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Recover previous version of overwritten Word document


Kudra's Avatar
Kudra Kudra is offline
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24-May-2007, 05:17 PM #1
Recover previous version of overwritten Word document
I lost a major important Word file on May 16. I worked on this document for hours, saving every minute or so the whole time. When I finished and closed the document, it vanished. The only file left anywhere on my computer was the pervious version from six hours earlier with none of the extensive changes I had made. I went looking for my final version everywhere and could not find it.

I tried several ways to recover it but none worked. I used the Symantec UnEraze Wizard that's installed on my computer (Windox XP) but I ran into a roadblock at the end that I could not solve.

I tried to use Symantec GoBack but it was not installed. I tried to install it but it said it was missing a file and could not run and that I should uninstall GoBack and reinstall it. Useless since it was not installed in the first place and I was trying to install it.

I did a Windows System Restore but the only restore point available was at 9am every day. The file I am looking for disappeared at 9:30 pm, so this is not helpful either.

I also checked to see if, by chance, I had been working on this Word file on my Outlook Express email program and I got a path pointing to C:\Documents\Anne-Marie\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\otqfw5ib. When I tried to follow the path, I got as far as ...\Temporary Internet Files, with no trace of Content.IE5 or otqfw5ib.

I kep going back to UnEraze Wizard but I could not figure out where to find the recovered file after I followed the prescribed steps. When I opened UnEraze Wizard, I saw a window called "All protected files on this computer". Below that, it listed names of the files (which included the name of the file I lost which was shown several times as having been modified every few minutes over that six hours period), the Original Location of each file (c:\Documents and Settings\Anne-Marie\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Recent), the date and time each file was modified, the date and time each file was deleted, and the type of file (Shortcut 1.04 KB).

I highlighted the last version of the file that I wanted to recover, I clicked on Recover, then a new window showed Recovered: 1.

I pressed Next, which prompted the message: UnEraze finished finding files. If you are satisfied with your results, press Finish. So I pressed Finish and immediately the UnEraze Wizard program closed.

I have no idea where to find the "Recovered" file (shortcut?). In the UnEraze instructions, it says that "If you want to examine the recovered file, make a note of the recovery destination." I went back and followed the above steps, only to have UnEraze close every time I hit that Finish button without revealing any information as to the "recovery destination".

Can anybody help me with this? Am I on the right path? Have I done everything I could to recover the final edit file that was overwritten by a version 5 hours earlier?

Thank you for any guidance you can provide. This is very important to me and I am grateful for any suggestions you may offer.

Kindest regards and thanks to all,

HalTrout's Avatar
HalTrout HalTrout is offline HalTrout has a Profile Picture
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24-May-2007, 07:22 PM #2
Is there a possibility you had a thumb drive or another disk in your system. Could of you inadvertently saved to a different device?
kiwiguy's Avatar
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24-May-2007, 07:30 PM #3
Windows Restore will not recover such documents as they are not part of the Windows operating system, it does not restore any user created data files.

In Word, the document should be in the list of most recent used files, what happens if you try opening it from there?

By default it keeps that last 3, that can be extended to 9. If you did not use this method you may be past the stored point by now though.

The document should not have disappeared, unless Word crashed and was not closed.
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Alobar Alobar is offline
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25-May-2007, 09:33 AM #4
Dear HalTrout ,

Thank you for your quick response. There was no other device or drive
involved. I searched all my drives and found nothing.

Have you used Symantec UnEraze Wizard? I keep thinking that if I knew where
to look for the recovered files, I would find a shortcut to my document and
if I clicked on it, it would open up my whole document. Am I making this

There must be an easier way.

I tried one of the recovery programs called Restoration that was suggested
to another person on one of today's forums who had also lost a Word file,
and it didn't work on my system. It kept producing an error message that
would close up the program.

Thank you for your help.

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Alobar Alobar is offline
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25-May-2007, 09:47 AM #5
Thank you, kiwiguy. Do you know of any other way to recover that file? Are you familiar with any good recovery software that would work, or any GoBack type program that would take my system back to a time prior to the disappearance of the file without hurting all my new data?

Much appreciated,
WendyM's Avatar
Trusted Advisor with 4,030 posts.
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25-May-2007, 09:53 AM #6
You might try searching for a phrase that you added that was not in the original document. That will limit it to only searching for the revised document so you might be able to find the recovered version. It's worth a try.
1002richards's Avatar
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26-May-2007, 09:02 AM #7
I've had some success with this free prog: Brian Kato's Resoration:

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