July 7th, 2011

Word Recovery

I've come across a few Word documents that have got corrupted, so I get an error message when I try to open them:

Word error

The error message suggests a couple of methods that might work. Failing that, you can go back to an older version of the file, e.g. from a backup tape. I recommend Undelete Server for situations like this: any time someone modifies/deletes a file on a network drive, the old version goes into the Recovery Bin.

However, what happens if the built-in methods don't work, and you don't have an older copy of the file? There are 3rd party tools which claim to help with this, so I recently looked at SysTools Word Recovery. Unfortunately, it didn't work as promised, so I had to claim a refund through PayPal. I'm not sure whether they're running a scam or whether they're simply incompetent, but either way I strongly recommend that you avoid them.

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If anyone has any tips for legitimate 3rd party tools, I'd be happy to hear them.