Corrupt Word 2011 document (need help!)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by haavard.w, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. haavard.w macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    #1
    Three months work might have been wasted:
    -Word (2011, v. 10.0.0) crashed.
    -My wife had a reboot.
    -When she opened her study notes (360 pages, approx) the auto recovery didn't work as supposed and showed strange signs instead of ordinary characters, according to her.
    -Then she saved the document, overwriting the original.

    When opening the document (link) there is 50 pages, but the file size indicates it should be bigger. Can someone with more technical knowledge please take a closer look at the contents of the file?
    I have looked for backups, auto recovery files etc but with no luck. This is probably our only option. Thanks
     
  2. caribiner23 macrumors regular

    caribiner23

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    Have you been storing it on Dropbox all along? If so, you can go to dropbox.com and navigate to the directory where the file is stored.

    Once you find the file in question, look for the line along the top that says "more" and then select "previous versions." You should be able to get back to a previously auto-saved version of the file.
     
  3. haavard.w thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    #3
    Unfortunately not; it's only been stored locally on her mac. No Time Machine, no backup whatsoever. We've learnt a lesson. :(
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    ?
    Current Word 2011 is version 14.3.9

    Open Word, then the Help menu, select Check for Updates ...
     
  5. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #5
    If possible, don't write any files of any kind on the disk until you get some other advice beyond mine.

    It's not necessarily the case that when she saved the file, she literally overwrote the sections of the disk where the original had been saved.

    Do you have another Mac? If so, consider connecting them via a Firewire cable, booting your wife's Mac into target disk mode, and then using file recovery software such as Disk Warrior or Data Rescue III to inspect the disk and learn whether there are earlier copies actually on the disk (that wouldn't normally show up in Finder).
     
  6. haavard.w thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    #6
    My mistake: The version is 14.0.0
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    Good!
    That same menu item will let you update your MS Office software (which you should do - there's updates that fix a variety of issues :D )
    When you begin from version 14.0.0, the updates will run at least 2 times before all updates are applied.
    I can't tell you if that will fix a possible corrupted document, but it's a good place to start - and may prevent possible future difficulties.
     
  8. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #8
    Two valuable lessons here.
    1. Always have a backup, even Dropbox is better than nothing.
    2. Keep your software up to date.
     
  9. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #9
    But if you're considering my suggestion (use file recovery tools to inspect the disk) do not perform any upgrades yet. An upgrade is going to write a bunch of stuff on the disk, and most likely will overwrite whatever may be left of the original document.
     
  10. haavard.w thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    #10
    Thanks, I'll do that.

    Has anyone had a look at the file yet? Is there anything to be recovered in it?
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    I downloaded and looked at the document file you posted.
    I don't normally use MS Word, but keep a copy of the app around "just in case".

    I see a MS Word document that is 4,834,106 bytes (4.8 MB on disk).

    The document is 51 pages long (by my quick scrolling count, could be off a page or two). Most of it looks to be in order (except for the possibility of missing graphics, see below).

    The first page begins with:
    "Notater fra pensumbøkene"

    And the last page ends with:
    "Øvelsesformat LØFT
    Annbefaler at man bruker rollespill for å øve på LØFT teknikker."

    I did see at least one graphic image included. There may have been some other graphics files in the original document (at least there were spaces where they might have been placed), but this is only a guess on my part.

    Is this what you see?

    Aside:
    You would do very well to buy an external hard drive (USB3 is fine), and download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
    http://www.bombich.com/download.html
    CCC makes it -easy- to create a bootable clone backup of your original drive, with ALL of your files IMMEDIATELY accessible in "plain old finder format".
    Back up 2 or 3 times a week, and that should do fine...

    Also:
    Your wife would do better to break down her note files into smaller "segments", instead of one long-running file...
     
  12. haavard.w thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    #12
    Yes, this is the same that I can see both in OpenOffice, TextEdit and Word.
     
  13. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #13
    Did she ever email the file? If so, it may still be attached to the sent message and on the mail server.
     
  14. haavard.w thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    #14
    No, unfortunately not. The file has been stored in one place all the time.

    Running Stellar Phoenix right now; I'll let you know if anything turns up!
     
  15. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #15
    Good luck. I hope she recovers it. I realize it is a bit late, but 2 programs I rely on for backups is:

    Synk - it syncs file changes to a Micro SD card in my mac, it can save archival copies and backup as well. Very good program from Decimus Software. they have an educational price that is vey good.

    Forever Save - it saves past versions so you can recover from accidental saves that erase precious data.
     
  16. haavard.w thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    #16
    Unfortunately the right file didn't show up, now she's got some work to do and we have learnt a lesson or five. Thanks for advices folks!

    Remember to back up everything and do not rely on Word Auto Recovery; it had not saved a single file the last five months in our case.
     
  17. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a

    dianeoforegon

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon
    #17
    The Maggie:

    1. Create a new blank document in .docx format
    2. Carefully select all of the text in the bad document EXCEPT the last
    paragraph mark
    3. Copy it.
    4. Paste in the new document.
    5. Save under a new file name and close all, then re-open.

    This technique for de-corrupting is known as "Doing a 'Maggie'", after
    Margaret Secara from the TECHWR-L mailing list, who first publicized the
    technique.
     

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