Windows 10: Files Unreadable Solved

  1.    04 Jun 2016 #1

    Files Unreadable


    Hello all,
    I was using 32 gb usb for my backups on my old computer that I no longer have. When I purchased a new computer and restored the backups to it, I discovered that 2/3 of my music files were not in ITunes and most of the documents were in an unreadable form ( more like a code). However, the bank statements were in pdf format and were readable.
    So is there a way to convert these unreadable documents to a readable form?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 3,524
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       04 Jun 2016 #2

    rjordan393 said: View Post
    Hello all,
    I was using 32 gb usb for my backups on my old computer that I no longer have. When I purchased a new computer and restored the backups to it, I discovered that 2/3 of my music files were not in ITunes and most of the documents were in an unreadable form ( more like a code). However, the bank statements were in pdf format and were readable.
    So is there a way to convert these unreadable documents to a readable form?
    Most USB Thumb drives are formatted as FAT32 and usable on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux machines so that shouldn't be a problem. The files that show only 'machine' language usually are corrupted and it may have happened during the original transfer to the Thumb drive or sometime since. Improper removal of the Thumb drive [not using the "Safely Remove"] can also cause the corruption as the OS may not have completed its operations. I keep backup copies of data I don't want to lose from Thumb drives on an HDD, usually USB but also on a NAS drive attached to my Router. A CD or DVD copy may last longer.

    I have used a program called QuickView Plus since the days of Windows 95 [or was it 98] to read unknown file types and sometimes can Copy and Save text or an image but there's no guarantee, it's mostly for those files where a user has no program installed for the type.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    04 Jun 2016 #3

    I will look into seeing if " QuickView Plus" can help. Thanks.
    Strange though, that I had no problem using a USB for backup and restore on the old computer.
    If I switch computers again, I will make a new backup on a floppy and hold onto the USB as a second backup. Does this make sense?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 3,524
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       04 Jun 2016 #4

    rjordan393 said: View Post
    If I switch computers again, I will make a new backup on a floppy and hold onto the USB as a second backup. Does this make sense?
    NO!!! New computers aren't coming with floppy drives and their BIOS may not even have an entry for it and the motherboard may not have a floppy controller on it. You might get a USB Floppy drive, I have 3 or 4 around. Also, floppies are notoriously short-lived, be better to burn to a CD or DVD and have an archived copy. When the contents of an Optical disc are copied to Windows they generally get the Read-only Attribute removed on the HDD/SSD drive so they can be worked with. For most uses I have a WDC Passport portable drive, uses 1 USB port and works on Windows and Linux [Mac OS X has issues with NTFS formatting].
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 6,544
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       04 Jun 2016 #5

    rjordan393 said: View Post
    Hello all,
    I was using 32 gb usb for my backups on my old computer that I no longer have. When I purchased a new computer and restored the backups to it, I discovered that 2/3 of my music files were not in ITunes and most of the documents were in an unreadable form ( more like a code). However, the bank statements were in pdf format and were readable.
    So is there a way to convert these unreadable documents to a readable form?
    Do you have appropriate programs installed for opening your files? What kind of file was opened with what application?

    If you for instance open Word document (something.docx file) in Notepad it looks like in picture below. Note the underlined text which tells you real file format. Please provide more information.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2016_06_04_16_22_541.png  
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    04 Jun 2016 #6

    Here is an attachment that is typical of what the files look like. I used wordpad. I tried notepad but I get the same results. I know some of these files are music files but I hope to retrieve the smaller files. The music files I do not need as I re-installed all my music from CD's.
    Berton, I really meant CD's and not floppy for backups. My bad.
    Files Unreadable Attached Files
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 6,544
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       04 Jun 2016 #7

    What are the file extensions of these files? If you don't see them, you can turn them on or off in Windows explorer.

    The file you have attached is picture in jpg format, but is damaged - probably opening and saved in wrong application.

    Some possibilities:
    something messed with your files and clear extensions,
    or application defaults get messed up
    or something else...

    If application defaults get corrupted, you can restore them in Settings / System - defaults.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    06 Jun 2016 #8

    I was able to restore the most important files using "Quickview Plus" or "Notepad". My music files were restored manually.
    The bank statements needed some work such as renaming and adding dates. The brokerage statements needed the same work. I have determined that the files I could not restore had to be corrupted. They were most likely junk files that I kept like someone who keeps odds and ends in a drawer.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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