answered 2017-03-22 02:36:49 +0200

Ratslinger gravatar image

updated 2017-03-22 02:39:02 +0200

First make sure your OS isn't the cause and associating a .odb with Writer. If it is associated with Base then the following might help.

Your information is very limited but I'm thinking this was an embedded DB. You might try converting this to a Split DB with the method found in my answer on this post - click here. There's a good chance of recovery.

Now I don't recommend it, but is also shows how to arrive back at an embedded DB.

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Thanks to you I was able to create the D/B back in Jan. Procedure is always the same: open the form; enter data; save file, close form; save file. Always worked...until, in preparation for establishing a new backup HD, I decided to "save a copy" of the DB for safekeeping. Something I did in that attempt caused ALL copies (it Backs Up EVERY day), to transform to a text file. The "recent files" selection under File menu reflects the presence of the ODB , which is still there, but it Will Not open.

JG15 gravatar imageJG15 ( 2017-03-22 02:54:48 +0200 )edit

I don't see how backups from two months ago could have been altered retroactively; so I'm guessing that L/O has been told to open any ODB files as ODT files? It could be MacOs Sierra, or whatever they're calling it now, but I suspect it had something to do with my trying to save a copy to a new location. Thank you, Ratslinger! SquirrelSlinger

JG15 gravatar imageJG15 ( 2017-03-22 02:57:47 +0200 )edit

Sorry, know very little about Mac OS. Still sounds like an association problem. Can you do an Open with (right click on file name) on the .odb and then select Base?

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2017-03-22 03:11:37 +0200 )edit

You should be able to use the Finder (Mac file manager) to determine the actual file extension; I'm not sure whether, like Windows, Mac defaults to hiding file extensions so you may have to toggle that. If the extension is correct (odb) then it is likely your file associations are an issue.

Like Ratslinger, I know little about MacOS but found info about the Finder via my favourite search engine :-)

robleyd gravatar imagerobleyd ( 2017-03-22 06:27:20 +0200 )edit

As EasyTrieve explains below: this has nought to do with OS; it is Libre Office layering things to the point where I did not know where I was; and further there being no way to open a file which still exists. Very curious and quite frustrating. Open With does not work; there is no such option available: the requester defaults to Text file since my error, and Easy Trieve believes that there is no recovery possible. Thanks for all the help!

JG15 gravatar imageJG15 ( 2017-03-23 14:35:32 +0200 )edit

Sorry to see you give up. Save as has nothing to do with the problem. Yes it saves a copy of the form as a Writer document (Standalone uses this all the time) but it has no effect on the .odb file. Since you still have an .odb file it should open with Base - got to be the system.

As for the Open with on Mac, dozens of sites say it's there. Here's just one.

Posting your file may also help.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2017-03-23 19:14:17 +0200 )edit

Ratslinger: no dispute: but I explained; each and every backup of that file is now an ODT instead of an ODB. I can indeed (right) click on a file and perform many things; but Open As ODB is NOT one of the choices. That is what is so puzzling about this. Before I went to save a copy of the file in question it had an ODB suffix, after I made the mistake which Easy Trieve identified, ALL instances, even to the backup files from 45 days ago now show an ODT suffix. It would seem reasonable that the f

JG15 gravatar imageJG15 ( 2017-03-23 22:51:44 +0200 )edit

If I can figure out how to post the file I will. I do not wish to give up; any and all help and suggestion is welcome. Thank you for your help; I mean it.JG

JG15 gravatar imageJG15 ( 2017-03-23 22:54:44 +0200 )edit

Sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense for every extension to change as such. I also believed based on question & remarks you had a file with .odb extension. One more thought - have you tried renaming the file extension from .odt to .odb and then try opening that? Or have you actually looked at the archive of the file?

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2017-03-23 22:59:35 +0200 )edit

Yeah. I want to see you get your file back.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2017-03-23 23:01:51 +0200 )edit
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answered 2017-03-23 01:37:57 +0200

EasyTrieve gravatar image

(Looks like you pretty much already figured this out, but for others who pass this way.)

What causes this:

Base forms, are actually overlays inside Writer pages. Hence if while in a Form you Save Copy As by default the save will be created as an *.odt. That's where the trouble begins.

To properly save a copy of the database you need to either close the form, or switch to the outer window, i.e. the window that has a "- LibreOffice Base" suffix at the top of the windows, (not the window with the "- LibreOffice Base Form" prefix).

I fell in this trap early on and had to rebuild to recover. :-(

BTW, Recent files is no good if the file to open isn't there to open (like if you moved the file or renamed it). I have to clear this list from time to time after I rename or move files.


(I pesonally don't know how to recover from this, except to go back to your most recent .odb file. There really should be some sort of warning built in someday.)

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This most closely matches my situation: the file is there: it is not useable. If there is, indeed no way to recover from this I agree that there should be some indication for the novice user such as me that I am about to throw away many, many hours of work. There are NO surviving ODB files which open as such. My backup files go all the way to when I first successfully created the database: each and every one opens as an ODT "read only" file, which looks just like my DB "form", awaiting entries,

JG15 gravatar imageJG15 ( 2017-03-23 14:29:49 +0200 )edit

So I'm not sure exactly what happened to you. Let's break this into two, data and program: A1) Do you know which database you are using? Choices: Embedded or not embedded? If not embedded then what? If you don't know, then it is most likely Embedded. A2) Can you click Menu>ViewData Sources? Is your data shown there? Can you copy it out to Calc? B) To not loose changes to your forms and other design, you re-create it manually with the help of ViewToolbarForm Design?

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2017-03-24 23:01:52 +0200 )edit

One other question. You say has been turned into a text file. But this exactly what do you mean. Do you mean it has extension .txt and you can open it with a simple text editor, like vi, Notepad, or the like? What filename extension is your best, most current file? Does it open with LibreOffice Writer? And if so can you please provide a screen shot?

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2017-03-24 23:12:19 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-03-22 01:50:22 +0200

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Last updated: Mar 23 '17