Recovering a damaged Word document

Hello. Please help me not lose my mind.

I was working on a manuscript when all of a sudden, MS Word froze. Believing that if I turned off the computer the file would be intact when I rebooted, I shut down, only to discover that the file is completely screwed up. Only 2% of the data is there. The rest has turned into nonsensical rectangles which I’m sure have a fancy name.

[sub]please help me[/sub]

Is there a way to recover the file? System Restore won’t help because the last endpoint was early this morning, when the file wasn’t born yet.

This may be a long shot, but when a file is in use Word keeps a seperate copy of the file with a different extension. Try looking in the same folder as the document for a file with the same name but a different extension.

Have you tried opening it in wordpad?

Also try importing it into Excel. I know that seems strange, but I’ve recovered text that way before. Formatting will be lost but the txt is often recovered.

None of your ideas worked (but thanks anyway!) so I’m going to spend some money and get one of those word doc fixer thingers on the internet.

You can also use “Recover Text from Any File” as your file type when doing an Open in Word and try to recover that way. Or, as I’ve seen before, somehow you set “Recover Text from Any File” as the default file type. Probably not, because then all your docs would show up gibberishy, so to speak.

I’ve also seen a lot of people set the default file type to Excel Spreadsheet apparently I’m not losing my mind fast enough…

One trick I’ve discovered is to try Insert>file>your file. But that usually only works when Word Screws up all by it’s self, and tries to recover the file.

I used to do this all the time for kids in the computer lab at my college. I’d have students lined up sometimes waiting for my shift to start, all with glitched Word docs.

If you have access to a unix box, get the file there, then do:

cat yourfile.doc | strings > fixed.txt

It isn’t pretty but it should have the text that you spent so writing. You can then pull the text back into a new Word document and start fixing the formatting.

If you don’t have a unix box, I can do it for you, if you send me the file.