Word 6.0 file says it's password protected, but we think it might just be corrupted. How can we recover it?
August 27, 2004 8:59 AM   Subscribe

My father wrote a document years back of memories of his (now deceased) college roommate and their Berkely debauchery. Now that (Word 6.0) file says it's password protected, though he suspects it's just corrupted. Li'l help? (More inside on what I've tried so far.)

Advanced Office Password Breaker v.1.1
Accent Office Password Recovery
Accent Word Password Recovery
Office Key Light
Advanced Word Repair 1.1
WinWord Password Recovery Tool

I've only used free/demo products, and I think MSOfPass was the only completely uncrippled free one. Some of the earlier ones claimed the password started with ke, though, again, that seems really unlikely to my dad, making it seem more likely the file's just corrupted into thinking it has a password.

I tried a hex editor, but couldn't recognize anything, and notepad just gave me the author name (my dad), title, and version number.
posted by davebug to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
hey dave, i did some checking and found that if it wasn't passworded and not corrupted, you could definitely get all the text from strings (windows version) -- ie it also should show up in notepad (although I don't know if notepad stops displaying text after finding unreadable bytes.) I also checked some of my own passworded files, and they were not viewable by strings except for the title and author and version of word, so that narrows it down just a tiny bit-- it's either encrypted or corrupted exactly enough to tweak the document encryption header and overwrite all the plaintext... this is a low probability, but I've seen stranger things.

Was there a word virus that could have done it? this KB article says it's a possibility. This virus notice says to try "password" as the password.

Anyway, good luck, love from a old-time geeklife reader!
posted by neustile at 9:21 AM on August 27, 2004

ps yeah I'm finding lots of word macro viruses that set passwords. Google for "word macro virus password"
posted by neustile at 9:24 AM on August 27, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the help (and the Geeklife mention). A pal from a different forum had access to the full version of the Accent Word Password Recovery program, which seems to have done the trick.

My dad had pretty much abandoned thought of getting into the file, so he was pretty excited.
posted by davebug at 11:59 AM on August 27, 2004

so what was the password?
posted by bob sarabia at 12:52 PM on August 27, 2004

Screw the password - tell us about the debauchery!
posted by Nelson at 1:29 PM on August 27, 2004

Response by poster: Password was "kestrel" apparently. My dad's a big bird expert, but not enough to remember that one, I guess.

Still reading through, but there was a story of him sticking a tape recorder in the duct vent between his room and the next to record what his neighbor said would be his first conquest (a high school gal, no less). Sadly, a summary of the later reviewed recording:
small talk, radio switched on, "38C!!", "no... no... no... no... no... no... no..." and "maybe next time."

I think his morals got the best of him before "next time."
posted by davebug at 3:25 PM on August 27, 2004

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