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  1. #1
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    Document recovery (2003)

    Dear Loungers,

    My computer recently crashed and when I restarted word, I got the document recovery task pane. When I went to go save one of my documents, I accidentally overwrote a different document, rather than over write the old version of the same document. Is the overwritten document totally gone forever or is it hiding somewhere in the bowels of my machine? This all just happened about 2 hours ago. I didn't restart or anything.

    Sincerely,

    JMT

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    It would be easiest if you had a backup copy of the document. If you don't, it might be time to start thinking about starting making regular backups.

    I take it that you haven't installed unerase software, i.e. a program that can restore deleted files. If you haven't, you could download and install such a program, but chances are that that would overwrite the deleted document. Anyway, you might try Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File Recovery.

    You might take a look in your temp folder (normally Cocuments and Settings<username>Local SettingsTemp to see if you can find a file with about the right size there.
    (It is a hidden folder, you must display hidden files and folders in order to see it).

  3. #3
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    Hello Hans,

    When I made temporary files visible, I saw some temporary files in the folder in which the document was originally saved. Some of these opened up into gibberish, but thankfully, one of them was the original document, in an original form (with only half the work lost, which is much better than all of it). So thank you 100 times.

    What prompted all of this was that my system crashed this morning. So when I turned it on, all the documents I had opened were in a Document Recovery side panel. I am wondering if all those documents that were in the side panel are still in some hidden part of my computer somewhere. Let me know if you know anything about this.

    I back up my harddrive every few weeks. Unfortunately, I have not backed it up since starting this new document two days ago.

    Kind regards,

    JMT

  4. #4
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    If you have "Save AutoRecover Info every <n> Minutes" turned on in the Save tab of Tools | Options..., Word created .asd files at the specified interval. The default location for these files is your Temp folder.
    When Word is first started after a crash, it uses these .asd files to display the Document Recovery pane. It deletes the .asd files when you recover them or when you close them without saving.

    More detailed info can be found in How Word creates and recovers the AutoRecover files.

    Oh, and if you're working on important document, I'd create a backup more often than every two weeks. But that's up to you of course.

  5. #5
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    Oh yes, I do have that set up. And when I restarted word, I got the document and then accidentally saved over it. Luckily, there is a temporary file saved from as far back as yesterday (!) which managed to save some of my work. But it looks like the rest is gone. Nothing in the temporary folder resembles the document that I overwrote.

    I agree with you about back-ups, but lugging out my external harddrive and plugging everything in takes so much time that I can only afford to do it every few weeks. Maybe I will invest in a bigger USB key so that I can actually copy whole folders onto it.

    I THANK YOU again for your kind help.

    JMT

  6. #6
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    In addition to creating backups, I create a zip file for projects I'm working on. Either after saving a document or before starting to edit it, I drag the document to the zip file. So if I mess up or if Windows or Word messes up, I'll still have the previous version of the document, without having to go back to a backup on another disk. Of course, the zip file becomes useless if the disk crashes, that's what regular backups are for.

  7. #7
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    The other thing you can do that aids in disaster recovery sometimes is to use the Word facility to always make a backup when you save. If you select this option, then whenever you save a documnet, Word keeps the previous version and renames it. So the previous version of say Important Letter.doc is saved as Backup of Important Letter.wbk. (It only does this when you save the document, not when the auto-save feature makes a save every 10 minutes.)

    You set it in Options like this.

    Ian
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    Dear Hans,

    I think that's a great idea. But do you keep on renaming the versions that you drag into the Zip file, or do you continually replace them?

    Also, would you mind emailing me your address? I'd like to send you a small thank you gift. Your suggestion on finding the temp file saved me about a day's worth of work.

    Best regards,

    JMT

  9. #9
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    Dear Ian,

    For how long does Word keep the back-up copy? Does it replace the back-up copy everytime you press save, or does it keep every copy of the file ever saved (I imagine it is the former, since the latter would start to take up a lot of room fast).

    Do you know what the "Allow background saves" function does? I heard that in version 2003, Word no longer does background saves (where, without manually saving the document, Word saves it in the background). The background save function was replaced with the Autorecover function. So I wonder if this function even does anything at all.

    Regards,

    JMT

  10. #10
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    It depends on the kind of project. When it is important to be able to go back to different versions, I use Save As to save a document with a version number or date indicator in the name. The zip file will then contain a series of versions of a document. For one-off projects I might just store the latest version of a document in the zip file.

    Thank you for your kind offer, I really appreciate it, but the assistance I provide is entirely voluntary, and a thank-you in a reply is remuneration enough!

  11. #11
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    Word keeps the backup copy only until you save the document again. So when you save your document the 2nd time, the first version becomes the backup. When you save it the third time, the second version becomes the backup and the first version is discarded.

    Allegedly allow background saves means that you can keep working while Word saves the document. In my experience this is a useless feature. If you have a reasonably modern computer it taks only a moment for Word to save. If that is not the case because, say, you are saving over a slow network connection, Word still grinds to a halt while it saves, whatever you have done with that setting.

    Background saves is a completely different thing from autorecover.

    Hope that helps.

    Ian

  12. #12
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    Re: Document recovery (2003)

    Well, Hans, thank you 10 times! 20 times! 70 times! The tip really helped out a lot, as recovering that information at the start of a new and hectic semester really saved me a lot of time and hassle. so THANK YOU!

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