Recovery failed after outage


Power outages are rare in my neighborhood, but the other day, while I was working in a document on LibreOffice 5.3, a split-second outage made my computer shut down. I was not worried too much because I had the precaution of setting a 10-minute auto backup and saved the document myself more often. Power outages had happened to me dozens of times while working on OpenOffice and other word processors, and the file recovery process was always capable of recovering most of the work. When I turned the computer on again and opened the app the usual recovery window appeared (like on other word processors) informing me of the recovery process. I followed the steps carefully and expected to lose only a few minutes of work, since I had saved the document myself more often than every 10 minutes, right?

Wrong! In the document that opened there were several pages of work missing. It was almost the same document I had opened hours ago. Several hours of hard work just gone. I was unable to find any backup of temp file or retrieve an earlier version. I couldn’t believe that happened.

My questions are if I can recover the previous version of the document, if possible. I also would want to know how did that happen? How can I prevent LibreOffice of doing the same thing again?

I could buy an UPS but that doesn’t address the issue. Saving every document simultaneously to a flash memory is too distracting and time consuming, and I don’t know why I should do it, up till now I have never needed to do that.

Thanks for any help

A UPS will help with those split second outages by preventing the loss of work and providing time to save the work. I run a back-up every day, so if there is a more catastrophic failure, you only lose the prior days work. I have never used the LibreOffice “auto-save feature” but you may want to give it a try: Saving Documents Automatically - LibreOffice Help

Wow Fresher, unreal. Feeling your pain.

I have a spreadsheet in which I keep track of data throughout the day. It totally disappeared! This is the second time a major spreadsheet has disappeared. TOTALLY. As if I had deliberately deleted. First time I had Seagate backup on another drive, but only could retrieve very old version. Started over with a new one, that now disappeared! Found the .bak path, but that copy is NINE DAYS old! Even though it was checked to save every 15 minutes. I save each time I enter new data.

Why doesn’t LO honor the backup frequency time? Why doesn’t it at least save a backup when the doc is exited? That would have given me last night’s version which would have been current. Nine days ago means there is some flaw in the system. The auto backup is too old and my saved version disappeared. I once had the disappearing problem with a Writer Doc. Took a day to get everything back in order. Manually restore from a pdf I had made. Including styles. PAIN! Well over 100 pp.

Nothing in the backup folder of your LibreOffice user profile?

Thanks for the comments and the answers.

I checked all the likely folders, the backup folder. on user profile, etc,. but all were empty.

The thing that most upsets me is that I saved my work every 4-6 minutes, and still, LibreOffice recovery disregarded the saved original file and only recovered a copy that was hours old, it’s unexplainable.

The field ‘save auto-recovery information’ was selected and set to 10 minutes, but apparently this was useless.

I made a test hours later, with a long document (one that I had a separate backup) and saved it every 4 minutes, and unplugged the PC to force a shutdown. I cancelled recovery when LibreOffice prompted and the document was only missing the last 4 minutes. That clearly shows that LibreOffice recovery function doesn’t work, and attempting recovery will only cause a large loss of data. If I had cancelled recovery the first time I would only have lost just minutes of my work. After dozens of outages over the years and after recovering almost all of my data after them it’s my experience that other word processors don’t have this issue

Several other people have had the same issue with LibreOffice or worst, like the one below:

See [Tutorial] How to find and un-delete AOO/LO temporary files (View topic) • Apache OpenOffice Community Forum [Tutorial] How to find and un-delete Writer temporary files for instructions on how to identify and un-delete the temporary files Writer wrote while you were editing the file, and then deleted. You should be able to recover all or most of the lost data up to the last AutoSave.

This will not work if you have an SSD.

Why will it not work with an SSD?

At the link above:
" the Operating System works silently in the background to set all the bits in deleted files to zero" Does someone mean “garbage collection”?

It actually will/should work with an SSD, if like in the linked page above, it is done prior to the execution of any garbage collection.Garbage Collection (GC) intervals are/can be unique to each model/manufacturer of SSDs, a bit of an unknown thing, so do it ASAP. GC can also be triggered by the AMOUNT of data and frequency of the writes to it, i.e., the more capacity is filled, the more important it becomes to have free space, so it may work to an advantage if the SSD is not used much.

A positive of an SSD over an HDD, the way the Wear Leveling Algorithm typically works (at least for Samsung, which other types may be similar), the SSD controller(s) write sequentially to each page, as deletes happen and pages/blocks are cleared up, it writes to the least used page, i.e., this progresses as the drive fills, it could be a very long time until there is an overwrite to the file trying to be recovered. Sort of a race between the drive filling up,GC housekeeping and user delete/sav

Why does this not work with an SSD?