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I have an old hard drive I had professionally recovered, and they were only able to give me the files in code that looks like this:

talledBannerText{\VSI_MS_Sans_Serif16.0_1_0}[ProductName] 
¼³Ä¡EulaForm{\VSI_MS_Sans_Serif16.0_1_0}»ç¿ë±Ç °è¾à{\VSI_MS_Sans_Serif13.0_0_0}»ç¿ë±Ç °è¾àÀ» Àоî ÁֽʽÿÀ. ¾Æ·¡ ³»¿ë¿¡ µ¿ÀÇÇϸé "µ¿ÀÇÇÔ"À» Ŭ¸¯ÇÏ°í "´ÙÀ½"À» Ŭ¸¯ÇϽʽÿÀ. ±×·¸Áö ¾ÊÀ¸¸é "Ãë¼Ò"¸¦ Ŭ¸¯ÇϽʽÿÀ.LicenseText{\rtf1\adeflang1025\ansi\ansicpg1252\uc1\adeff0\deff0\stshfdbch0\stshfloch0\stshfhich0\stshfbi0\deflang1033\deflangfe1033{\fonttbl{\f0\froman\fcharset0\fprq2{\*\panose 02020603050405020304}Times New Roman;}{\f12\froman\fcharset129\fprq2{\*\panose 02030600000101010101}Batang{\*\falt \'b9\'d9\'c5\'c1};}
{\f36\fswiss\fcharset0\fprq2{\*\panose 020b0604030504040204}Tahoma;}{\f73\froman\fcharset129\fprq2{\*\panose 02030600000101010101}@Batang;}{\f253\froman\fcharset238\fprq2 Times New Roman CE;}{\f254\froman\fcharset204\fprq2 Times New Roman Cyr;}
{\f256\froman\fcharset161\fprq2 Times New Roman Greek;}{\f257\froman\fcharset162\fprq2 Times New Roman Tur;}{\f258\fbidi \froman\fcharset177\fprq2 Times New Roman (Hebrew);}{\f259\fbidi \froman\fcharset178\fprq2 Times New Roman (Arabic);}
{\f260\froman\fcharset186\fprq2 Times New Roman Baltic;}{\f261\froman\fcharset163\fprq2 Times New Roman (Vietnamese);}{\f375\froman\fcharset0\fprq2 Batang Western{\*\falt \'b9\'d9\'c5\'c1};}
{\f373\froman\fcharset238\fprq2 Batang CE{\*\falt \'b9\'d9\'c5\'c1};}{\f374\froman\fcharset204\fprq2 Batang Cyr{\*\falt \'b9\'d9\'c5\'c1};}{\f376\froman\fcharset161\fprq2 Batang Greek{\*\falt \'b9\'d9\'c5\'c1};}

This is just the start of the file. I've tried:

  • Changing ending from txt to .doc and .odt, no success

What am I looking at and is there any way to recover the text?

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  • If the files are the same size then that tells you that they are not your files at all. But that text looks vaguely like rtf to me. Aug 9, 2022 at 22:13
  • The content you provided isn’t the format that of a .DOC file. There isn’t any text in the content you provided.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 9, 2022 at 23:08
  • 1
    You probably won't get it all back but use the feature in Word to Recover Text From Any File. It will strip the ASCII out (where it still exists) and give you the raw text. I use it all of the time. I use it to pull text out of EXE and DLL files all of the time. Aug 10, 2022 at 0:42

2 Answers 2

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As a last-ditch effort, try opening the files in a hex-editor, which will show the actual bytes on the disk. Some free hex editors examples are HxD and the many alternatives.

If the first two characters are PK, then the file is a ZIP archive, such as ODT and DOCX documents. If so, you can try opening the file in 7-Zip to view the text inside, though if the file is damaged, it might not be possible to open it in 7-Zip. Also look at the first few bytes to try to identify the file format.

For future reference, you might consider making disk images to another drive on a regular basis. Good imaging software such as Macrium Reflect Free or alternatives can be had for nothing, and an external USB HDD might be found from US$40 and up, depending on size. This is likely far less than the cost of commercial data recovery, and far more reliable.

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  • Each file is just a txt file with a number file name. It's like they took the entire folder and dumped it into equally sized txt files.
    – Makaze
    Aug 9, 2022 at 23:26
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The disk was damaged - which is why you had it recovered.

If the damage occurred in numerous places including where your specific files were located, then you are out of luck and will not be able to recover them.

Do you have backups or like files from which you can re-create the files you want?

If you read all the file you posted, is there text there that you can use?

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  • Not that I can see. Each file is the same number of bytes and it is not clear if any of the files actually contain a complete file, or what file type they are.
    – Makaze
    Aug 9, 2022 at 21:59
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    I think the files you want, then, are gone.
    – John
    Aug 9, 2022 at 22:00

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