Microsoft Word File Recovery
December 7, 2006 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Is there anyway to recover a file that's never been saved (except maybe by autosave) in Microsoft word after you accidentally hit "don't save changes" upon closing it?
posted by Packy_1962 to Technology (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
yeah, there's probably a deleted temporary file somewhere on your hard disk. Good luck finding it though.

In the meanwhile try not creating any new data.
posted by aubilenon at 8:29 PM on December 7, 2006

Try doing a file search, and use the time option to look for files created in the last - hour? 3 hours? however long ago it was you started writing your word doc. You're going to have to sort through a lot of temp files though.
posted by Joh at 8:32 PM on December 7, 2006

Search for *.tmp files, and make sure you include system & hidden files in your search. Look for the most recent one, rename the .tmp to .doc, try to open it, and pray.
posted by Brian James at 8:59 PM on December 7, 2006

Also, Word autosave files are typically hidden files prefaced by a $, and then the first few words from your document, which might help when sifting through results.
posted by Spike at 9:26 PM on December 7, 2006

You probably know this already, or if not, at least know it now - the first thing you should do when you are working on a new document, is save it, give it a proper file name, and only then start working.

This way, Word autosaves the document for you at regular intervals, and you're never at real risk of losing a lot of information.

I'd never start a new document, type everything up, and then make a save all at one go.
posted by althanis at 5:55 AM on December 8, 2006

File recovery utilities (the kind that find deleted files) can often pull up these deleted temp files, which Word auto-deletes on exit. FileScavenger has saved my butt several times (usually from accidentally overwriting files rather than not hitting save).
posted by caution live frogs at 5:56 AM on December 8, 2006

Word autosave will not save you from exiting without saving, except as indicated above in searching for the hidden, deleted file. Autosave is only for when Word, Windows or your power crashes.
posted by caddis at 6:31 AM on December 8, 2006

also, as you probably already know, when searching for a deleted file it is important to not write any more information to disk to reduce the chances that the deleted file will get over written before you can recover it.
posted by caddis at 6:35 AM on December 8, 2006

I did this a couple of weeks ago, and the tmp file was not there (used similar file recovery utilities to search for the file). General consensus is that unless you're lucky, you're screwed.
posted by stratastar at 8:21 AM on December 8, 2006

Response by poster: For anyone still accessing this thread here's what I did, and I found the file. I searched my computer using the normal search function, and under advanced options I checked "hidden files and folders" I then searched for "a word or phrase" I knew woud be in the document, since the temp file didn't have a name I would recognize.
posted by Packy_1962 at 4:31 PM on April 15, 2007

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