I lost one of my Microsoft Word Files

  sweets1 21:54 01 Jun 2018

A rather large word file I use quite often suddenly became "non responding" the other day. The hourglass appeared and when I closed the file a note appeared wanting me to send the file to Microsoft. I believe I added something too quickly to the file and from then on I was unable to make any changes to that file. Corrupted file? Nothing I tried seemed to help including System Restore, trying to repair or reinstall with CD #1 of the Microsoft Office for Small Business 2 CD pack I have. I thought for sure that would help. I also tried left clicking to copy the file and replace on a blank Word document but by the time I finished copying I could no longer paste.

Then I did a really dumb thing. I replaced another file (that I didnt need) onto the unresponsive file that I do need and now everything I had on the file I need is gone. I should add I dont go online with this computer I just add to my Word files. Can I ever recover that lost file? Its an old HP Pavilion from 2004 with Windows XP. Edit/Delete Message

  Forum Editor 11:06 02 Jun 2018

You have overwritten the original file, and now you will not be able to recover it.

Presumably, you didn't make a backup of your work somewhere else?

You should do so from now on - put copies of all your files onto a USB stick, or a portable hard drive. Then your files will be safe, should anything happen on your computer.

  sweets1 11:29 02 Jun 2018

The backup USB file or external HD would be corrupted as well. Ive had that happen. How do you save a Word file in two places, so that if the original file gets corrupted you have a backup file thats not corrupted?

  Pine Man 11:53 02 Jun 2018

How do you save a Word file in two places, so that if the original file gets corrupted you have a backup file thats not corrupted?

When you create a file save it to an external source as well on your hard drive.

When you edit that file do so with the copy that was saved to your hard drive then make sure it's ok before saving a copy to your hard drive again as well as to the external source The external source will give you the option of overwriting the original or keeping it as well as the original. The choice is yours.

That way you will always have at least one original, usable copy.

  sweets1 12:14 02 Jun 2018

Then I guess you have to disconnect the external hard drive after each use, before adding anything new to the Word file, close the Word file, make sure the addition has been accepted, close the file, then connect your external source and add it to the external source. Is that how it works so as not to corrupt the external source?

  sweets1 12:20 02 Jun 2018

The new stuff gets added to the external source only after you see that its been accepted on the Word file correctly and not corrupted otherwise it gets corrupted on the external source as well, correct?

  Pine Man 15:15 02 Jun 2018

What you are trying to achieve is a back up of your original file, which, in addition to being saved on your HDD should also be saved to an external source. USB stick, Ext HDD etc etc.

Use the following scenario - You create a file (original) it is saved to the computers HDD and backed up to any other source, lets say it is a USB. It is then customary to remove the USB in case your computer goes belly up and fries everything. So far so good?

Next time you want to access the original file open it up from your HDD and do what ever you want with it. On the basis that all goes well save it to you HDD with a copy to your USB. In the event that all does not go well, and for some inexplicable reason you corrupt the original file, all is not lost as you have a copy (back up) on the USB which you can insert, open up, and start all over again.

To really be on the safe side all of the back ups you make to your USB could be kept separate so you can then access your back ups at any stage of it's previous editing.

Don't try to overthink this, it is purely a back up that you can use in the event that your original file becomes corrupt, which in my experience is fairly rare.

  sweets1 15:43 02 Jun 2018

Thank you. I might add I would make sure the change made to the Word file on my HDD is fine first, by that I mean click to save the change, see its ok, then and only then insert the USB or external HDD and include the change to the file on to the external source, once saved, then remove the USB or external HDD. One question. In the event a file does get corrupted again, if I plug in the USB or external HDD into the same computer before resolving the issue, would I then corrupt the USB or external HDD file ???

  Pine Man 16:01 02 Jun 2018

In the event a file does get corrupted again, if I plug in the USB or external HDD into the same computer before resolving the issue, would I then corrupt the USB or external HDD file ???

The short answer is no but any drive that is used for back ups should, ideally, be disconnected when not in use. It is difficult to know why your file became corrupt in the first place but it was most likely an action taken by you that may never happen again.

If you are still concerned,and you do have a problem with the original file again on your HDD, plug in the USB and take a copy of the file from it onto your computer then remove it. It will still have a copy of the file on it.

  Forum Editor 16:05 02 Jun 2018

Pine Man is right, it's rare for Word files to become corrupted, unless there is something on your computer that does the corrupting, and that's not likely.

If you can save a document to your hard drive and open it then you can save then same file to a different location as a backup. You can get free software that does this for you, so you don't have to remember.

There are lots of applications available - the one I link to above just happens to be the one I use.

  sweets1 16:31 02 Jun 2018

This is a little bit too complicated for me. I simply want to save a Word file that I add info to quite often. If I back it up the way discussed here with a USB stick or external HDD, if the file gets corrupted on my computer's HDD, cant I just use that external source as a backup for that file on another PC or on the same PC once I resolve the issue?

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