Recovering a lost excel (csv) file

Thank you in advance for the help.  I have an excel document that was fine on Friday when I was done working with it and then today has been reduced down to one tab, with the wrong data on it.  I do not know if my computer shut down on it's own or my cat did something (ie sat on the keyboard).  This is a csv file and I would really like to recover it.  I was working on it last on 12/16 and I believe I saved it but when I opened it up this am there is one tab with the wrong data on it.   I have no idea what happened.  I have used the piriform recuva tool but am over my head as i don't quite understand it (have no idea if it's even the right tool) and don't know how to open up those files.

Thanks in advance. I have attached photos of the recuva tool and what it is showing.  The last save which I believe was good was on 12/16 around 2 11 pm.
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Todd MeredithAsked:
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Bill PrewCommented:
As Brian mentioned, you can't save multiple tabs to a CSV, it's not supported.  Yes, you can open a CSV, and working with the active workbook in Excel (a copy of the CSV) it will let you add tabs, format data, etc.  But none of that can be saved to a CSV.  When you do a Save after adding tabs it will warn you about data loss, and ask if you want to save anyway.

If you did the save anyway, then that work that was only in the copy in Excel is lost, sorry.  If you did not do a Save, and the machine was rebooted or something, then you probably lost it.  Have you tried going in to Excel, did it show any files that could be recovered when you did?  If not, then again I suspect your work is lost.

If you had saved it as a XLS or XLSX file, then you would have had all the tabs, etc.  But it doesn't sound like you ever did that?


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Bill PrewCommented:
What was the full path of the filename you are working with?


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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
I don't see any Excel files in those lists.

But one thing I want to clarify. You said this was a CSV file? If it really was a CSV file it wouldn't have tabs. So the fact there is only one tab is normal.

Again, going on the CSV assumption. Thinking about the origins of that file, is there a chance some other operation you did created another file and you accidentally overwrote the previous one?

Check in the C:\windows\temp folder for any files with Friday's date. See if you can open them in Excel.

This is hindsight, but normally the power going out or a visit from the cat would only affect the file if you left it open. In general leaving a file open when you aren't using it is not a good idea. Always best to at the least lock you computer (Windows Key + L) when you are done.
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Todd MeredithAuthor Commented:
So by csv.. this is in excel and it saved as a .csv.  Excel allowed me to add a tab on Friday and I was switching between the two.  I looked in the temp folder and do see activity for Friday.  See attachment.
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Todd MeredithAuthor Commented:
By full path I don't quite understand.  It saves to my 'desktop' and as mentioned is an excel file with a .csv ending.
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Martin LissOlder than dirtCommented:
Do you have any backup either through 3rd-party software or via system checkpoints?
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Bill explained it quite well. Excel won't stop you from adding things to the file, but will warn you that some things may be lost when you try to save it in a file format that doesn't support those changes.

As for the information in your temp directory, any sort of temporary file would usually have a TMP extension. Based on the file size, none of these are correct. The other possibility is look in the folder where your CSV file is saved for any files dated Friday starting with a ~ (tilde) and try and open those.
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Fabrice LambertFabrice LambertCommented:
To be more precise, CSV files are just plain text files, values separated by a comma (or semi-colon).
Excel display these like workbooks, but they definetly arn't workbooks. Ehence why most excel features arn't supported in CSV.
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Todd MeredithAuthor Commented:
Thank you to everyone.  Looks like I am out of luck.  Bummer!  Time to get back to work and recreate it.  I REALLY appreciate everyone's time and knowledge.  Well done everyone!
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
I don't care enough to file a request for attention, but FYI I think I was the first one to mention about a CSV file only having one tab. So should have been flagged as part of the solution. You can select more than one "assist" in a solution.

No problems, just so you know for the future.
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