word2010 saved file to desktop not found

Word 2010 extensive and complicated document saved to desktop many times throughout the day.  After reloading Word and opening the file, it is an older version of the file saved early in the day.  What can be done to find it?  They have tried searching for *.doc and *.docx files, checked recycle bin, searched the whole C drive, and all subsequent files saved are gone.  Just the one early in the day.  Looked in library, documents, etc.  Google search showed many using Windows 7 and Windows 8 with Word 2010 having the same "lost" or "missing" files saved to desktop.  This is a computer that is not her own computer, but a work computer.  Tried searching after showing hidden files, but none found.  Did refresh the desktop F5 several times, reloaded word, still the older version.  Reboot and reloaded, same thing.

Any clues you can give us are very much appreciated.

":0)  Asta  
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAsked:
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Most likely the file that she actually had open was not the file on the desktop, and she was saving to somewhere else on the system. Or, she thought she was saving the file but actually never was.

Perhaps she opened the file from somewhere on the Internet (e.g. an attachment in Outlook), and was working on the temporary file that was created rather than the copy on her desktop?

Go to the temp folder for the current user (e.g. Type %TEMP% in Windows Explorer, or go to C:\Users\[username]\appdata\local\temp). Sort by date modified and see if there's anything in there.

Check the Downloads folder for the current user. Check the root of the C:\ drive.

MS Word doesn't just save files in random places. Either the file is in an odd location on the computer (in which case you'll find it by searching for all *.doc and *.docx files and sorting by the modified date), or she actually wasn't saving the file and didn't realize it, in which case the data is most likely gone.
are you sure it was not saved on an external device, or on the net?
also - instead of looking for doc, or docx files, search for the document name !
-make sure as in last post mentioned  the file is not saved in USB or external drive
Is it the file to be shared on shared Networks ?
You could use command "net use" to see what is your other network path on your computer.
-what is exact old word  filename, for example,  "thisexample" without extension

Do the following command and notepad++ to edit the junk.txt file to find the file is there or not
dir /A:-D /T:C /O:D /s c:\*thisexample* |find ":">junk.txt
dir /A:-D /T:C /O:D /s d:\*thisexample* |find ":">>junk.txt
dir /A:-D /T:C /O:D /s \\HP-HP\localhost\users\*thisexample* |find ":">>junk.txt

Just example dir command to list all file from different directory or sub-directory or network drive,( Note: you can use "wmic logicaldisk get name" command to show all your local drives.)

and you make a batch script for listing all file for *thisexample" file cross-over
the whole local and network drive.
The dir command and is shown with option   /T:C to filter out  with the file  time at sort order of the lastest created, there is a lot of dos command option, you may need it at

If the file is saved in the computer, you can find it finally otherwise it is not saved

Hope understand your question completely.If not, please pt it out


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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your responses.  I'll return with updates when we meet later this weekend.

She has successfully saved the document on the C drive desktop but the only version found last night was the save done at Noon, both found loading Word, recent documents and searches of the C drive using *.doc, *.docx and filename.  No later saves found.

She did not ever save to any other drive.  
Searched library, and MY COMPUTER and recycle bin, etc.

The idea that it could have opted to save to another network drive sure is possible.  More to explore.  As a novice user, tough to ascertain even which desktop is in use there; not her system.  There are a number of other drives there (network drives) but the administrator is not there weekends so kind of stuck at this point.

Your help is appreciated and more to explore thanks to your great input.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
When you said
Type %TEMP% in Windows Explorer, or go to C:\Users\[username]\appdata\local\temp).
 ... will as her to query.  But since it's not her system, not sure which username would have been used, there are a number of possibilities ..

She did try a reboot and refresh and try to see documents and settings folder to see if she can isolate identify the username that successfully saved the noon version and then isolate the other options to find the lost item.
did you search for the document name, as i suggested?
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
A technique I have successfully in the past is to open Word, click the File tab and click on Recent (it should be selected by default).

If you have opened this file recently, it should be near the top of the Recent Documents list... If the same document is in different locations, you will see separate listings for the same document name.Recent docs
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Yes, nobus, as I responded earlier in my post, she searched by type and filename (document name) many times in all available locations.

Recent shows only the one I posted, her initial saved document about noon yesterday to the desktop; none of her subsequent saves with updates were found.

Regarding the "recent" she did it all, recent using Word, recent using windows explorer, from the start menu etc.  Only the one saved at noon, none of the ongoing subsequent saves were found.  Again, no idea why but perhaps as mentioned earlier it is on a network drive.  Who knows, perhaps the multiple saves are looking like some kind of malware.  More to discover.

She is planning to return to the site and that computer this weekend to see if it magically appears, since some with Windows 7 and Word 2010 that had the same problem finding saved files on the desktop stated it "magically" appeared after a time (4 hours).

Again everyone, thank you.  More when I know more from her.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
Quick update from my friend.  More when I get back to my computer.. am in transit.

She said:  I have done most of the stuff on your list to no avail; I think the document just was not saving when I clicked the button at the far top left in word. I have found some explorer (earth symbol) files with correct file name in explorer but they will not open, windows cannot find file message comes up when I try and open.
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
The next thing was to propose taking ownership of the folder that's locking her out, but she just gives up!  All this is via long distance phone and she has to complete the work and can't afford to wait.

Thank you for all your efforts.

Closing and awarding contributors when I get to system.

Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
It's tough when you can't get hands on the computer to troubleshoot, but thank you for all your input.
tx for feedback, Asta
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designAuthor Commented:
I appreciate your help, as always.
":0)  Asta
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