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All my MS Word Document files reduced to zero bytes!!

Posted on 2004-04-30
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
Hi,

I am having to deal with a great crises. I have lost all my documents overnight and now I am in a panic. All my MS document files have been reduced to zero byes!! All file names and the date of creation are intact but when I open the files, I don't find any data.

I envisage it is the work of a worm or virus. I used Stinger for detection but with no outcome. Can anyone tell me if I can retrieve back my files to readable format? How can I remove the virus? Where to find the tool?

Thanks in Advance,

Biplab :)
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Question by:biplabid
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sunray_2003 earned 250 total points
ID: 10966068
Check these virus scanners

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ 

http://security.symantec.com/

http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm

http://www.pcpitstop.com/antivirus/default.asp 


Have you checked if only the Word documents are gone or other office application files aswell ?

Try this : http://www.officerecovery.com/

Post back
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 10966072
Is your solved ?
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Author Comment

by:biplabid
ID: 10966077
only the word documents are gone. the other office applications are intact.

Thanks for the links. i will check out. By the way, is there any history of such problems?

Biplab.
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Author Comment

by:biplabid
ID: 10966078
not yet. i am checking your links. let you know if any success.

Biplab.
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 10966079
Oh first of all you neednot have accepted my comment as answer. It should be done only after any expert solve your question.

I remember seeing history of such kind of problems where their music file get reduced to 0 bytes .. Not sure of any specific solution though.. Try this and post back
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Author Comment

by:biplabid
ID: 10966091
hmmm...that was a mistake :). Yes..your comment not yet accepted (hahaha :D ). Just can you tell me if this deed is that of a virus or a MS bug?

Biplab :)
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 10966094
Have you checked for those viruses yet ?

tell you want you may want to take a backup of all those files and then reinstall office and then try to open them again

Try in opening them in safe mode aswell

have you looked and tried that office recovery ?    
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Author Comment

by:biplabid
ID: 10966316
sad new sunray.. :(

everything tried but no success as yet. first i tried with the download fro "wordrecovery" from http://officerecovery.com. the utility can only recover corrupt word documents and cannot restore anything which is of zero bytes. i have backed up everything to a secure non-windows plateform. but the files are zero byte even there. i am in doubt now if I can recover my files. i even tried with reinstalling MS Office XP but in vain.

By the way, i am running all the latest critical patches issued by Microsoft till date, both for windows and MS Office.

anyway, it would have been of help if i would have known who/what the culprit is lest the problem does not occur again.

Biplab.
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Author Comment

by:biplabid
ID: 10966457
some news update.

the main catch here is that by default, even if you create a document with out anything typed in it, you will always get a word file of either 20 kb or 24 kb (win XP/Win 2000) minimum. There is no chance that you create a 0 byte document with MS office. So i belive that it must be an active virus which must be doing this. I have created some test document on the infected system. But MS word is working normally with new documents. I  don't know how long will they last :)

I discovered some viruses in the PC like W32/Holer.gen@mm and W97M/Class@mm. But I don't have any information if these viruses can cause such harm, although they infect word documents.

There is also some activity of the latest Lovegate virus in my network. Can it be the work of this?

By the way, I have discovered that the "virus" is also infecting Excell files.

Biplab :)
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 10967519
Have you tried this ? Now that you have cleaned up the virus in your machine , try to transfer that document to a different windows machine and check if the same 0 bytes is reflected there .

First transfer the file to a different machine. Scan for virus . Try to open it there. If it opens then good. if it doesnot then probably you had lost the data. Also try this. Make a word document in that different machine and move it to your machine and check what is the result

I guess those viruses would have destroyed your data.

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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 10967544
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Author Comment

by:biplabid
ID: 10976954
hmmm...some viruses like "Minizip" and "ExploreZip" are known to do this.

I read it here http://www.fireav.com/virusinfo/library/minizip.htm

Sadly, no instance of this worm was found.
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