Open a damaged MS Word document

Hi!

I have couple of ms word documents that I cannot open, they somehow got damaged and I get an error when trying to pen these files "file has been corrupted, or cannot be opened". I have tried couple of tools to open this files, but so far no success. I am mainly concern about the content, the formatting can be re-done, do you know of a any tool, or a trick that will open these files?

Thank you in advance!
Mario GonzalezIT MGRAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Two questions: (1) Are the files DOC or DOCX? (2) What version of Word do you have?
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Mario GonzalezIT MGRAuthor Commented:
I have one file that is DOC and other that is DOCX (edited ans saved with the current version of word). I have Word 2013, 2010 and 2003. I have tried opening with different versions and I get the same error message.

Thanks,
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Two ideas:

(1) In Word 2013, do a File>Open>Computer and Browse to the file. Click the drop-down arrow on the Open button and select Open and Repair:

Word2013 Open and Repair
(2) For the DOC file, you should be able to see the text (no formatting, of course) by simply opening the file in a text editor, such as Notepad (this doesn't work for DOCX). For example, you may drag-and-drop the DOC file into an open Notepad window.

Regards, Joe
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Mario GonzalezIT MGRAuthor Commented:
Thank you Joe!

I have tried these two options and I still get the same error message. Here is an image of what I get when trying to open the file.

Thanks,
error.docx
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
What happens when you drag the DOC file (not the DOCX) into Notepad? You should be able to scroll down and see the text. Here's an example:

word file in notepad
Btw, it would be helpful if you embed screenshots directly in your post rather than uploading a Word file. That way, members can see it straightaway in your post, and clicking on it will bring up an even larger image in a new tab. As a Word file, folks have to download it and open it (and, of course, need to have software that will handle a DOC or DOCX file). As a JPG or PNG file, it will be handled directly in the browser (for most users). Here's a quick-read article, How to Embed Screenshots in Posts, that explains the embedding technique. Regards, Joe
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Rich BullockIT Systems EngineerCommented:
You could try opening the file with a copy of open office - it often opened corrupted documents that word can't open.
Also If your file was stored on a file share with shadow copies enabled, see if there was a recent backup you can revert to if all else fails.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> Here is an image of what I get when trying to open the file.

You did an Open and Repair, not just an Open — right?
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Mario GonzalezIT MGRAuthor Commented:
Correct, when opening the file I clicked the drop own list to select "open and repair", however I didn't have any luck , I continue to get an error "We can't open the file because we found a problem with its contents" and it closes quickly.

When I right click on the file and select "open with" notepad, or Worpad I am not able to see any content, just code.

Thanks,
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Rich BullockIT Systems EngineerCommented:
If the file is blank then there has been significant data-loss and you will need to recover the file from back-up unfortunately.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> When I right click on the file and select "open with" notepad, or Worpad I am not able to see any content, just code.

That will be true of the DOCX file, but with the DOC file, you should see text, as I posted above in <http:#a41215790>. Did you try that?
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Mario GonzalezIT MGRAuthor Commented:
I can see that the file size is 154KB. There is no other way to recover this file?

Thanks,
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> I can see that the file size is 154KB.

The DOC or DOCX?

> There is no other way to recover this file?

As Rich posted earlier, there are reports on the web that OpenOffice can open some damaged files that Word can't. It is a free product and worth trying. Here's the download link for it:
http://www.openoffice.org/download/

Also, another popular fork of OpenOffice is LibreOffice, which some folks think is better. It is also free and worth trying. Here's the download link for it:
https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-fresh/

And one more time on this:

> When I right click on the file and select "open with" notepad, or Worpad I am not able to see any content, just code.

That will be true of the DOCX file, but with the DOC file, you should see text, as I posted above in <http:#a41215790>. Did you try that?
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Mario GonzalezIT MGRAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the quick response Joe!

The 154KB is for DOCX file. I did try the DOC file with open with but, here is what I get.

Thanks,
error.docx
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
As I mentioned earlier, it would be helpful for those of us trying to help you if you embed the screenshots in your posts rather than making us download a Word file in order to view them. This quick-read EE article explains how to do it (it is easier than uploading a Word file). I've embedded it here for you:

doc file in Notepad
To be clear, you're saying that this is a screenshot of the DOC file (not DOCX) in Notepad — right? If so, when you scroll down in the file, do you see text anywhere in there? If not, it raises the possibility that it's not really a Word file — sure, it could be a corrupted Word file, but it's also possible that it's really a different type of file, but with a DOC extension. I recommend seeing what TrID thinks the file is. This EE article explains how to use TrID:
How to determine the type of file from its contents

What type of file does TrID think it is? Regards, Joe
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Mario GonzalezIT MGRAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all your help, everything I have tried is not working for some reason, I continue to get the same error message, or no data at all when opened in notepad.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
In my previous post,  I recommended seeing what TrID thinks the file is. This EE article explains how to use TrID:
How to determine the type of file from its contents

What type of file does TrID think it is? Regards, Joe
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Mario GonzalezIT MGRAuthor Commented:
I found that this was related to Hard Drive issues and that was the reason why I couldn't recover the files.

Thank you all for your replies.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome. And thanks to you for the follow-up — much appreciated! Regards, Joe
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