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Here's one for ya'!

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Unread 03-10-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
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Here's one for ya'!

Wow. I really AM baffled. I am an executive secretary and consider myself a high level computer user but this has happened to me two months in a row now at board meeting. I type my notes on a lap top. Last night, a 3-hour board meeting and 7 single-spaced pages and they. are. gone. This happened also at the September board meeting on a different computer so obviously it is the (ahem) user.

Here's how I did it last night. I emailed the agenda to myself from my outlook account on my desk pc to my gmail account on the company's laptop. I chose download then as the meeting started, I began editing the agenda into Minutes by typing like crazy as people spoke. Because of last month where I questioned myself if I had saved the document or not, I did ctrl-s over and over and over throughout those delightful three hours. I was NOT going to lose this one. Then, to make a long story short, at the end of the meeting, assuming it was saved to my documents, I closed the program (MS Word 2007), opened my email, prepared to attach the document and...it simply did not exist.

I have searched temp files, the entire local drive (using various key words including *.tmp) and am just amazed that I can't find it. Because I saved it over and over and over again, I KNOW it has to be SOMEWHERE. Can anybody here help me find it?

Luckily, the meeting was recorded so I can rebuild the minutes (unlike last month when my recorder malfunctioned - thank goodness for a very compassionate boss!). Mostly I just need to know what I am doing wrong!!

Thank you!!

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Unread 04-10-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: Here's one for ya'!

Theory:
You repeatedly, via ctl-s, saved draft copies of the ongoing edits. YOU DID NOT explicitly save the document at the end of the session,

"Then, to make a long story short, at the end of the meeting, assuming it was saved to my documents, I closed the program (MS Word 2007)" (emphasis added).

and therein lies the problem. When you closed the document, without explicit saving, Word deleted the original and all draft copies, on the assumption that you didn't want it. In order to prevent this from happening in the future, you need to do an explicit "Save As" or "File - Save" during the session. Do a final SAVE AS at the end to save it somewhere else in addition to the normal overwrite save.

Another thing to remember is that any Office program, IF YOU HAVE DONE INCREMENTAL SAVES during the session, WILL NOT nag you to save when you close the session. You must remember to do so, BEFORE you end. Also, check settings to make sure you create a backup with the session.

Unless you have overwritten the files, you might try to undelete them with an appropriate utility. Many times such files can be so recovered. DO NOT install the program on the hard disk in question, nor do you want to save new stuff there. That will overwrite the original files and they will be truly lost.

Using another computer, install the utility, preferably a "Portable" version, on a USB stick and execute it on the original computer from the stick.
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Last edited by davnel; 04-10-2013 at 03:56 PM..
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Unread 04-10-2013, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Here's one for ya'!

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Lemme add a couple of comments to the above.

1. If your computer desktop looks like most, ie: covered by shortcuts and links to everything under the sun, you need to organize. Start with a folder on the desktop called "Links" or "Work" or something. In that folder create more folders for each category of job you do. You might want a folder called "Meetings" and within that, a folder for each meeting or day. Within those include links to the programs used and the documents or shortcuts to them. You can eliminate the program shortcuts by making sure each category of file, ie: .docx or .xls, will open with the correct program when you double-click the file. Most will already do that. When you get all done, you'll have ONE folder on the desktop instead of 341.

2. For any critical documents you might use, copy the original to the desktop and modify THAT. DO NOT TOUCH the original after copying it. Rename the copy by adding an 'a' or '01' to the end of the name. Do ALL changes and edits to the copy on the desktop ONLY. Once you're finished, copy the changed document back to the original folder, leaving the original alone. You now have the original plus the changed documents for reference with the original copy still on the desktop for safety.

3. Make sure you know where Office is storing incremental saves and backups BEFORE you commit critical documents to the system. Settings has an extensive list of everywhere Office stores stuff. Create a dummy document, save it, make changes, save those and see what happens to the saved documents. You can do this most clearly by changing the name slightly between saves.

4. Windows Explorer is your friend. Learn to use it to look at the contents of folders. Reduce the width of the resulting windows so that you can keep several open and still see the individual contents. You can open Explorer by simply double-clicking on a folder. (shades of George Carlin: "Yer loinclot is yer friend").

5. The other thing I would recommend is using a second drive or partition on your main drive, to hold data files. It keeps them separate from the OS disk and allows much easier backup.

Good luck.
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Last edited by davnel; 07-10-2013 at 06:37 PM..
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