Saved a bad version of an OpenOffice/Word 97 file, can't undo it. Help?
November 14, 2014 7:00 PM   Subscribe

I was working on a Word 97 doc in OpenOffice Writer, and apparently I somehow deleted a huge section and then clicked "save". As soon as I realized the mistake I started frantically clicking "undo," but apparently this mistake goes back farther than OO will let me undo. It seems like there must be some way to access my previous saved versions of this file, but I'm having zero luck. Can you really save a file wrong just ONCE and lose your work for good?

Digging through this computer, all I can find is the latest save. I'm not finding anything that looks right in my temp folder. In a bit of a panic I downloaded Recova and EaseUS, but neither found anything useful, as far as I could see. I've tried to find out if I can dig around in the files saved as part of my previous restore points, but I haven't been able to do it yet. I'm using Windows 8, if that's useful info.
posted by Ursula Hitler to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Are you on Windows? Windows 7? If you are and the file goes back a number of hours, you may be able to find a previous version by right-clicking the file, selecting Properties, and clicking the Previous Versions tab. It's a real shot in the dark, but you can't lose at this point.
posted by tcv at 7:32 PM on November 14, 2014

*If* you have the "Always create backup copy" option checked in OpenOffice (but I believe it is OFF by default), you could look in the folders



\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\\3\User\backup

for the previous saved version of the file.

posted by jabah at 7:52 PM on November 14, 2014

I have fixed this with crashplan. Do you have any cloud backup system that might have uploaded the old version at some past point and will thus still have it?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:08 PM on November 14, 2014

Back when I used Windows and found myself in similar situations, often a pre-save version could be found in the temp directory with a funky filename and weird extension like $$$.
posted by rhizome at 9:39 PM on November 14, 2014

If you realised the mistake immediately after pressing save it might be lying around somewhere in a temp directory, if you subsequently saved some other changes you are almost certainly out of luck.
posted by epo at 3:12 AM on November 15, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. I've tried a few dozen things but nothing has worked. This was a rare instance when I wasn't saving multiple versions of a file under multiple names. I had been regularly saving my work under one name, but I saved once with a bad version of my file and then it was too late. This laptop didn't have file history enabled, because I'd never heard of that function before. It's hard to believe one save was enough to totally screw up my file forever, but I guess it was.

I'm just going to have to recreate the damn file. A whole day's worth of work to re-do, for no good reason. Argh.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:57 PM on November 15, 2014

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