I was given 23 .DOC files to convert to normal text, but I think they are corrupted or were created with an old program that wasn't Word. Whenever I open it up in Word 365, it tells me to pick a Text Encoding and no matter which one I choose, all characters in the document are the same. I also tried Recover Text from Any File when opening the file and it showed an error with suggestions and I tried all of those but nothing worked.

Word File Conversion Image

Word Recovery Error Image

I have tried almost every program that can open a .DOC file from this site, but I get the same issue. I'm not too computer savvy in this area to understand what is going on except that I think it is either corrupted, it has to be the right program, or new programs can't read this file properly. I know that my father, before he passed, was able to recover the text on a couple of these files, but I didn't learn what his entire process was. I think he mentioned Google Docs and a Converter Plugin that took 6 steps or something, but I can't seem to find it on his Google Docs.

I tried to open the files in Brackets.io, but it said that it cannot read UTF-16 files. I used a program called File Viewer Plus and it showed an error saying the document is in Binary 0xf6. I saw another question on here that told them to use Antiword to convert them to txt files. I tried that and it gave the error that it isn't a Word File. I also tried TrIDNET and it showed up with no results with 11730 Definitions in the memory. I even went as far as using a Virtual Machine and installing Windows 98 with Word 97, but it still shows the file like in the first image.

Here is one of the files if anyone wants to download it and take a look. I am completely stumped if the file is even salvageable.


Is there anything I can do to recover these files or are they gone?

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  • 2
    Opened it with a hex editor, nothing in there but a single hex F6 repeated. They are no good for anything. – Moab Aug 13 at 21:45

The files are garbage. The one you supplied contains nothing but the bytes 0xf6 repeated for the entire contents of the file.

There is no meaningful data to read, nothing to extract and nothing to view.

Wherever it was copied from either had an error during reading, writing, or it was crafted just to waste your time.

Either ask them to copy it from wherever it was again, ensuring that they "eject" whatever drive they write it to after instead of just unplugging, or just tell them that there is no actual usable data in the file.

There really is nothing in the file you supplied. It is not any kind of valid file.

Fyi, I viewed the file in an online hex editor at https://hexed.it/ to see that there was nothing in it.

  • 2
    Ya I saw that it had the hex F6 in it and I didn't know if there was anything to recover or if it was something wrong with the program used. Sadly these files were from an old computer that they took them from so the originals are gone. I did more digging and the files that weren't corrupted showed they were from a Windows 3.0 computer created in Word 2.0. – Jdeal96 Aug 13 at 22:12

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