Any hope of retrieving this vanished file?
November 1, 2018 4:55 PM   Subscribe

I was almost done with a piece of writing that is urgently due to my editor when my computer froze. After the restart the file just...vanished. Ideas/advice?

2016 MacBook air 11in. I was working in Microsoft Word 2011.
I got a notification saying that my startup disk was almost full, then the whole thing froze. I restarted (was able to click on the lil apple sign and so forth), which took a while.

Then after the restart, I could not find the file anyway. It's not on the desktop. It's not in the folder for that project. It does not show up in spotlight/finder no matter how I search; it's not in the list of "recently opened" either in Word or when I click the apple sign.

it's not in Word's autorecovery folder. It''s like I never opened it. Except I did because I've been writing in that file for days!!!

What else can I try/ where else can I look?
posted by atetrachordofthree to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Some suggestions in this Macworld article
posted by Chairboy at 5:14 PM on November 1, 2018

Do you remember the exact filename, or a part of it, or a key phrase or word that will appear there and probably nowhere else? You could try Find Any File or EasyFind, which don't rely on the Spotlight index.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:00 PM on November 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sometimes Word creates a temp file under crashy circumstances. Try search on the name "temp". Temp is usually followed by a string of numbers.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:15 PM on November 1, 2018

In the worst case there's probably a way to use the Unix "find" command to do a search for some short string of text through every file on the system. This could take multiple hours, though, and it would be nontrivial to get the command right. But if it would be useful send me a message.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:18 PM on November 1, 2018

Word has eaten several files of mine (in my case, it doesn’t seem to like it when I put my computer to sleep and then wake it up). And there’s no temp file that I can find. One of the files I was able to find because I’d saved it into a folder that was living in Dropbox, and Dropbox had saved a version before Word had deleted the file. But Word for Mac just seems to be flaky.
posted by leahwrenn at 10:21 PM on November 1, 2018

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