Missing or Corrupted Speaker Notes in Powerpoint file

I have a powerpoint file to which I have added a large amount of text in the speaker notes.  When I opened the file today, the speaker notes were all gone.  When I click on the "notes page view" icon, I get a blank page with only the page number at the bottom.  Not even the slides are showing up in the notes page view.  I've tried to export the notes via the "Send to Word" command, but no notes show up.  If I print the notes pages, I get blank pages -- again no slides, just a page number.  If I choose View Speaker Notes, I get a blank text box.  I've tried changing the Notes Master page but nothing I do has any affect.  File Properties - Statistics says the notes are there, which is perhaps the only sign that my notes aren't totally gone.  However, nothing I've tried can bring back the notes.

Where did my notes go?  How can I get them back?  If they're gone, how can I avoid losing them in the future?  

I'm running Powerpoint 97 SR-1 on Windows XP Home.
RickClmbrAsked:
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PACRACCommented:
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PACRACCommented:
RickClmbr please reply
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tajsimmonsCommented:
RickClmbr,

The notes disappearing is a known problem in powerpoint 97 (without any Service releases applied). While the problem was largely fixed with SR1, it still can happen occasionally.

Are you're notes still there?
You could try something called "round tripping" ... see
http://www.powerpointworkbench.com/html/round_trip.htm

and
Recovering a corrupt presentation
http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00108.htm

To avoid it happening again I suggest you apply Service Release 2.
Then follow all the suggestions on this page (particularly turning off fast saves)
Do this before using PowerPoint seriously
http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00034.htm

Cheers
TAJ Simmons
microsoft powerpoint mvp

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RickClmbrAuthor Commented:
PACRAC, I can't tell if this article applies or not, since I didn't think I did what it claims triggers the problem, and the symptoms are different.  It may be related, so to be safe I turned off fast saves.

tajsimmons, the rpdslides article suggests opening the file in open office.  This was the only method I found that could recover my lost text--thank you!  I ultimately had to retype my entire presentation because it re-imported into powerpoint with many formatting glitches, but the content was recovered and I was able to cut and paste all of the notes text without recreating it.

Rick
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