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Changes to documents not saving (Win2k domain, Office 2003)

Hi, one of the networks I support has users that are reporting that when they go to save changes they make to documents the changes are not being saved.  This is happening at random times and when using different Microsoft Office (2003) applications (mainly excel).  

I thought it might be due to network failures and then subsequent re-connections with the workstations synchronising an older version of the documents and so have turned ‘offline files’ off on all the workstations.  I have also explored the possibility that this may be due to users not saving files in the correct place but today the MD called and it happened to him (and he’s quite computer literate) so I do have to face up to the fact that this is actually happening.

There is a backup run that synchronises the contents of the server to a USB hard drive which runs nightly but this is set to copy the contents of the server to the backup drive and not vice versa.

Could anyone shed any light on what’s going on or assist in helping me to diagnose the problem.

(Windows 2000 server, domain controller, all clients Win XP SP2, group policy distributes Office 2003 to each user if not installed on workstation).
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markkindred
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markkindred
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huntersvcsCommented:
You indicate this is a random occurrence!  That's hard to pinpoint!  Take a look at what can inhibit saving changes:

1) Document is already open by someone else.  The document can be opened a second time but you usually get a warning that it is in write-protect mode.  If by chance someone has found a way to deactivate the warning, any changes would not be saved.  You can test this by opening a document on one PC and attempt to open in on another one.  If you get no messages, and changes made are (in fact) not being saved, I think that might be your answer.

2) Application problems.  Primarily, we're looking at Patches and/or updates to Office.  I presume that they are current on ALL machines?  Unfortunately, it only takes ONE machine not up-to-date doing the previous SAVE action that can cause unexpected results when opening the file again.  I opened an excel file once with Office 2000 that was originally generated in Office 97.  Just opened and closed it, making no changes and saving nothing.  After that neither Office version could open the file!

3) Restore function.  If a user generally has a write protect function activated in their program, and they access a file, make changes, and save it, the characteristics of their version of the program will be added.  Unfortunately, without being able to continuously duplicate the problem it is hard to pinpoint.

Hope some of this helps.

Rick
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markkindredAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your input Rick, your telling me that its hard to pinpoint! Will check the above and get back to you.  (I think that Office 2003 is fully patched up on all the PC's but will check to make sure. Will also check to see if I get a warning when trying to open a file one a workstation whilst its already open on another). Will keep you informed.
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markkindredAuthor Commented:
Ive slipstreamed Office2003 SP1 into the administrative installation and have redeployed to all clients.  Have also opened a few documents and tried to open them on other workstations to ensure that the open read only (or merge with) option isnt disabled and it isnt. So, ill sit and wait to see if the client calls back again, i'll give it a couple of weeks and then will award the points.
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huntersvcsCommented:
Hope it works out.  If it :-( happens again, check the events log on both the user's workstation and where the data is located.  Would be nice to pinpoint an exact time, but that's probably asking too much.
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markkindredAuthor Commented:
Ive asked the site manager to ask all all end users to log the date and time of each occurance.  I think the problem with this is going to be that the users dont realise that the changes havent been saved until the next time they open the document. Will keep you informed.
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markkindredAuthor Commented:
Hi HunterSvcs,
Ive just called the client and it looks like the problem has been cured (well I hope so anyway).  Many thanks for your assistance. Mark@Netcom.
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huntersvcsCommented:
Hi Mark,
Thanks :-)
Rick
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