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What happens to Open Unsaved MS Word Files when Computer Reboots due to Automatic Update

Posted on 2008-06-11
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Last Modified: 2008-06-18
We have a user that apparently makes it a habit to leave new unsaved Word files open on his computer when he leaves at night.  Last night his computer installed some updates and rebooted and he cannot locate his unsaved work.  Excel recovered his unsaved files but when he launched Word nothing was there to recover.  Does anyone know where those files might exist?  As an aside I've already set Automatic Updates to just download the updates and wait for the user to install them.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Question by:CCMITServices
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5 Comments
 
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KCTS earned 125 total points
ID: 21760569
If autosave is switched on then word will automatically save recovery copies at the specified interval. When Word is restarted it will warn the user that unsaved recovery files exist and give the opportunity to recover them. This however should not be relied on - its a useful feature but no substitute to not saving files.

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Assisted Solution

by:tsorensen55
tsorensen55 earned 125 total points
ID: 21760600
Depending on what version of Microsoft Word you're using you need to make sure auto-save is enabled. I use 2007 and for me I click the large Win circle, choose word options/save/and on the right hand side it has a section for whether or not auto-save is enabled, how often to save a document, and where. On other versions I believe it is under tools/options for the auto-save features.

Another option would be to search the computer for *.tmp or *.asd as generally that's how word saves the documents as the user works on them.
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 21760663
I think some user education is required here - not only is there the obvious danger of work being lost because the user is too idle to save his/her work, the fact that he/she is not logging off is a security risk.

Personally I someone consiatanly refused to follow the guidance I would not go out of my way to help them recover work they could not be bothered to save.

(now you are going to tell me its the MD aren't you :-)
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Expert Comment

by:tsorensen55
ID: 21761617
I completely agree with educating the user about proper workstation security and use. We enforce logoff after X amount of minutes of inactivity being a publicly traded company and having to deal with SOX. We also do not put forth a great effort in retrieving someone's "oops" because it teaches them to save, unfortunately sometimes you have to depending on the rank of the person inquiring. Not like I'm going to tell my CEO "maybe next time you'll remember to save on a regular interval" haha, I kind of like having a paycheck. :)
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Author Comment

by:CCMITServices
ID: 21762643
I also agree with the user education points above unfortunately it's best for the career path to pursue a solution.  I've had them search for *asd files since I don't believe any *.tmp files would have been created for a new document.  If I don't hear back from the user with any new questions before this evening I'll close the question and split the points between the two of you since you've both been helpful.

Thank you.
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