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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007..it

    hi I have a question about the .doc files that are ghost files and have the ~$ prefix

    when I save a document in ms word 2007 (on my bros computer and on my computer) in
    my documents close the file, and then open it up again the ghost file that goes with
    that document (you know the .doc file that starts with ~$) is in the same directory
    as long as the document says open, when I close it it dissapears like its supposed
    to.

    however when i do the same thing on a usb thumb/flash drive the ~$ file is nowhere
    to be found. I checked that I have viewing of all hidden and system files enabled

    the other funny thing is I dont think it has anything to do with the flash drive
    cuz when I follow the same process on my school's computer the ~$ file shows up
    fine.

    are the ~$ files located in a different directory when removable media is being
    used...arent they supposed to be stored in the same directory as the document they
    go with?

    how come it shows on my school computer and not on my two home ones? is there some
    setting I have to enable besides viewing of hidden and system files?

    the only difference I am aware of between my home and school computers is that the
    school one is running xp pro - they are even both running word 2007 - but i dont
    think thats the issue...there must be something else different if the files are showing
    on that one and not on mine.

    does anyone know why my ~$ files are showing in my documents, but not on my flash
    drive, and why do they show up on the same flash drive at my school?? just curious.
    I dont have all my processes running as I have selective startup..does a certain
    process have to be running for ~$ files to show..but then again..if thats the case...how
    come they still show up in my documents??

    addendum: since posting this on annoyances.org I have tried viewing the ~$ files on a total of 4 computers (not counting the one at my school) 3 are running xp home and 1 is running xp media center edition, I have tried office 2003 and office 2007 and I have also tried other usb hard drives, to see if it was an external media problem - i tried 2 external hard drives one fomatted as NTFS and one as FAT32...the ~$ file showed up fine on both on all computers with word 2003 and 2007..my flash drive was formatted as FAT..I thought that was the problem..so I reformatted it as FAT32..still no ~$ files showing....what is it about just the flash drive that it wont show these files...and why the hell do they show on the flash drive fine on my schools computer but not on the 4 computers on my house...

    does it have to do with office updates? windows updates? running processes? version of windows?

    this issue is not affecting the functionality of word...it is just very weird and it is baffling me - i cant figure it out! Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007.

    Welcome to Woody's Lounge!

    I don't know why the ~$ file is written to the flash drive from one computer and not from another computer, but the MSKB article Description of how Word creates temporary files mentions that in some situations, Word copies the document to the user's Temp folder and opens the document from there. So I'd look in the Temp folder (in XP it's usually Cocuments and Settings<username>Local SettingsTemp).

    Note: in general, I would avoid opening a document from a flash drive. I'd copy it to a hard disk, then copy it back after editing.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007.

    I read the article and searched my ENTIRE computer (searching for hidden and system files also), including the temp folder and the ~$ file corresponding to my open document was no where to be found

    but then I did a little test, I opened the document from my flash drive..then I shared my entire flash drive on my home network, and opened to same document from a different computer while the document was still open on my computer, and funny enough it still said it was read-only even without the ~$ file....isnt the ~$ file what allows it to be read only when it is opened from two locations?? If I dont have the ~$ file anywhere on my computer...why is it still read only when I try to open it from another location??

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007.

    Word locks the document at the operating system level when it is in use. The ~$ file is used to store the name of the user who is editing it, so if someone else tries to open the same document, it can display "This document is in use by <name>". If there is no ~$ file, it can only mention that the file is in use by someone, without name.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Re: question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007.

    ok....I have now tried this on a total of 6 computers...and the only one that the ~$ has showed up on my flash drive on is my schools and that has been the only one with xp pro...ill have to find another commputer with xp pro and see if it shows up...then I'll know..maybe thats the issue...it the only thing I can think it would be

    one more question...I tried opening a document from two different computer at the same time...on a home network with 4 computers...from a locaton that DOES show the ~$ file when the document is open..and it was read only when I opened it...but it didnt give me any sort of message saying that it was open by another user like you said it is supposed to when the ~$ file IS present...is that something to do with my network configurations???....just wondering

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007.

    As far as I know, you should always get a dialog asking what you want to do. I cannot explain why the document automatically opened as read-only - perhaps there is an add-in that interferes. You might try Phil Rabichow's <!post=Systematic Approach to Behavioral Problems in Word,197827>Systematic Approach to Behavioral Problems in Word<!/post>.

  7. #7
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    Re: question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007.

    the article applies to 2002 and 2003 (and earlier versions) the version that I didnt see the dialog box question on was 2007...does it still apply to me?

    how come there are like no articles regarding word 2007?...is it just becuase it is so new?..then again its been around for at least a few months and this forum has posts multiple times a day...you think someone would have posted a question about word 2007 on this forum...am I missing it???

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: question about ghost files with the ~$ prefix (tried on 2003 and 2007.

    Much of Phil Rabichow's post applies to Word 2007 too, but there are some differences - for example, the default template in Word 2007 is called Normal.dotm, while it was Normal.dot in all previous versions.

    If you click Search in the Lounge menu bar, and enter 2007 in the Search for box, you'll find lots of posts about Word 2007.

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