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Word documents coming up corrupt

Posted on 2013-10-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-01
I have a client where Word documents are not opening, getting an error message saying the file is corrupt.  All the computers at this client have MS Office 2010 installed.  

I am getting the message on both .doc and .docx files.  I get it on .doc files that have not been opened in over a year, as well as on documents recently edited.

When I first try one of the documents, the first error I get is "The __ file cannot be opened because there are problems with the content."  Pressing the details button produces the helpful message that "The file is corrupt and cannot be opened."

The next message states that Word has found unreadable content and would you like to attempt recovery? Only do so if you trust the file.  Clicking yes results in the exact same error message as above, but when clicking Details the message says," Microsoft Office cannot open this file because some parts are missing or corrupt."    Clicking OK just creates a blank Word document.

I have not been able to find any method to recover any portion of this document.  This is happening on several machines and the client is frustrated.

Any ideas?

Jeff
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Question by:dabassguy1
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by:jsdray
ID: 39605799
have they modified their default template recently?
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by:jsdray
jsdray earned 167 total points
ID: 39605819
Microsoft Support has this here.
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Author Comment

by:dabassguy1
ID: 39605842
This is happening on multiple machines.  Once the file come up corrupt, they cannot be opened on any machine or Office version that I have access to as I do not have 2013.


They have not changed the template and I have tried renaming the normal template on machine to see if that helps, but is does not.

This happens on documents that have not been modified in over a year.  

It is happening on Excel files as well.  How would I troubleshoot the Office installations, I have done a repair on one of the Installations and it will still not open the files.
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Assisted Solution

by:GrahamSkan
GrahamSkan earned 166 total points
ID: 39605846
If it's happening on several machines separately, it sounds as if you have a virus or some sort of malware. Do you have a good quality security programme?
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Author Comment

by:dabassguy1
ID: 39605878
The recover text from any file just get me gibberish.
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Author Comment

by:dabassguy1
ID: 39605969
They have Symantec Endpoint Protection up to date and running on all the clients.  No malware has been found or reported.  I am running full scans at the moment.

I have found a crypto ransom ware that encrypts the file and wants you to pay to unencrypt them, but none of the client have reported a ransom request.

The first file coming up corrupt were on the server, any computer used to try to open them gets the same error, as do my computer when I tried to open them off site.
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Accepted Solution

by:
CompProbSolv earned 167 total points
ID: 39606311
This does sound like the crypto ransom virus, though it is very odd that you are not getting the ransom request.  I don't know the order of events in its operation, but it could be that it starts doing the encryption and only sets up the ransom request after it is completed.  If Symantec caught it before it was done and removed it, then this would fit your symptoms.  The virus could have been on the server or on any workstation that had drive letters mapped to the server and rights to write to the files.

If the computers are running Vista or newer, using Restore Previous Version can be a quick and easy solution.  There are also a couple of tools out there to apply this to entire folders.
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Author Comment

by:dabassguy1
ID: 39616830
A machine has come up with a couple of virii.  The client has decided to rebuild the damaged files.  

The client machine was running XP so previous version was not an option.

Thanks for your help.

Jeff
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Author Closing Comment

by:dabassguy1
ID: 39616845
The client decided to rebuild the files, so the problem was not really solved.  Split the points among those that helped.
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