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  1. #1
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    Question Open a DAT file in readable format?

    Run Windows 7 SP1 on HP Pavilion PC.

    Was sure I'd saved a key document, but can't find it anywhere (used Windows search as well as Ultra File Search). Tried Temp folders but found nothing either (provided I was looking in the correct Temp folders!!).

    Following directions from Microsoft Support, found a DAT file which I'm sure is it (date and time match) in C:\Users\Me\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\, BUT I can't access it in any readable form. Tried Free File Viewer and Notepad and just got a bunch of letters, symbols and spaces.

    Is there any way to retrieve a file such as this so I can save it in Word 2007, where it was created.

    Or am I faced wit recreating the lengthy thing? Can't believe it's not in this blasted machine somewhere!!

    Close to panic and hoping for rescue,

    Linda

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    Sometimes the data is "hidden" at the end of the file. Did you scroll through the whole file? Try it in Notepad++ portable.

    cheers, Paul

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    Thanks, Jerry. Read the linked article (like the easy understand-ability of his style!) and tried to open it with WordPad.

    Attached screen shot of what I got in case it suggests to you if it is a Word document or some other type. I wasn't into video files at all that day so don't think it's one of those possibilities. This is shot of whole screen, but the "text" goes on much further!

    Any further suggestions most appreciated...also realize I could be out of luck!

    Linda
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2015-01-23 at 12:45. Reason: Added note re. screen shot

  5. #5
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    Oops, missed your post, Paul. Thanks. I'll go back to the document and try to open it in Notepad++. Will post back...

    Linda

    P.S. Here's screenshot of what Notepad++ found. Liked the idea but looks as if there's just the same gobbledygook at the end, too.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2015-01-23 at 13:05.

  6. #6
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    Your screen shot from Wordpad seems to show a Word document. Make a copy of the file and change the extension to .DOC, then double click on the file.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Linda:

    Some sort of universal file reader may be what you need. Here is an article in PC World which mentions a few such programs:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/20328...-think-of.html

    Jim

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  9. #8
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    Well, rats, thought we had it, Paul. Could save it only as docx. Did so and opened saved .docx file...just single letters spread out down the left side of a number of pages.

    BUT, in searching for .docx file I'd save, found my missing document above the .docx I'd saved for you. It was in Libraries/Documents!!

    Question:
    Any idea why couldn't I locate it using Ultra File Search? I put nothing in file name (didn't remember what I'd called it), but used a number of different words used in the document body and set date parameters correctly. Nothing ever came up which made me think I'd neglected to save it.

    Regardless, your suggestion saved my life...well, a huge number of its hours anyway. Only by trying out your "save as" suggestion did I find my document!! THANK you.

    Linda

  10. #9
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    Just goes to show that search tools are (not very good). Sometimes you just have to do the manual search, or even use Windows Explorer - which seems to be improving despite my expectations.

    cheers, Paul

  11. #10
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    Question:
    Any idea why couldn't I locate it using Ultra File Search? I put nothing in file name (didn't remember what I'd called it), but used a number of different words used in the document body and set date parameters correctly. Nothing ever came up which made me think I'd neglected to save it.

    Linda
    If it was a plain text document, you should have no trouble finding it by searching for text contained in the document. But whenever it is formatted (such as a .DOCX document), you will have formatting codes mixed in with the text of the document, causing the actual text of the document to be different than what you see on the screen. Therefore, the search string wouldn't be an exact match for the actual text contained in the document.

  12. #11
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    Thanks for your explanation, Jim, and for your post, Paul.

    I had come to rely on Ultra File Search as it had found "lost" items for me before. In the future, however, I will do a more thorough manual search and rely more on Windows Explorer. I will also print a page of any critical/lengthy document including its path and keep it on my desk so I can find the darned thing quickly! Sheesh.

    Appreciate all the help and at least I've learned something from all this!

    Linda

  13. #12
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    For Word, Excel, etc., set your autobackup to be every five minutes, and then make a note of where the autobackup file will be saved. The autobackup file will probably be exactly what you will need if you lose a file.

    Also, if you can't remember where you saved a file, try to save another file and see where Word attempts to save it. It may be in exactly the same location.

    Also, in your start menu, if you hold your cursor over the Word icon (but don't click), it will show you the most recent Word documents that you worked on, and the document in question will likely be in that list.

  14. #13
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    Jim, thank you so much. Three fabulous and practical suggestions. I'm going to save all your suggestions on my Desktop for futures.

    I tried your third idea just now...and there was the document. Came up there but not in "Recent Places" when I'd tried earlier. Great suggestion!

    Sure appreciate you sharing all your knowledge so freely in this terrific Lounge!

    Linda

  15. #14
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Glad I could help.

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