EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

I saved my ABC tune file last night on my home computer and when I tried to open it this morning I only get "PK" text in the ABC window. It’s a big project for me and I’ve been transcribing about 100 tunes/week for about a month since my last back up. I wonder if there’s any method for repairing what i assume is a corrupted file like this?

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Did you put in any text or comments that not preceded by w:, W:, or % ? ABC editors want to see specific abc notation conventions followed. Plain text is a no-no. If that doesn’t fix your problem, I’d be be happy to go through the file and see what I can spot.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

It was all fine before I saved it. I can send it to you but there’s not much to see other than a few letters.

I will send that message to the creator. I thought it might be useful to try here first.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

"there’s not much to see other than a few letters." Is that in EasyABC or in a text editor? (Make a copy to open in Notepad)

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Are you sure that what you are opening really is your ABC file? There several types of file that you could have on the computer that start "PK" followed by non printing characters. They have file extensions other than .abc but if the extension got changed to .abc they would look like an ABC file in Windows Explorer.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

That is the file signature of a zip archive.
Browse the folder in Windows Explorer with "Show file extensions" enabled in the View options.
If you have files with .zip extension, then Explorer will open them if they’re not corrupted.
If you have files with .txt or .abc extension and they open with "PK???" displayed then try renaming them so they have a .zip extension and see if Explorer will open them as zip archives.
Of course, back up everything before any of these experiments.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

"That is the file signature of a zip archive." There are several applications that save files with that signature (I guess because they are zip compressed). @JWiseman. Have you any files from other programs for this project that you save with the same filename? From a word processor maybe?

An MS Word .docx file opens in EasyABC as PK ETX EOT DC4, where last three groups are how the non printing characters are displayed. If you use Word first thing to try may be making a copy and changing the extension to .docx.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Yes, MS Word saves .docx files as zip archives. If you had pasted your abc into a Word document and saved it you’d be able to open it with Word.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

I tried some (most) of the suggestions. The file still has the .abc extension and I never purposely compressed the file. it will not open as a zip file. It does open in "Note Pad" but it is missing the first 418 tunes of ~2300. Some of the first 418 was lost. I built the file first using various sources for ABC code but am working my way through and modifying each tune to include a transcription from the corresponding audio files I have saved and also to include files from common sources such as O’Neill’s or B&S. I do wonder if I’ve put to much into the file - it is unusually large.

I noticed this morning there is an ‘RA’ in properties/details/attributes where my other files have an ‘A’. I believe this means Read Only but I don’t understand beyond that.

"There isn’t much to see" The only thing that shows up at all when I try to open this file in EasyABC is in the text box.
"PKETXEOTDC4" the last 9 digits are highlighted (black) in individual groups of three.

Thanks everyone. I saved a lot already by the knowledge that I can open the file up as a text file. I haven’t figured out how much was lost from the first 418 tunes yet but it is still substantial enough to pursue.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Something other than EasyABC wrote the file you are looking at. There is a chance that if you can find what extension the file ought to have more of it will be readable. A ‘proper’ ABC file is fully readable in Notepad.

Did you follow Mad Sweeney’s suggestion to "Browse the folder in Windows Explorer with "Show file extensions" enabled in the View options."? If you are not showing file extensions it could be that the file is called something like "mytunes.abc.docx" but being displayed in Explorer as "mytunes.abc".

I suppose it could be that a file system error has scrambled some files. If so you may have lost other things.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

I did try view file extensions enable - which is why I know the file I am trying to open is .abc

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Others have already said this, but to emphasize: if your file really is *.abc, and if it doesn’t open properly in any super-plain text editor such as Notepad (or Notepad++, my hot tip!), then your file is unquestionably corrupt. All you can hope is to salvage what you can with a text editor from your present version and any backups you have. Tough, I know.

I work all day at a confuter, and learnt the hard way: regular full backups (I do it monthly) and daily increments (which I do to a usb stick) is the way. I’ll confess that I don’t do the "always on" type of backup, so I always run the risk of losing one day’s work, but I can live with that. Hard drives *do* die - iirc 20 or 30 thousand hours is the typical expectation, though you *never* know.

You have my sympathy, fwiw.

One last thought - you could try running something like chkdsk.com. If it finds lost fragments, you can look through them and might find some bits of your damaged files. Depending on the results, that could be a HUGE task, and it’s not guaranteed to get you anywhere. But it might.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Yes, I was going to come on to chkdsk. In addition to sorting through lost fragments it might be also be worth trying to open in Notepad any other files reported by their applications as being corrupt - they may have gained part of your ABC file.

Rather than keep saving the ABC file with the same name you could add a number on the end and increment it at each save. That also means if you have a copies on assorted USB sticks you know the order without having to look at the dates.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Don’t run chkdsk without having done a backup beforehand. chkdsk can burn your house down.
I’ve been prompted many times to "repair" drives after being plugged in, having been previously disconnected without properly dismounting; the result of the repairs was not visible although I’m sure it repaired the free list or something.
But on one occasion chkdsk dismantled 32g of files and left me with only a tiny subset of the original contents.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

@MadSweeny - Ouch!

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Yea…I thought I’d move the file to a flash drive first.

I’ve figured out I lost about 125 tunes that I transcribed over. It could have been a lot worse.

I do back up but I was on a roll with this project and got caught up and let too much time go by. I got over confident I guess.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

I don’t know how to use EasyABC, but there’s this amazing online ABC writer called Clive W (clivew.com/abc.php) which is great as long as you save the ABC text before closing it. I highly recommend it!

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Have you got file history enabled to a suitable back up drive? That does automatic backups.

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

It’s a mystery. I was able to artificially recreate the error by importing/saving a single .abc file/tune as xml & checking the box to compress it; which changes the extension to .mxl Here is the screenshot just as it’s been described ~ https://www.dropbox.com/s/k42h7j863dbpeml/Missing%20418%20tunes%20of%202%2C300.jpg?dl=0

But why would saving a .abc file (in EasyAbc) compress it, keep the .abc extension & eat all those tunes?
It’s not fair!

[Only 125 tunes of 418. My bad.]

Posted by .

Re: EasyABC for the computer savvy (Microsoft)

Ah, I hadn’t noticed that EasyABC could read and write files with that signature. It may be worth changing the extension to .mxl and trying the Import function, though if some of it is readable as text I doubt it’s a valid compressed file.

The "PK" text display is logical - EasyABC can recognize that the rest of the file will not make sense as text.