Help !! My word document cannot be opened
Thread poster: Martine Etienne

Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Feb 18, 2006

I work with Microsoft Office 2000 Professional, Microsoft Word 2000, Trados 6 freelance (6.0) and I have following problem : I was working on a word file with Trados, there was a power break in my house. Half an hour later, it was over.
Everything seems to be ok on my computer but when I try to open my file, I get this answer : Impossible to open the document, Try the function Open document in the file menu (it does not work either) and verify that you file has a .doc extension (it has). (I translate as I have a french version of Word).
Well I can get the translation from Trados but I have lost some 10 pages !!! So I would like to recover my bilingual word document...
Have you an idea ?
When I look in the proprieties of the document, everything seems to be normal.

Help !!!!


Sandra C.
Local time: 19:09
English to French
+ ...
Microsoft Help Feb 18, 2006

If you hadn't saved the last part of your translation before the power went out and that you don't have microsoft set up to do an automatic save every few minutes, then those last pages will be lost forever, I'm afraid.

Have you tried the microsoft help menu?
You could contact them (MS) as well, they might be able to help (they're all over the internet).
Or do you have an installed software that will allow you to recover/restore files?
How about trying to open your doc from the most recent items menu? ( there is such a thing on pc's, isn't there? I use a Mac...)

Good luck in any case!!


Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Thanks but.. Feb 18, 2006

The automatic save is done every 5 minutes... and I should be able to open the file even if a part is lost, at least I should have my file without the last 5/10 minutes of work.
But I cannot open the file at all.. There seems to be a extension problem (*.doc) but the file has this extension and looks normal. I have tried to open it in the "recent folder", same problem...
I think I will stop searching and recuperate what I can with my TM and translate again the last pages...


Daniel Ehret  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
French to Hungarian
+ ...
Check the TM Feb 18, 2006


I had a similar problem a couple of months ago, but my computer crashed without any power brake, just for funicon_smile.gif
IMO the easiest way to solve this problem is to open the file you received (the source file without any translation) and run the Trados TM (Translate to fuzzy...).
It worked for me, as Trados always saves the TM, so you should be able to get back to where your computer crashed.

Good luck!


Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Buy an UPS! Feb 18, 2006

It protects your PC from power breaks, giving you at least 5-10 minutes to shutdown properly the system. There are lots of them on the market, mine costs around 30 euros and saved my life many times. It's an investment you won't regret.


Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Some steps which may help Feb 18, 2006

First: make sure your system is not hiding any files from you. To be sure, go to Start - Control Panel - Folder Options - View and make sure, that "Hide protected system files (recommended)" is UNCHECKED. Uncheck also - if not already unchecked - the item "Hide extension on known files" and activate the radio button besid "Show all files".

So prepared open Windows Explorer or any other file explorer and navigate to c:\document and settings\current user\applications\microsoft\word - look if you find some files there. Try to open every one of them using Word. Do not double click on them, but use either drag & drop or the "open any file type" from Open file menu in Word or right click the file, chose "Open with" and point to Word.

If this doesn´t help, go to c:\document and settings\current user\local settings\temp and look at files with the extension *.tmp. Start openinng them in Word, beginning with the biggest one.

If still not found what you were looking for, open Word, got to the menu File - Open and chose "Restore file from any file kind" (please look for something which sounds similar, I´m basing on German Word) - and open then your file you cannot open as doc. All formatting will be lost, but Word should at least retreive the text.

BTW, in c:\document and settings\current user\local settings\temp you might also find the temporary files of your TM, so maybe opening them will be helpfull.



Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Thanks Feb 18, 2006

I have tried everything but nothing works, I have still the same error message.
Do not worry I have spent too much time on it now and I will restart the translation of the lost pages..

Thanks to all of you to have spent your precious time to try to help me.


Vesna Zivcic  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
German to Croatian
+ ...
Try opening it with another text editor Feb 19, 2006

If your TM hasn't been affected by the crash, starting anew will be no problem (as already suggested above).

Not so long ago, I had to deal with a Word file (with lots of pictures. hyperlinks, cross-references) that all on its own wouldn't open the next day.
However, I managed to open it by going to the location where it was saved, right-clicked it, selected 'Open with' and chose 'Wordpad' ('Notepad' also worked).



[Edited at 2006-02-22 10:26]


Local time: 20:09
Arabic to English
+ ...
Why don't you use another .doc editor? Feb 19, 2006

Well may be it is a problem of XML coding in Word.
Why don't you try OpenOffice with their Word editor?!

I have a slogan which I think is a problem-solver for many cases:
If any Microsoft application fails to do what it is intended to do, Search the OpenSource! (Look at my image)

Why don't you give it a try?! It is for free and Windows compatible.


Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Opening lost documents Feb 19, 2006

Well, often in case of a power-failure or sudden shutdown for any reason what-so-ever and if your back-up option is turned on, you can actually retrieve the other back-up version which usually appears with ~~ before the file name... it may have a .temp or some similar extension.
And once you've opened it, all you have to do is save it as the original file...
I've done it quite a few times, when there was a power-tripping and the UPS didn't work.
Hope this is of some help.
Ritu Bhanot

[Edited at 2006-02-19 14:03]


Gusztáv Jánvári  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:09
English to Hungarian
+ ...
A very accident might happened Feb 26, 2006

It might have happened that Word was in the process of autosaving your doc when the power off turned your computer off. In this case it is possible that the autosave file is corrupted.

When you try the tips suggested by the folks, you should also check in Tools | Options what is path is set for the backup files. You may find a quite recent version of your document in the folder shown there. Note that the file name in this case may be a random-looking sequence of chars, so you should try to open every file in that folder that has .doc, .tmp or .wbk extension. If your computer wouldn't like to open tmp or wbk files in Word, you may add ".doc" to the filenames of so they will be considered Word documents.


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