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Thread: very unique document search problem in windows

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default very unique document search problem in windows

    I've got a document in a subfolder of 'my documents' that I need to find. The only criteria I remember is that it's got +/- 15 pages of 'padding' in the file. By that I mean 15 pages of linefeeds/carriage returns. There is other stuff in there also, but I know these blank pages are in there as well.

    I've tried searching for the ascii code for linefeed as well as the hex value, but have come to nothing in windows search?

    Ideas?
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    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Barring being able to search for linefeeds, I could search by # of pages per document. With all those linefeeds, it would be one of the longer documents...
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    Flashaholic* Lite_me's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Do you know 'anything' that's in the document? A specific word, something that's not too common would help.

    I use Agent Ransack for searching Windows. There's a free version that does all I need. It searches in sub folders, and will look inside documents for specific words or phrases. It has shell integration. It's fast, and always delivers.
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    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Lite_me View Post
    Do you know 'anything' that's in the document? A specific word, something that's not too common would help.

    I use Agent Ransack for searching Windows. There's a free version that does all I need. It searches in sub folders, and will look inside documents for specific words or phrases. It has shell integration. It's fast, and always delivers.
    No. And there are so many docs that searching for any word would yield a countless hits.
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Sorry but to me the problem doesn't make sense. It's important, but you can't remember one bit of info about it? In that case, what makes it important? If there is some circumstance / external 'pressure' that makes it important, wouldn't that circumstance provide a clue to what you're looking for?

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    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    No other clues are available. I do remember editing the doc, but the contents were generic enough that you can't search for the content itself.
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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    It was a legal document, hidden in a 'blank' document. Searches for content have yielded nothing. If I can't search based on # of linefeeds/carriage returns or # of pages then I'm sunk.

    The # of pages may be the most promising???
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  8. #8

    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    It was a legal document, hidden in a 'blank' document. Searches for content have yielded nothing. If I can't search based on # of linefeeds/carriage returns or # of pages then I'm sunk.

    The # of pages may be the most promising???
    1. Word does not necessarily represent characters, especially non-printing and white space characters by their ASCII code. It may also compress strings of repeated characters.
    2. Is it saved in .doc or .docx format?
    3. Can you narrow the search down by the last-modified date of the file?
    4. Create a similar new Word doc in a separate folder and look at it with a hex editor to see what you could look for.
    5. Number of pages would be metadata that may not be acessible without opening and parsing the file.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Quote Originally Posted by inetdog View Post
    1. Word does not necessarily represent characters, especially non-printing and white space characters by their ASCII code. It may also compress strings of repeated characters.
    2. Is it saved in .doc or .docx format?
    3. Can you narrow the search down by the last-modified date of the file?
    4. Create a similar new Word doc in a separate folder and look at it with a hex editor to see what you could look for.
    5. Number of pages would be metadata that may not be acessible without opening and parsing the file.
    2. doc format
    3. too many files, and 'no' anyway
    4. promising... will see what I can do.
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Ok.

    Made 2 doc files. One is empty. Other is empty, but with 10 pages of linefeeds. I opened both in a hex editor, but can't tell the difference between them. There are a lot of 'header' info areas. There are also areas where the same character repeats many times, but both files have similar sections.
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Even if I find a string to search for... I'd have to find something that will search ALL docs files for some ascii-type string.
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    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Went back and made the test doc ~600 pages long with linefeeds.

    Open in hex editor. It's longer than a blank doc, but I can't find a single section that's significantly longer than any other. Yes, there are long sections of repeated data, but there are 2-3 of them, and they are all about the same length. Weird.
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  13. #13
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: very unique document search problem in windows

    Ok.

    Found the string. Edited the file again, put 'start' on one line, added 5 linefeeds/CR, put 'end'. Opened file. LF/CR appears to be '0D'.

    Now, how to search for that?
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