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Windows 7: Chrome incognito crashed - need to recover typed text


11 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 
Chrome incognito crashed - need to recover typed text

I understand the challenges inherent in the situation, nevertheless, not recovering it is simply not acceptable or an option. The browser, mostly free of any plugins (except addblock, unsure if there is anything else), crashed after completely finishing a comprehensive dissertation that has severe medical and legal repercussions, for myself, but also for a large part of the world, as it detailed some yet-unchronicled aspects of an ailment which I've recently established a cure to - including details on fascia-ailment/resolution, chemical roles in various brain-regions with multiple convention-corrections, and mental stress-resolution.

Chrome has not been re-launched since the browser crash.

The typing was done in a forum submission box as a private message to a medical reviewer, who I'd been having correspondence with, and regarding the subject of stress resolution and permanent preemption eradication. Maybe written over 16 hours straight working.

I have download HxD, a hex editor, to try to navigate my ram to find the location of browser tab which contained the text, but no Chrome tabs show up in the memory banks available for searching - and this, itself, is something of error, because I had both incognito and non-incognito browsers open, with multiple tabs in each. Additionally, I have previously read, during a similar situation, that Chrome incognito tabs are not wiped from memory storage.

This text simply needs to be recovered, and I don't care what's involved, it just has to be done. And if Google can't muster the competence to make an incognito browser that does not have a crashing hair-trigger, then they don't have the necessary responsibility to be offering the mode - that is my opinion.

Any direction and assistance in this matter is important for me, but also anyone who suffers any degree of stress in their life, or who plans on growing old and would like to do so without experiencing deterioration of their mind (or who wishes the same for their parents, family, and friends). I do not have will to re-create this comprehensive document - in fact, the crashing thoroughly removed a lot of what I had.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Feb 2014   #2

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

The problem is that memory may not be assigned in contiguous blocks and can be rolled in and out of active memory via the pagefile. On top of that; unless the program (Chrome) that has control of the active memory page is running, that memory page has probably long since been reused by other programs.

It's a tough lesson to learn but that's why word processors (WP) are used. Most have an auto save feature that will save a work file as you type. If the system or the program crashes for whatever reason, restarting from the saved file is almost automatic. And the saved WP file can easily be copied into a browser page. If data is that important, it makes sense to have more than one copy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Yes, it is a hard lesson, but in this case, it's everyone's loss. I otherwise have only experienced Chrome crashes when running excess of 60 or 70 tabs open (at which point, crashes have become expected), and in this case I had only 30 or so open, and I ensured I was not increasing my open tabs too much to risk a crash.

I am suspicious that there's more to the picture here than just the application/memory factor that you detail, or that maybe it doesn't apply in this case. I had both incognito and non-incognito browsers and tabs open, and in the past both have seemingly displayed in HxD, for retrieval of tab contents. However, this time neither are appearing in HxD for retrieval of contents.

I have 16 GB of RAM, with 4.86 currently utilized. I don't think the tab contents I'm after are gone, and moreso since they were either the last or near-last tab I'd opened - which I expect should make them the last or near-last to have their data overwritten. I am hopeful that the data exists somewhere in RAM, and that I just need to know how to locate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Feb 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Nope. It's gone. Windows 7 randomizes memory allocation. Each tab of a browser opens a new instance of the program. When that instance crashes, the memory is released back to Windows. That feature is what keeps all other tabs available. It used to be that if one tab/page failed due to an error, the entire browser (all pages) crashed along with it.

There's other problems that can arise from relying on a browser window to stay active. Especially for 16 hours. Most sites shut down for routine maintenance. And servers will only hold an active address for so long.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Try looking at this for some clues perhaps.
User Data Directory - The Chromium Projects

I agree with carwiz with such important info, never trust the only copy to a browser as you creates it. Besides the instability there is chance for errors and mistakes which I think could be better handled in a word processor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Feb 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

The data is gone from memory.

When the Chrome process in question crashed all of it's private use memory (that which contained your data) was released to the free list. The lifetime of data in free memory is very short. For security reasons the memory manager will clear free memory before it is reassigned to any process. There is a system thread that clears memory very soon after it becomes free, typically within a few seconds.

The only hope, and it is a faint one, is that the data may have been written to the pagefile before the crash. But as you have 16 GB RAM with a relatively light workload the data would need to have been in RAM a long time before there was any chance of that happening.

Text that is of any importance should be saved to a disk file before entering in a web form. It is the only way to safeguard your data. I have lost data in web forms on more than one occasion.

Edit: If the text is as important as you state it should not only be saved to a file but backed up as well. Never trust your data to a single point of failure.

It may well be that the data was saved to some temporary file. I don't use Chrome so have no knowledge of such.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

If perhaps the data is in the pagefile, how do you read it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #8

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
If perhaps the data is in the pagefile, how do you read it?
Good question. This is what I get when I tried to Copy it to a work space.


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Yeah I found that out Ken from my query in this old thread.
Can the page file be read?
One guy offered a paid program but not worth it to me.
The OP however may find it useful. I see it has a 25 run trial period, but may not yield readable results.
Briggs Softworks: Directory Snoop - File Recovery and Wiping Software for Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2014   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

For security reasons Windows will not allow any application to access the pagefile via the file system.
The only options:
1. Use special forensics software that is able to bypass the file system and access the disk directly. Probably nothing free available.
2. Boot to a Linux live CD or flash drive and use that to access the pagefile.

Be aware that as the process that owned the data has now terminated the portion of the pagefile containing the data is subject to being overwritten at any time. After a reboot that means the entire pagefile. Any use of the computer would put the data at further risk.

But remember that this is a long shot. Most likely the data was never written to the pagefile. And even if it was finding it would be a lengthy process.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Chrome incognito crashed - need to recover typed text




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