PDA

View Full Version : HELP needed


Smokin Joe
01-22-2006, 22:21
Last week I defraged my hard drive now it runs like crap and I cannot open word documents. I restored to an eariler date but word will not open and I cannot open word docs.

I will be in real deep doo doo if I can't open my pre-existing word docs...someone please help ASAP.

Thank you for your time, attention, and assistance.

Joe

aricbcool
01-22-2006, 23:21
Joe,

What OS are you running on? XP, I assume?

Did you use a 3rd party defragger, or a system tool?

One thing you might try is booting into safe mode. This will start only system related programs and should rule out any other software. You can get to safe mode by repeatedly pressing f8 when the Windows startup screen appears.

Another thing you might try is opening up your Word docs in Notepad, or Wordpad. This would be a last resort option as the formatting would be all messed up. However, you should be able to copy the old text to a new doc.

That reminds me, can you open up a new Word doc?

--Aric

aricbcool
01-22-2006, 23:48
That reminds me, can you open up a new Word doc?



Nevermind, I reread your post and see that's not an option.

What's your time deadline on this? Are any other programs not working? You mentioned it runs like crap... like crap how?

Also, do you have the Word install disc (i.e. Microsoft Office)?

From what I've got so far, my suggestion is:

Try safe mode

Do a virus scan/cleanup

Reinstall Word/Office

Recover with Notepad

Last last resort: Burn all your word docs onto a CD and access them at an alternate location.

Hope that helps. I'll check back later tonight.

--Aric

Phantom
01-23-2006, 01:18
You can also try an alternate application like OpenOffice (http://download.openoffice.org/2.0.0/) if Word is refusing to work. OpenOffice will keep more formatting intact (if it can open your docs) than Wordpad or Notepad..

Martin
01-23-2006, 06:43
I hope you have backups.

This is what I would do, YMMV:
Try to copy the documents to another drive or medium (CDR, DVDR, floppy, zip, etc), and open them on a different computer.

If that works, go on to save everything critical that you have and do a complete system reinstall - after checking the harddrive for errors (manufacturer should have tools for that).

It doesn't sound like a software failure.

Martin

Kyobanim
01-23-2006, 07:09
Profile might be corrupted. Create a new account on the PC and then try your docs. I've seen this a lot with XP.

- Or-

Sounds like some files got moved to an unstable section of the drive when you defragged, a fairly common problem around here. Try re-installing Office/Word. The installer will install to a new area of the drive. You need to check the drive with check disk and see if it finds any unstable areas. In the end you should reload the PC.

Good luck.

aricbcool
01-23-2006, 18:35
You can also try an alternate application like OpenOffice (http://download.openoffice.org/2.0.0/) if Word is refusing to work. OpenOffice will keep more formatting intact (if it can open your docs) than Wordpad or Notepad..

Good call Phantom. We've used OpenOffice a lot at my work as a cheap alternative to Microsoft. Can't believe I forgot about it.

--Aric

Smokin Joe
01-23-2006, 21:19
Guys,

Thank you very much for the suggestions but I figured it out. It was not the defrag but my dumb ass messing with the start up functions in msconfig. So I just rechecked all that applicable boxes and everything works just dandy now (thank god). But this little ping of fear will defienitly make me back up all of my data.

So what is that best way to back up all of your data?

I'm thinking an external hard drive.

ghuinness
01-23-2006, 21:31
Just my .02

I have had more than a few problems with heat-dissipation on external hard-drives. I spent two weeks thinking I had lost a bundle of data, tried all different things to recover the stuff. Turned out the USB connection for the external drive had failed. Once I connected IDE internally the drive worked. Immediately backed up everything to DVD/CD. Not one read error since.

External drives are handy, but not what I would call reliable.
Investigate very carefully.

I use DVD's or CD's for reliable backups (of course labeling would help :p ) . I have taken all of the covers off my external hard drives or connected the disks inside the tower itself. We do the same thing at work. When you do that, you need to be very careful about grounding.

Most of these external caddies get extremely hot when on for long periods of time.

Like I said, my .02

aricbcool
01-23-2006, 21:44
So what is that best way to back up all of your data?


Joe,

Glad to hear everything turned out ok. What amount of data are you looking to back up, and how often?

--Aric

Smokin Joe
01-23-2006, 21:47
Joe,

Glad to hear everything turned out ok. What amount of data are you looking to back up, and how often?

--Aric

I already have 1 external 250 gig hard drive full of training files, videos, and other important stuff and I was thinking of getting another one to back up my laptop (which was the computer giving me the problems) Total space is some where in the 10 gig range.

aricbcool
01-23-2006, 22:09
I already have 1 external 250 gig hard drive full of training files, videos, and other important stuff and I was thinking of getting another one to back up my laptop (which was the computer giving me the problems) Total space is some where in the 10 gig range.

