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How can I find a lost document?
Thread poster: patyjs

patyjs  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 23, 2008

Hi everyone,

I've just done a very stupid thing! I opened a document for revision from an email and made corrections to it without saving it to a folder. I then hit SAVE and closed it. If I go into the mail and hit SAVE AS on the (same) attachment I can see where was saved to originally, but I can't get access to it. I can only see it when I have the SAVE AS box open. It gives the name of the folder as X83BRU3T if that's any help. I've tried searching for this name and the name of the document to no avail.

Does anyone know how I can access it? The job is not a problem was only small and I was able to redo it, but I'd like to know where it is. If I hit save it must be somewhere, mustn't it?


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Dutch to German
+ ...
Look for them here Jul 23, 2008

Known issue. On my machine it's
C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\local settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\


Oh by the way, those folders may be hidden. Set Explorer to display hidden folders.

[Edited at 2008-07-23 17:21]

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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:20
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Assuming a lot Jul 23, 2008

This is the last time you've started translating a document without saving it to your desktop first. I assume you've received a Word document as an Outlook attachment in Windows. When you open the document it will be saved by default to a hidden folder you can't access normally anymore.

This is what I do to recuperate documents like that: be careful. Open the e-mail attachment again and select File/Save As. The Save As dialog will show you all files in the hidden folder. If you see your document, select it and copy it to your desktop.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:20
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Why save to the desktop? Jul 23, 2008

Every time you get an attachment:
Open the message
Select File
Save Attachments / Enter
Choose your directory (if you need a new one, you can create one on the fly)
Choose your folder (if you need a new one, you can create one on the fly too)

Now you have one original document attached to your email message (in case you need to revert to that) and a copy in the corresponding folder.

Something else I do immediately is open the appropriate program, open the folder where I saved the attachment, open the file and do Save As with the same name and a qualifier, like SP or Spanish (in my case). Now I have the original and the copy that will be my working file and, eventually, my translation. If worse comes to worse I still have the attachment in Outlook.

To answer your question, I believe if you saved the document and open the email and the attachment again you will find that it contains your changes; then you can "save as" to wherever. That would save you from searching the temp folders.

[Edited at 2008-07-23 17:34]

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Thomas Ochiltree  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Member (2005)
Latin to English
+ ...
Suggestion Jul 23, 2008

If by using "Save as" you can access your document, then select "my documents" as the file to save it into, and execute. The document should then be saved into "my documents" and readily accessible. I find this saving into a temp[orary folder very annoying, but in a similar situation I send myself an e-mail with a dummy attachment (just a one-word title). I then open the e-mail and the attachment and the temporary file appears (in my case its OLK). The previous document should be there and you can select it and then select save as + my documents.

All this said, it's a good idea to never work on a document directly in the e-mail attachment form, both for the reason you give and because it is all to easy in getting out of it to click "no" to "save changes" sinde you think (wrongly) that you're gust giving the "no" to changes (that you haven't made) in the cover e-mail. So all your work on the attachment is lost.

Also, if you have a question about the original, you no longer have it available. So for this reason I think it is crucial to save the e-mail attachment in "my documents", get out of the e-mail clicking "no" on "save changes", then re-open the document from "my documents" and work on it. An extra step before getting out of the e-mail document is to send a print order to your printer so you have a hard copy of the original, even if you will be overwriting the document that you saved in "my documents".

Good luck! Tom

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patyjs  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
I think it's gone for good! Jul 23, 2008

Hi Wolfgang,
I have Explorer set to display hidden files. I had already looked in the content IE.5 folder you suggested and all I found was Index Archivo.DAT. I got a warning when I tried to open it so I didn't go any further.

Hi Gerard,
Doing a SAVE AS on the attachment and then dragging the file onto the desktop would probably have worked when I first did it but now it doesn't give me the same location. Probably because I've been trying different things.

Hi Luisa,
Well, of course, I don't usually do this! A combination of rushing, distractions (kids on vacation, someone yelling at the gate making the dogs bark, phone get the idea) and I knew what I'd done as soon as I'd done it. I always save files in the client's folder before I do anything else and then save them again with the target language id for the translated version. I don't delete the mail with the original attachment or my outgoing mail with the translation for months and the stuff in my clients' folders is never deleted so I can always access them if needs be. This was just an unfortunate slip...a one-off, I hope!

Thanks a lot everyone!

Have a great Wednesday!

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:20
Partial member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Save As command in the application Jul 24, 2008

If you use the Save As command in the application e.g. MS Office, PDF, XML, you will always find the history of the files saved previously.
I click the file name and always reproducce the file I made mistake like you again.
In particular, many applications have 'auto-save' functions that make life easier.
I failed to do this only after I deleted all temporary files just after saving files I opened through mail attachment.

Soonthon L.

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Saturniana  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:20
English to Romanian
+ ...
Can't you copy it? Jul 24, 2008

If you can see the document when you have the Save As box open, can you try selecting it and copying it to another folder?

I had the same problem as you once. I was in a hurry and worked on an attachement, clicked Save and closed it only to realise I had not saved it to a proper folder. I redid the document, but I was determined to see if I could get my original file back and, in my case, opened another attachment of the same type, opened a Save As box that took me to those strangely named inaccessible folders and there I was able to find my lost document.

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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 09:20
+ ...
Copy Jul 24, 2008

Saturniana is right, if you can still see the document in the Save As dialog, you can click on it once (!) and then press Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard, then paste it to any folder of your choosing.

When searching for files in hidden and system folders, be sure to always check the corresponding boxes in the search dialog.


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