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Recover Unsaved Word Documetns


G-Stress
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Hi guys, I have a friend who was working on a word document off of a USB stick and the only copy of the file is on the USB stick. She has lost the usb stick, but I'm wondering is there a way to retrieve the file from a temporary place on the pc?

The pc is company issued running win7 with the 2003 Office suite. If I remember right, the office suite 2007 or 2010 autosaves a copy of everyting in the event the document was closed unexpectedly, but being that she was working off of a USB stick I wasn't sure if the file was still retrievable.

Thanks.

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When you open or edit a word doc, windows generally creates a temp file. I think even OpenOffice.org does this too. The file is then deleted after closing the main file. In theory, if no one accessed the drive, and was in read only mode, you could use something like handy recovery for instance, to search for deleted files, and see if you can open it in notepad and reconstruct the data. Word documents though, at least since like version 2003, are actually zip files, with xml manifests and folders inside of it to tell word how to construct the document. Not sure if that will help in searching through data, and pulling up things that look similar to zip/tmp files will yield results or not.

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It's something with Disk Cache where it will not write the file to the drive even if you hit Save until the program is closed.

Not sure if it's still like that, I know it used to be like that like 10 years ago lol. But basically if you didn't hit save and close Word, your file was not truly written to disk. It's a "feature" of disk write cache to improve performance.

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Note AutoRecover or AutoSave does not replace the Save command. You should use the Save command to save your document at regular intervals and when you finish working on it.

AutoRecover is only effective for unplanned disruptions, such as a power outage or a crash. AutoRecover files are not designed to be saved when a logoff is scheduled or an orderly shutdown occurs.

So there is a good change that you may not be able to recover that word document again.

Article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/107686

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks alot for the feedback guys. My friend actually had to re-do the whole document, but it turned out not being that bad. I think I'm going to try to figure out a way to create a file/script if not handy utility already exists that will auto-sync, save her documents when she is done or on the fly of possible.

I must say the autorecover feature in ver. I believe '07 and up has come in handy many times for me, but I don't use the office suite much.

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