The Nul Error

  • I know this error has been in the npp community for a while now but here goes…

    I used npp to edit .yml files, the file was used by a .bat program, there was a string error and I got a blue screen.

    Restarted my pc, repaired the string error, run the .bat program again, there was this specific .yml file error, checked the file, it only contains nulnulnulnulnulnulnulnulnul

    Is there anyway to recover this? This file is very important to me, it has 1 week worth of work

    Fyi, i have no backup and i didn’t activate the npp auto backup before the file is corrupted. I didn’t expect this to happen.

  • @Kai-Z ,

    Unfortunately, there is no way for Notepad++ to recover your file at this point. In similar circumstances, some people have had luck with external file recovery software – I’ve seen “Recuva” recommended here before.

    For future prevention: over the years, the development team has tried a variety of fixes, all of which were thought sufficient to fix the problem – but it’s impossible for the developers to force crashes that replicate the NUL issue, so it’s impossible to test whether the fix is actually sufficient until it’s released into the wild.

    There is more discussion in the last month or so starting here.

    I have poked again at issue #6133, but @donho listens more to “random users” than he does to us “regulars”. If you could post in the issue, and lend strength to the argument that something needs to be done, it might help.

    Is there anyway to recover this? This file is very important to me, it has 1 week worth of work
    Fyi, i have no backup

    That is an unfortunate circumstance. But after windows has finished crashing, there is nothing that Notepad++ or any other the-active piece of software can do. Recovery software might help find the file in the dregs of your HDD/SSD for this specific file. But I highly recommend, going forward, that you learn from this lesson: with a Windows crash, any software can lose data if the file has not been flushed fully to disk; the best defense against such data loss is taking ownership of your own file backups: be proactive in backup, whether it’s a text file edited in Notepad++ or an Excel spreadsheet with the weight of MS huge software development team behind it, making sure important data is backed up is up to you.

  • No, there isn’t, unless you have Shadow Copy enabled on your hard disk partition which I did not. If you do, then try Recuva IMMEDIATELY because every second makes it possible for Windows to overwrite the only backup you potentially have of this file. Recuva didn’t work for me last month when this happened because I did not have Shadow Copy enabled on this particular hard drive.

    If you want to continue using NotePad++ then you absolutely need an automated backup solution like AutoVer. I use it now, because I’m freaking out and so far I’m extremely happy to report that it works completely silently and does not slow down my computer, tough it creates A TON of files, which I can trim at the end of the season, it’s not a big deal and certainly is 1 million times better than nothing:

  • @PeterJones said in The Nul Error:

    listens more to “random users” than he does to us “regulars”

    Thinking about it, at this point, he seems to be ignoring that issue #6133, maybe because a “regular” started it.

    Normally, I recommend that users just chime in on existing issues, rather than creating new ones. But maybe if there are enough open NUL-bug-still-there issues, it will encourage the developer to work on it again.

    So, @Kai-Z and @Ben,
    If one or both of you do create a new issue on the page, please make sure you explain in detail which version you were using (use the ? menu’s Debug Info, describe that it was caused by a windows crash, and that you lost hours or days of work as a result of this.

  • NULpad++