8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2012 7:48 PM by John Hawkinson

    Pages just deleted!! Help!

    elizmb

      I have a large document, 78 pages, that I have been working on. All of a sudden, I scrolled to the end and many of my pages are now blank. The page is still there but all of my work is deleted. I did a "save as" of the document, closed it, and opened my original and the pages are still blank. I have no idea what happened. It is about 1/3 of my pages, randomly thoughout the document, but mostly at the end. Any ideas? Any way to restore my document to the one I had 30 minutes ago??

        • 1. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
          elizmb Level 1

          1 more bit of info, I was working on the document, then I got an error message that said indesign isn't working and needs to shut down. I clicked "ok" and then opened it up and it was "restoring previous session." It was a few minutes later that I realized that pages were blank.

          Also, I just pulled up my "layers" window and if I click on one of the blank pages, the layers box still lists the text and pics that should be there. So it's like the info is still kind of there on the page, but it's not displaying???

          • 2. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
            John Hawkinson Level 5

            First step is to STOP and save a copy of the file before you do anything else. Save all versions that you have.

            Things don't look good, but let's make sure you don't make them worse.

             

            You said you did a Save As. Do you still have the file from before the Save As? Have you looked at it?

             

            then I got an error message that said indesign isn't working and needs to shut down. I clicked "ok" and then opened it up and it was "restoring previous session." It was a few minutes later that I realized that pages were blank.

            When this happens, you should not trust the result of the crash recovery. Never save it over your previous copy of the document. Always audit for accuracy.

             

            Also, I just pulled up my "layers" window and if I click on one of the blank pages, the layers box still lists the text and pics that should be there. So it's like the info is still kind of there on the page, but it's not displaying???

            Well, that's optimistic. Try exporting the file to IDML and then opening that and seeing if it helps.

             

            What was the structure of your document? Was it one large story threaded through each of hte pages? Was each page a seperate unit?

            Whath aheppens if you rightclick on one of the objects in the Layers panel and choose Show item(s)?

            • 3. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
              elizmb Level 1

              The document was a magazine, so I had several 3-4 page articles that were 

              threaded. The deleted pages seem to have no rhyme or reason, 1 page out of 

              a 4 page story will be deleted, sometimes it was the whole story. I have 2 

              copies, the original and the save as, the original is the same as the save 

              as. I think when indesign did the auto recovery it replaced my original. 

              Was the file corrupted? It seems like when it did the recovery it just 

              couldn't find those pages. I exported to idml and some of the information 

              is there, but not all of it, and it's totally disorganized. Photos that 

              disappeared off the original are back, but way off in the margins or what 

              not. I can copy and past some things from the idml, but still a lot is 

              missing. So it seems that the data is still there, any other ideas?

              • 4. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
                John Hawkinson Level 5

                I think when indesign did the auto recovery it replaced my original. 

                That should not happen unless you hit Save after the recovery.

                Maybe InDesign needs a stronger warning

                 

                If your IDML is goofy, then that definitely means your original file is corrupt, which I guess is no surprise. Sorry...

                So it seems that the data is still there, any other ideas?

                Well, not really. You could try the Markzware File Recovery Service, http://markzware.com/support/faq/recover-bad-file-service/.

                They're about the only option out there for this sort of thing, if you can't do it yourself.

                • 5. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
                  elizmb Level 1

                  thanks,

                  why do files get corrupt? I have a copy of my document from a few days ago, 

                  I am working off of that one now. What do I need to do to make sure this 

                  doesn't happen again?

                  • 6. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    elizmb wrote:

                    why do files get corrupt? ... What do I need to do to make sure this 

                    doesn't happen again?

                    If we could answer that one we'd never get asked because there would be no more corrupt files.

                     

                    There is no single cause of file corruption. Your files are essentially just numbers, though, and in the computer those numbers are described by changing the state of a string of "bits" to either on or off. Traditional hard drives use magnetism and change polarity to represent the on/off states (this is oversimplified), and RAM does something similar, though I don't think magnetism is involved, and electicity is used to make the changes. Sometimes the magnetic particles stop working or a spot on a memory chip fails, sometimes there's a voltage spike, or sometimes there's just a bad instruction buried in the code that does something unintended.

                     

                    Improper shut down or failure to save a file before closing (like a system crash or power failure) are more likely to cause damage than other factor, I think, all else being equal, but things are seldom that cut an dried. ID keeps a backup copy of your file in auto-recovery in case of the bad shutdown, as you've seen, and it may or may not be damaged as well (bad recovery files usually just crash ID on startup, so if they open, they're worh looking at. You should never, as John has mentioned, save the recovery file withthe same name as the original unless you are absolutely convinced that it is perfect. Saving with a new anme allows you to keep both the recovered file, and the original, which may also be OK, but not quite as current as the recovery file (if it opens, it will open from the last saved state, recovery files should open missing not more than a few minutes of recent edits).

                    • 7. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                      Sorry, posted before I was really finished.

                       

                      The best way to protect your work is to back it up. I do that every night, some people do it more frequently, even continuously. Save often, and do a save as to a new name at each major step wher you think you might need to go back if something goes wrong (or the client changes their mind). It's often easier to open a previous version and make changes than to undo a lot of work on the most recent version, and of course a long cahin of versions acts as a de facto backup system wher you lose only waht was done since the version was saved, should you need to go back, and it allows you to go back as far as necesarry to find a version before corruption entered the file.

                      • 8. Re: Pages just deleted!! Help!
                        John Hawkinson Level 5

                        why do files get corrupt?

                        I would answer somewhat differently than Peter. While it's true that neutrinos or random subatomic particles can cause corruption, that path is extremely rare, and there are mechanisms that try to detect those bit-errors (checksums).

                         

                        The primary cause of corruption is software bugs. Somehow the document acquires some state that doesn't make sense. For instance, say, paragraph is supposed to have 200 characters but really only has 100, so in reading the 200 characters for the paragraph InDesign reads the next paragraph as well and everything is off-by-one (this is a contrived example and not really how it works).

                         

                        These bugs typically arise when a programmer has screwed up and didn't realize the effect some unanticipated case can produce. Sometimes the effects are visible to us, sometimes they aren't. Sometimes one little damaged piece will cause other assumptions to fail and a document to get further damaged. Sometimes the damage may be isolated and not affect anything.

                         

                        You yourself encountered one:

                         

                        I got an error message that said indesign isn't working and needs to shut down.

                        This is InDesign detecting something is inconsistent. If you poke around at the ProtectiveShutdownLog (see http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/329/329853.html), you can find out why it thought so -- or a one-line potentially-inscrutable summary thereof, maybe.

                         

                        What do I need to do to make sure this doesn't happen again?

                        Well, Peter's certainly right that you should keep backups.

                         

                        The other thing, of course, is to try to keep careful track of anything you do that causes a clear manifestation of a bug, and to document them and report such bugs to Adobe and get them fixed (at http://adobe.com/go/support or http://adobe.com/go/wish). This is, of course, fairly challenging, and to some extent a problem that does not scale easily. Still, if everyone did it, especially for bugs of the reproducible variety, it would be much better for everyone. This is true of all software, of course.