I can't repair these corrupt .Docx files for my studies, are they recoverable at all?

Hi, I've been trying to recover these files for days and I have gotten absolutely nowhere.

First of all, these are files from late last year and earlier this year my Macbook Pro crashed. I was able to recover most of the documents with Stellar Phoenix however some of them seem too corrupt to repair.

The main problem: When I try to open these .DOCX files on Mac OS X Snow leopard in word, text edit or open office all I get is a bunch of symbols eg. "]≥D@]≥<@]≥4@]≥,@]≥$@]≥@]≥@]≥"

Before it opens in Microsoft Word (2011) the 'Convert File' window pops up and I proceed to the option 'recover text from any file'.
The document then opens in compatibility mode and with a compatibility check it displays the following errors:
 "1. Word 6.0/95 compatibility options are set
  2. This document displays unicode characters that might not display correctly in earlier versions of office."

When I change the compatibility preferences there is no difference to the text and the second, unicode error persists.
From here when I try to 'Save as' it automatically tries to save it as a '.Doc' file, not '.Docx'.

I have tried a few different things such as putting the files on to a Windows computer, zipping and unzipping to view the . XML content which didn't work but I am an amateur Windows user so I could have gone wrong. I have tried converting it to an RTF, no luck. And I have tried downloading an XML editor but it is beyond me.

Any suggestions? How do you know if the file is too corrupt?

Any help would be really appreciated!
Zoe HuntingAsked:
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Open them up in Notepad and scroll down.

If you don't see any sign of words that you recognize then the file is too far gone.

I've tried it and there's nothing legible there.  Suggest you try it on at least one of those files.

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John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems EngineerCommented:
I am afraid that in such cases the only solution is just to try everything...
Just google "docx repair" and try everything you get...when you get a result that is acceptable then you buy the program/service...
Zoe HuntingAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your suggestions, I have tried those things. Maybe it's time to give up.
I don't know the first thing about unicode, does anyone know if it's possible to translate it somehow?
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Try opening it in open office  (free) .... might help, I have had mixed results in the past.
Zoe HuntingAuthor Commented:
I have tried that too, thanks anyway
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Did you ever email the files somewhere?  Even if the mails are deleted, there are sometimes temporary versions stored.
Similarly, were there ever versions in the cloud - Dropbox, etc?  Sometimes these store older versions of files, even if the latest one is corrupt.

Finally, if there's paper copies somewhere, these can often be scanned and fed through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) programs to turn the images back into editable text.

It may be worth running a program like GetDataBack on the disk - from www.runtime.org - in case it gets better versions than Stellar did.  Free to try (it shows you what's there), but costs a few $$ to do the actual recovery.  Takes time to run - perhaps overnight?

The final, and madly expensive, option is to send your hard disk to data recovery companies to see what they can do.  Cost will be in the thousands though.
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
Four way split between the experts below.  All are good attempts in attempting to recover the data and just point to the data being unrecoverable at all.




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