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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Word corruption (WORD 2003)

    Overly large screenshot shrunk by HansV

    Hi

    Need real help here. The users are revolting (or at least one is & he is closer to God then any of us here in the company).

    He has found that his word documents (two he has found so far but claims to have seen in many documents) are corrupted. Now we can't figure out how or why it has happened. Just random text being overwritten with random text. The only clue is that all the 'corruptions' are marked with exactly the same date and time. So it possibly could do with PC crashing/his other applications crashing etc but we have only been told about the problem after 6 months (duh!). He claims that nothing crashed and PC was fine on that day.

    Now the question is - has any of you seen this kind of thing before? Any previous experience of this could be useful in solving his problem. Nothing fixes the problem apart from manual fix.

    Since he is close to God here - he has decided to do things differently and being a right pain in the neck to us in the documentation department.

    Any help highly appreciated.

    Robie
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    Thanks.
    Robie

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Word corruption (WORD 2003)

    I've never seen that happen myself, but a comparable problem was reported a few months ago in <post:=662,670>post 662,670</post:> (alas, the attachments in that thread were lost when the Lounge server crashed in August). We never found out what caused the corruption there, and neither do I think we'll be able to do so in your case.

    It's unfortunate that the problem was only brought to your attention 6 months after it occurred. Is there any chance that you still have backups from before that time?

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Word corruption (WORD 2003)

    Thanks for the response Hans. Yes we have a backup so not a problem but this user is giving our template a bad name to the God's of the company. He wants to do everything in HTML etc. He would also like to create his own template [img]/forums/images/smilies/sad.gif[/img]. A real loose cannon.

    Anyway, can I assume this kind of problem could only probably occur when a PC/Word crashes (as all the 'corrupted' changes has the same date and time)? I can't see how a template would do such a thing. SO there is no real way of finding out how it went wrong eh?

    Thanks nonetheless Hans.

    Robie
    Thanks.
    Robie

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Word corruption (WORD 2003)

    I don't think you can find out the real cause, especially since it happened so long ago.

    It doesn't necessarily have to be a crash - sometimes a hard disk develops errors without an apparent reason.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Word corruption (WORD 2003)

    Word's internal document structures are rather mysterious and not publicly documented. There seems to be a stream of text, and then a stream of stuff that relates to the text, including formatting and, presumably, comments and revisions, all with pointers back to the text stream. At least that is my guess. Using the "Recover Text..." filter hints at the sequence.

    When there is a network or server problem affecting one part of a file, it therefore can manifest itself in peculiar ways. For example, I've seen all the bold and italic formatting shift backwards in the file (applying to other text) when part of the text was lost.

    I'm not sure that saving in HTML format will avoid that kind of "file didn't save correctly" corruption. However, the data remaining after the data loss might be easier to explain/understand.

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