Search and Recover Lost Microsoft Word Documents

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From typing your first essay to completing a complex report for your employer, everyone has utilized a program known as Microsoft Word. The deep, rich features of Word can serve even the most nitpicky, advanced user, yet; the user-friendly GUI (Graphic User Interface) allows even the youngest users to pick up on the necessary functions for creating a basic prompt.

Word Crashes Now ?

The day before the due date is always a student’s worst nightmare. For most high school students, an English paper and procrastination is usually public enemy number one. The combination of both usually results in writing the paper the night before it is due. However, we all have experienced the dread and frustration, at one point of our lives, of Microsoft Word crashing when writing the paper. Or, forgetting to save to save after a series of long, insomniac hours of cramming in the perfect essay. Now all of your hard-work and effort has been eliminated in a single press of a button or a simple crash.

So What ? I can always Recover..

Unfortunately, this may not be the case for Microsoft Word program. Yes, you may be able to download a recovery program Online, however; you may not like what you discover. In Word, there are usually multiple versions of the document and the latest version may not have been saved when the document has been deleted. The same event happened to me when I wrote a lab report. Word crashed when I was about to finish my lab report and I forgot to save. I looked for any deleted files using Word’s recovery program, however; it did not possess the latest version, which caused me to rewrite the majority of the lab report. From that point, I learned to always save, more importantly; I discovered that you cannot always rely on data recovery programs to save your files.

After researching, I also learned there are two main types of data recovery tools. The tools that are usually free and that are easily found on the Internet tend to function through scanning the file system, of your PC, and they eliminate the “deleted” tag of lost/deleted files. When dealing with simple recoveries then these type of products are especially useful since it could have been as simple as deleting your document by accident. Despite the usefulness of these products, the process of losing documents in Word are often intricate: a damaged file system, failure in the hard drive, or even simply overwriting the document can cause serious repercussions if the document was not saved and lost. If Word’s inbuilt auto recovery system cannot detect the latest version of your document in question then it is unlikely for a free undelete utility to be able to achieve this feat. The alternative to the free recovery utilities would be the data recovery products that directly scan your hard drive. Unlike the first choice of data recovery utilities, these products are usually expensive and are not user-friendly. Normally, these products does not possess access to the file system, thus it cannot display the file’s name. This is extremely inconvenient and it makes the situation much more complex since it will show documents similar to “~ocume1” or “document_001.doc” if you are lucky. If you do not possess technical knowledge of these programs then it may be better to rewrite the document instead of tinkering with the hard-disk data recovery utilities.

It’s the End of Your World.. Or is it?

At this point, you may feel infuriated and, if you are student, it may seem like the end of your academic career. Fortunately, there are utilities out there that are specifically designed to locate and recover .DOC files. A possible selection of recovery program include the DiskInternals Word Recovery program. This utility combines the capabilities of the free and purchased utilities. It is capable of scanning both file system and the hard drive, which enhances its detection of the file you are searching for. Technically, the program utilizes a list of file signatures that detect from the beginning to the end of Word documents. From there, there extract the content and the metadata on the fly. It is confirmed that the program functions even if the half drive is only half functioning. Due to the combination of the file system and hard drive scan, it can yield the best result since it possesses the most complete list possible. The “On the Fly” function allows you to search for a specific titled, author, content, date, or size of a document. This negates the inconvenience of illegible title names. The free version of this program allows the user to experience the full file preview and you can recover the document in full without junk or missing parts of the document. On the downside, to recover documents it requires the purchase of the full version, however; the purchase may be worthwhile to avoid future anxiety and headaches.

Step By Step (Free Trial Version)

  • Go to the diskinternals website and on the bottom there are 4 circles. Scroll through the circle until you get to this page. Click the download button for the Microsoft Documents
  • A This screen should pop up. Read the description and click next once you are finished.
  • The license agreement will pop up. Read through it and click “I Agree:” when finished
  • Choose where to place program and click install
  • Check off the box for the program to run and click finish
  • Click the “Launch Trial Version”. If you have the purchased version ignore this step
  • Click the “Word, Excel, etc” option
  • Choose the drive you want to search in.
  • Select the document you wish to recover. The x on the bottom right corner of the certain documents indicate it has been deleted. Preview of the document can be found on the right side of the screen.
  • For our purposes, click to the save the files and then next
  • Choose which directory or place you wish to place the saved files. Then click next
  • Choose the document you wish and click next
  • This is the end of the free trial. If you have the purchased version then you insert the product key and continue on with the recovery