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Microsoft Word *sigh*


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Hello all,

Trying to help a family member recover a file on a windows xp machine. She opened the word file from an email attachment and just kept ctrl+s - ing and then closed the file when she was done. I've been looking for a temp folder, but I'm teh suck and don't know what to do because I use a Mac and don't know how to Windows anymore.

Any help is appreciated.

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Which file are you trying to recover? The original one or the modified one? If your friend kept pressing ctrl+s, then the saved version would have to have gone somewhere (IIRC, the default folder should be My Documents; failing that, you could always search for that file by pressing winkey and f). If you're trying to recover the original version, just check the same mail she got the attachment from.

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See first post) it says that they use Windows XP.

If she opened it in the temp folder, and she is the administrator, ctrl+s would have saved the changes into the temp folder.

If she wasn't, then it would have carried the changes into the Documents folder instead.

EDIT: Temp folder is usually in an hidden Program Data or Application file. The best way to find it is to re-open the document from the email, then at the download screen, once the document finishes downloading, click on "Open in Folder". It may not be in that exact folder, but one of the folders in the directory above it.

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What browser and version of Windows does she use?

I don't know about the browser, but she is using XP.

If she knows the name of the file, she can use the Windows search feature, located in the "start menu" (the one with that little retarded ass dog). It will scan the entire computer for the file.

Ctrl+S should save it somewhere in My Documents, I think.

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Ok, fear not because Windows has made this process sufficiently nonsensical.

Anyway, assuming you opened it in MS Outlook (and not an online email thing like GMail, in which case it's probably in your default downloads folder), then it's going to be somewhere under:

C:\Documents and Settings\[user name -or- All Users]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\[random letters]

1. Figure out if it's under [user name] or All Users--that should be easy by hitting the Windows key and seeing if it says "Log off [user name]". If you can't figure it out, then just guess.

2. Through Windows Explorer, go to:

C:\Documents and Settings\[user name -or- All Users]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\

Note that "Temporary Internet Files" doesn't actually show up, even if you have it set to show hidden folders, so you'll have to enter that in the address bar manually.

3. Through Command Prompt (go to Windows->Run and type CMD), enter these commands:


cd C:\Documents and Settings\[user name -or- All Users]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files


That will give you the subfolders under here (again, they don't show up in Explorer)

4. Search through the root "Temporary Internet Files" folder, then search through each of the folders you saw in step (3), for your DOC file. If that doesn't work, then go back to step (1) and pick another username.

Hope that helps. KF

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Oops on XP; I did look for that but was scanning for capital letters. Boo to me.

It's hardly nonsensical, they just didn't go out of their way to make it especially user friendly. Logically, the user opened a file and saved it to the same location, so why should there be any prompt?

Then again, it's really hard, at an OS level, to make sure that the temporary internet files folder isn't writeable when based on a user action but is writeable when an app chooses to write there.

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I tried a file search last night but got zilch; of course I may have been given an incorrect name, so who knows.

You could also try (if all else fails) searching for *.doc (if the original file is in that particular format), while limiting your search to files created in the past few days (or whenever the missing file was created).

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