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LO 1:4.2-8-0ubuntu on Xubuntu 14.04, up to date

I have used LO (and formerly OO) on Ubuntu for ten years, and there has
rarely been a problem. 

Suddenly LO Writer would not open either of two files that I had been
working on. The error message popup said:

        The file 'filename.odt' is corrupt and therefore cannot be
        LibreOffice can try to repair the file.
        The corruption could be the result of document manipulation or
        of structural document damage due to data transmission.
        We recommend that you do not trust the content of the repaired
        Execution of macros is disabled for this document.
        Should LibreOffice repair the file?

Clicking on YES got the popup:

        The file 'filename.odt' could not be repaired and therefore
        cannot be opened.

This popup had only an OK button, and clicking on it got another popup:

        General error.

The files were stored on a hard disk that was at the end of its
warranty and I was considering replacing it, so there is a possibility
that the files really were corrupt. But the disk had 4TB of other data
on it and none of it had appeared corrupted (yet), so I must
conclude that corruption is a possibility, but not necessarily true.

 At this point I copied the files from the suspect disk to a different
 drive (mSATA), and then tried to open them from there. But at this
 point Writer would not open at all. Writer and everything else is on
 the mSATA drive; the suspect drive is an external USB drive that is
 used strictly for data.

On trying to open Writer the error message was that was
corrupt and do I want to try to repair it. Regardless of whether I said
Yes or No, I got a message "The file "" could not be
repaired and therefore cannot be opened." There is only one button on
the message, "OK," and when I click on it I get a "General error" popup
message, and when I tried to open Writer again it would not even try to
open - nothing happened at all. However, the other components of the
suite (Impress, Draw, Calc, etc. all continued to open normally.

I reinstalled all components of LO, but it made no difference.

I searched for "" and navigated to it, where I then renamed
it by appending -old to the filename. Afterwards Writer opened, but
bitched about there not being a file. It looked the same as
before (I have a lot of custom toolbar and other viewing settings),
except that the page view was full page where I had always set it to
page width. No big deal.

So then I tried to open the supposedly corrupt files again, but I got
the same error messages as before. I have backups of the files, but
they were made last night and also would not open. These files are
lists of things and are constantly being added to, so really old
backups would be useless. In an effort to save the data I decided to
see if I could open them in Abiword. That was successful and the data
looked fine (except the table formatting was messed up), so I saved them
from Abiword in .odt format, but this failed with the error message

        "Error saving the document Untitled1: Write Error.
        Error in writing sub-document content.xml.

So then I decided to see if I could export the file, starting with PDF
as probably the least problematic. The export started and the progress
bar got about halfway, and then Writer locked up. There was nothing to
do except kill it and start over. I relaunched Writer, opened the .abw
file, and this time tried to export as Writer Layout XML. This time I
got a different error message: 

        "Error saving the document <filename> Resource exhausted.
        No more space on device.

The device has over 100 GB of free space.

I decided to see if I could fix the damage that Abiword had done to the
table column widths, but in the middle of this suddenly the status bar
in Writer started flashing and I couldn't click on anything to close
the document or exit Writer - in other words, Writer had gone into a
loop that was taking all CPU processes. I killed Writer, and then
restarted it. At that point it was getting too late and I was out of
ideas, so I decided to post this message and go to bed. In the morning
my bran may have come up with other ideas and maybe someone here will
have some suggestions. And I know that my data is all still there since
I can open the files in Abiword, so it is merely a problem to be
figured out, not a disaster.

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