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Autosave in Word 97

Posted on 1999-07-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I run Word 97 SR-1.
In "Tools", "Options", "Save", I have checked:
_ Always create backup copy
_Allow background save
_Save Autorecover info every one minute.
_Save Word file as Word Document.

Every minute, I can see a small icon representing a diskette appearing in the right down corner of my Word Document.

This means that the automatic save is being done.

HOWEVER, if, after waiting four minutes and seeing four saves, I restart the machine by pressing the "reset" to simulate a crash, when I go back to my document after reboot , NOTHING has been saved of the text I typed during the four minutes.

Can you help?

Thank you,

Daniel Bessis
Question by:dbessis
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 1607831

After restarting your computer, don't double-click your document to open it. Just start the Word application and it should automatically open up all documents you were working on when your computer was reset.

Ture Magnusson
Karlstad, Sweden

Accepted Solution

mark_ottaway earned 240 total points
ID: 1607832
Autorecover is not an 'automatic save' as such.  It saves info separately from your file in case of a crash to help recover SOME or all info previously entered but not saved.

The Autorecover info is saved in a number of temp files (look for ~$ at the beginning of the file name) in the same directory as that of the document it applies to.

Word will look for recovery info which is needed on starting up, so just start Word from the Start Menu and it will bring back any recovery files it can - with "(Recovered)" in the title bar after the name.

If you try and open the file directly (e.g. by double-clicking it) it will NOT recover any info, but will open the original file at its last saved state.

Word cannot recover a temp file which has been damaged during a crash.  If ScanDisk detects a problem with one of these files (after your simulated 'crash'), chances are it will be deleted and Word will no longer be able to recover it.

I.e. there are some recoveries which Word cannot do.  If (by chance) your computer was just writing to Words recovery file as you pressed Reset, it may have damaged the file beyond repair.  Hence, no recovery once ScanDisk has done its stuff.

A risky technique, but one that can work, is to escape out of ScanDisk at the DOS prompt when your computer restarts and let the computer boot.  If it succeeds all the way to your desktop, try and launch Word.  It will soon tell you if the file is corrupted.  Note: be sure to run a full Scan Disk as soon as you've saved the file again though.

Instead of trying your Reset technique to test Word's Autorecovery, try this:

1. Open a Document and type a few lines then save it using any name/directory you like.

2. Now type a few more lines but do not save.  Leave it for a minute to allow Autorecover to kick in.

3. Press CTRL-ALT-Del, highlight Word and then End Task.  Hit Cancel to the message that comes up.

4. Wait a while and Windows will report that it is unable to close Word.  Click 'End Task' and Word will be force-closed.

5. This screws Word up a bit, but should not damage your Autorecover file.

6. Re-start Word and you should see your file recovered, including the info you didn't save.

7. Shutdown and reboot your computer once you've tried this.  This tidies things up.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 1607833

Don't you think that the essence of your lengthy answer is exactly what I said in the two-line comment that I posted three hours before your answer?


Author Comment

ID: 1607834

I discovered that in my Autoexec.bat there was a line to DELETE all the temp directories! Since I suppressed that line the save works fine.
However, I have a nearly empty 5GB Hard Drive, how can I have my *.doc document saved every five minutes automatically to the HD, just as if I were saving it myself by clicking on "save"? Why is such a simple thing impossible with such a sophisticated product?
Thank you for your help,
Daniel Bessis

Expert Comment

ID: 1607835
Ture - verbose, maybe, but Daniel seems to have found it useful anyway!  When I posted my (yes long!) comment, your comment wasn't logged for some reason.  I was the first to reply as far as I knew, although I now see you did post before me.  Apologies if it looks like I was stealing your thunder.

Daniel - I think Microsoft have purposely avoided an AutoSave which overwrites your file.  Do you always want to save your latest file??  You would never be able to revert back to an older version that way if you change your mind.

However I guess it would be useful as an option.  Perhaps a background macro?  (Excel has one - autosave.xla.)

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