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Windows Un-save a Word .doc?

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by johnmalc, 20 Apr 2010.

  1. johnmalc

    johnmalc That shouldn't happen....

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    I already know the answer is "no", but I have to ask....

    I help a 95 year old guy who is writing his memoirs; he is technically blind but touch-types.Usually I pass by every couple of days and grab a back-up, and have Word automatically backing up plus an incremental backup happens on shut down.The inevitable has happened; I have been really busy for a couple of weeks, and he has had no problems, until today... What I think has happened is that the file got corrupted, and he saved it and shut down, which meant that Word backed up the corrupted file (37KB instead of 1.5MB) and the incremental file back up did the same; didn't see that one coming. So basically he has lost a couple of weeks work, but that is a couple of hundred pages. I've searched all the hidden .tmp files Word accumulates, but no joy. System restore won't redo the changes, and the word from MS is, it's gone.
    I'm running a file recovery program, but as it wasn't a deleted file I don't hold out too much hope. Before I break that bad news to him, anyone got a miracle cure?

    OS XP Pro
    Word 2003.
     
  2. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    I would suggest to go back in time of the file.. but I see you use XP, and not Vista/Win7, sooo it's useless.
    I am out of ideas. Sorry. :(


    Also, DOCx (Office 2007/2010) would have been a better format. I recall also that old version of Office where prone to such issue. 2007 would have been a better choice for the task as the format is XML which is harder for a program to get lost when managing it. You can grab Office 2010 Beta here:http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/default.aspx (I have been using the technical preview which I was invited since day one, and it's core is based office 2007, so it very solid.. I know it's still beta, but i think it would be better than Office 2003)

    What you also do for next time is: setup CVS Tortoise, where, once configured correctly, allows you to back in time to a previous save.
    http://www.tortoisecvs.org/
     
  3. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

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    The Word backup/recovery thing hasn't caught it then?
     
  4. johnmalc

    johnmalc That shouldn't happen....

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    "The Word backup/recovery thing hasn't caught it then?"

    Unfortunately it backed up the corrupted, but saved, file.
     
  5. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

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    Weird.

    I'm not sure whether its the same thing, or a misunderstanding.

    But I meant the Word Auto-Recovery system, not the backup system you spoke about in your OP.

    Strange that it saved a corrupted version.
    But then again, old people are very good at getting computers to do things they shouldn't. My grandad kept making his PC bluescreen, whenever I had it, it hardly did it. And he kept losing things, :D
     
  6. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    Just had a word with my missus, she's a bit of an MS office guru and you can use undo when the document is still live once its been saved and the pc is switched off thats it I'm afraid. If the corrupted file has been saved then thats what you are stuck with....sorry to be the bringer of bad news m8
     
  7. Golygus

    Golygus Minimodder

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    take out the HDD

    put in in another machine.

    run a file recovery program on it. You may get a lot more back.
     
  8. Jenny_Y8S

    Jenny_Y8S Guest

    I wish you luck, but I fear you're right and the work has gone.

    I think it's time to change his backup plan.

    If he is happy to use the "Save as" dialogue, then that could be the easiest solution - just get him to rename the file every day. At 95? And registered blind, could be a non starter.

    Alternatively can you implement some other sort of backup system on his PC? Say a daily batch file based backup to a dated folder (EG via robocopy).
     
  9. johnmalc

    johnmalc That shouldn't happen....

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    Got it!!

    Unbelievable but true, and all thanks to Microsoft's legendary sloppiness with cleaning up after itself!

    Let me explain, and excuse me if it gets a bit verbose, but if this helps any other poor soul in the same situation.....

    I knew that as far as Word was concerned, it was gone. I have no idea what he had done except that the saved file contained only 5 characters. When I first booted the machine I was given the chance to auto recover the file, which it did; sadly it contained the self same 5 characters....ho hum. So I turned to my usual file recovery programs, Easy Recovery Pro and GetDataBack NTFS. Whilst they found thousands of files each, many dating back to a previous install of XP, those files are recovered in hundreds of randomly named folders. As I had no idea of what I was looking for (I had guessed my only hope lay in a .tmp file, the original .doc was gone), the hundreds of .tmp files were meaningless, but I tried opening them anyway, no joy.

    Whilst all this was happening I was Googling other forums for a clue, but all was doom and gloom, except for one post that highly recommended a program called Recover My Files Pro, claiming it was the best thing since sliced bread etc etc. But I was desperate, downloaded a copy and left it running overnight (slow machine). With due pessimism this morning I took a look. Yes, just like the others it found thousands of files, all over the place. However, on closer inspection it not only listed all the file extensions but also categorised them. In short, it showed me all the .tmp files in the location (D:), but it also sorted what TYPE of .tmp files they were. There in D:\root were 5 ~****.tmp files which were identified as Word files. The corrupted files were there, but also there was a ~1645.tmp file which was about the right size, and dated from a couple of days ago. I clicked on it and there, in the preview window was the text, all 2112 pages of it!!! Happy bunny... I duly recovered it, checked it, yes it is all there.

    So I was very lucky that Word 2003 is sloppy, but also lucky to stumble across the correct program (no association in any way BTW), don't need that kind of stress.

    Final point, my backup plan proved to be fatally flawed, insofar that it worked perfectly and saved the files I told it to! How was the prog to know the file had changed to the wrong one? Someone want to give me a heads up on a better plan?

    BTW thanks for all the responses, appreciated.
     
  10. badders

    badders Neuken in de Keuken

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    Dude, you lucked out like no mutha has lucked out before.

    Congrats, BTW - I'm just flabbergasted you managed to do it!
     
  11. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Yeah you need to use some kind of CVS system.

    Easiest would be to grab the above mentioned Tortoise SVN / CVS, and set up a repo.

    It comes with a command line tool you can just to check in the word doc after he's done his day's work.

    It'll keep the copies at each checkin and you can back up via USB the whole repo folder.
     

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