I've committed a newbie error it seems in GQIS with a polygon shapefile.
I wanted to remove about 15 of the 210 polygons, and put those 15 in another file.
I made a duplicate of the polygon shapefile. In the duplicate file I removed everything from the attributes table, started cutting and pasting lines from the original to duplicate file attribute tables. I saved the edits in duplicate with the 15 polygons, gave it a new name. I tried to save the edits in the original now with 195 polygons, wouldn't let me. I made another copy of that original, but it only had the 15 removed polygons. Started closing error messages, thinking it would allow me to save. I tried closing edits of the original, I selected discard changes. All remaining 195 polygons dissapeared, all 15 polygons removed are now present. Closed project without saving changes, but alas the shapefile had been saved. The cpg, prj and qpg files seem unchanged with the original date, so I copied those for safekeeping. Loading the project again it comes back with the 195 polygons missing (about 8 hours work).
Is this a lost cause or is there a way to recover them?