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Corrupted Word Documents - how to recover


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#1
lolanerd71111

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One of my users lost some of his word documents - we have tried several recovery tools and while we have been able to get the files back - they are totally unreadable - as if they were encrypted - we have tried - 6 different repair programs and none have worked - I have never seen a situation like this before - he said that he had this word file on his desktop (big mistake but whaddayagonnadowhenyatellemandtellem) and he selected a different file to delete and somehow this one got selected as well (he says his shift key was stuck in "on" mode) and he pressed delete at the same time he realized he had selected this additonal file but it was too late - he did not get a confirm delete message and the progress bar window came up and in a flash was gone and so was his document. It was not in the recycle bin and as I said, we were able to get it back but so far we have not been able to repair it - we did remove the computer so that we could work on it without any further data damage

Does anyone have any ideas or has anyone seen anything at all like this?
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#2
Neil Jones

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When using data recovery software there is no guarantee that you can get back all of the bits of the document.
All you're realistically doing when you delete a document is marking that area of the drive as being free so it can be overwritten by other data, program or whatever. The document is still there technically until something else overwrites it. All it needs is one fragment to be unrecoverable and as far as Word is concerned, the document will be garbage because it'll want all the bits.

If the user has no back-up of this document, there may not be a lot you can do about it and it's probably now lost for good.
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#3
lolanerd71111

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That was pretty much my thought as well - the only caveat is that we caught it as soon as it happened and we stopped activity on that computer and pulled it so that we could try and recover before any data had the potential of overwriting it. The biggest question I have really is how did this happen in the first place . Granted the target file was selected by mistake but there was not any confirmation message for delete. My thought is that it actually was copied to another file --- oh well - he was warned to save his data on the server - caveat emptor I guess.

Thanks for responding.
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#4
Neil Jones

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It is possible to set Windows up not to a) use the Recycle Bin at all, and b) Not prompt when the Recycle Bin is being used. Likewise, holding down Shift+Delete bypasses the Recycle Bin entirely, though you normally get a prompt regardless of how the Recycle Bin's been told to work.
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