SOS: Dad deleted 50K words of his book in Word, how to restore?


  1. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    SOS: Dad deleted 50K words of his book in Word, how to restore?


    Hi everyone,

    Hoping you can help us. My dad is writing a book and isn't the most technologically saavy person and has basically been typing it up in one Word document and saving it (ie doesn't have previous versions or backups, just keeps adding to the original doc). The file is saved in Documents on OneDrive.

    When he was writing the other day, something happened and the entire document went blank. The auto-recovered version of the doc is blank. For some reason, when he tries to reopen the doc it only shows what was saved as of 9/15/19, even though he has opened and saved that doc many times since then.

    Is there anyway to boot up a more recent backup? I honestly have no idea what happened to make it go blank but my dad is devastated. He lost almost half of his book. Would really appreciate any advice or help you can offer us. He is on a surface using Microsoft 10 Pro.
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  2. Jacee's Avatar
    Posts : 1,593
    Win 10 home 20H2 19042.928
       #2
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  3. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 53,279
    Multi-boot Windows 10 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #3

    helpmepleasethx said:
    Hi everyone,

    Hoping you can help us. My dad is writing a book and isn't the most technologically saavy person and has basically been typing it up in one Word document and saving it (ie doesn't have previous versions or backups, just keeps adding to the original doc). The file is saved in Documents on OneDrive.

    When he was writing the other day, something happened and the entire document went blank. The auto-recovered version of the doc is blank. For some reason, when he tries to reopen the doc it only shows what was saved as of 9/15/19, even though he has opened and saved that doc many times since then.

    Is there anyway to boot up a more recent backup? I honestly have no idea what happened to make it go blank but my dad is devastated. He lost almost half of his book. Would really appreciate any advice or help you can offer us. He is on a surface using Microsoft 10 Pro.
    Have you checked his OneDrive online files to see if the most recent is there. You'll need to click the OneDrive Cloud icon in the taskbar on right, then View Online. Sign in to his account.

    SOS: Dad deleted 50K words of his book in Word, how to restore?-2020-03-20_18h29_29.png
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  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,275
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 2004
       #4

    This is a huge long shot. Have you saved or closed word since this happened. Hoping no but thinking yes.

    If you have not closed or saved, hold CRTL and press Z. Might have to undo several times. Teach Dad to use undo, I like the CRTL-Z as it is fast. Word also has undo icon.
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  5. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions, I really appreciate it. Turns out he never saved it to onedrive, had been unknowingly saving it on his hard drive instead. Still donít know what happened with the word file to cause it go blank as I canít restore it but miraculously found a pdf version and was able to convert that back into a word doc (honestly a miracle, my dad def doesnít know how to create a pdf). Will definitely be giving him a word tutorial soon. Seriously thank you again everyone!
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  6. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,275
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 2004
       #6

    A word tutorial, a "save as" tutorial and I would suggest some sort of back up, off machine, in the off chance a virus or hardware issue with drive.

    Glad you found it .... no one needs more stress.
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  7. swarfega's Avatar
    Posts : 7,104
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #7

    Couple of points. Try avoid using the disk that the document is on to avoid making its recovery harder.

    You could try explorer's search for the same filename without the extension to see if anything comes up.

    Do you guys do regular backups? Writing a book is critical for backing up.

    Glad you sorted out the recovery though.
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  8. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,288
    Win10 Pro
       #8

    @helpmepleasethx when I finish a session of an important Word document and after I finish saving it and before I close it I do a save as to a USB stick using the name safetyxx where the xx is an number that I increment for each save as. That way the most I can possibly lose it the last session and if you check before you close the original document you can see that the size has incremented. I’ve lost too much important work in the past to leave anything to chance. I’ve had Word crash in the middle of edition especially if you have lots of pictures or charts.
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  9. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 53,279
    Multi-boot Windows 10 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #9

    Glad you found a solution.
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  10. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,595
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #10

    Office 365 is showing a new feature:
    What is AutoSave? - Office Support
    For an older version:
    Microsoft Word Autosave
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