Corrupt Office '04 and PDF files need recovering

in Genius Bar edited January 2014

My wife has a huge number (as in 100-200, not thousands) of corrupt files on her Mac that she needs for school. These include .xls, .ppt, .doc, and some .pdf's. They became corrupted when she transferred her files from her old iBook G4 to a new MacBook via flash drive (and then deleted the files on her old computer without checking them...awesome).

I'm more than happy to purchase software or even pay a service to recover the files, but I can't seem to find any software that is compatible with Mac's that repairs corrupted Office files, not to mention the .pdf's. And the services all seem awfully sketch. Any suggestions?


  • Reply 1 of 1
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    Firstly, check the file sizes and open the files in a Hex editor to see if there is some data there. You can use HexFiend:

    If you drop a file on it and it's all zeros, there's no data to recover. With some files, it's possible to create a working file, copy the corrupted parts over with a working header and get it to open but it only tends to work with media files. Proprietary binary files are much more difficult to recover manually.

    You will certainly have more options for file recovery on the Windows side but there are a lot of dodgy software packages. Word has its own built-in recovery so try it first if you can - it may be a Windows-only feature:

    I've seen these products recommended online for Windows:

    Fairly cheap software with trials although you'd have to buy the package for each file type. You can run these in VMWare or Parallels, sometimes Crossover.
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