Expanding to a second external HD sounds like a good plan. Is your 250GB HD completely full? If not, you might consider having your next HD be of similar size, and then putting a copy of everything you want backed up on each drive. Perhaps having two folders e.g. "laptop" and "main-pc" on each one. The end goal being that you have two external HDs, both having a copy of all of the important (long term) stuff you want to keep backed up. That way if your PC crashes, and by some chance misfortune you hose your External HD trying to restore it, you still have another copy of your data on your second External HD.

One other thing I like to do is backup the really important stuff (like checkbook registers, really important documents, and other files that I change regularly onto CD or DVD (depending on space requirements). That way, you'll not only have a backup media that is tough and reliable, but also an incremental catalogue of your data, in case you want to go back 6 months and look at stuff you've overwritten.

If you want to go really HSLD (to borrow a term from the the QPs ;) ) you could consider computer imaging software such as Symantec Ghost. This will save an entire "image" (basically a compressed file of everything on your hard drive or HD partition) of your computer which you can revert to if things go really bad. This would probably entail getting an internal HD to keep all of your images on. However, it would allow you to make regular backups of your entire system.

Regards,
Aric

Dan
01-23-2006, 23:03
I already have 1 external 250 gig hard drive full of training files, videos, and other important stuff and I was thinking of getting another one to back up my laptop (which was the computer giving me the problems) Total space is some where in the 10 gig range.

Joe, For the amount of data your referring to I'd recommend you continue with the HDD backups. HDDs are cheap enough and as reliable as you probably need. I've used HDDs as my back-ups for years now...a lesson I learned was to have two seperate back-ups and alternate the HDDs each backup. Since my desktop is where 95% of my work is done I use standard internal HDDs and only connect one when I'm ready to do a backup...anything done on laptop is transferred over to the desktop when getting home.

Smokin Joe
01-24-2006, 08:07
Thank you Gentlemen,

I appericate the input.

Razor
01-24-2006, 10:17
Here's a question for the techies--I read in a couple places now that writable CDs/DVDs have a 'shelf life' of anywhere between 2-10 years, depending on manufacturing quality. After that time, the 'ink' in them starts to break down and you risk corrupted files and lost data. Is this a Chicken Little situation, or a real concern?

Team Sergeant
01-24-2006, 10:27
Here's a question for the techies--I read in a couple places now that writable CDs/DVDs have a 'shelf life' of anywhere between 2-10 years, depending on manufacturing quality. After that time, the 'ink' in them starts to break down and you risk corrupted files and lost data. Is this a Chicken Little situation, or a real concern?

It seems well written.....

It really depends on the CD-R you choose and how you take care of it.
There are three types of recording dye being used right now on CD-R, and it’s easy to determine which one your media is using by simply looking at the color. Discs that have a silver or gold look to the bottom of the disc are using phythalocyanine dye. Discs with a green/blue color are using cyanine dye, while discs with a bright blue color are using Azo dye.

Most low cost media today have phythalocyanine dye, as end users like that “real CD” look the almost clear dye creates, but not all discs using phythalocyanine dye are created equal. The best of the lot is the Mitsui/MAM-A CD-Rs, which use proprietary phythalocyanine dye formula. Because of their dye material's strengths, Mitsui gold CD-Rs feature a shelf life of 250 years, a fact that makes them archival standard. (The gold reflective layer reduces the possibility of oxidation over time, adding to the benefit of the premium dye.) Mitsui silver CD-Rs have a shelf life of 100 years, still pretty nice as compared to other discs. Most any CD that uses the phythalocyanine dye will do really well with shelf life, but if it’s a concern for you, search out the Mitsui/MAM-A.

Cyanine dye CD-Rs have a shelf life of about 30 years, and are seen primarily on discs made by Taiyo Yuden. TY is the last of the CD-Rs still made in Japan, so while Taiyo product is sold under many different major brand names, looking for the “Made in Japan” tag is a nice way to find it. While the cyanine dye many not have the longest shelf life, the overall quality in the TY discs can almost overshadow that deficiency. Our company sells over 1 million of these TY discs per month, and honestly we rarely see any bad discs.

They can be impacted by light pretty dramatically. Leave a cyanine CD-R on the dashboard of your car, and you'll lose the content quickly. Leave a Phthalocyanine dye Mitsui CD-R in the same place and you'll find it much less susceptible to the light. (Any CD-R you use should be kept away from direct sunlight just to be safe.)

Azo dye is primarily used by Verbatim, whose parent company Mitsubishi Chemical is the leader in Azo dye technology. While not a prevalent as the other dyes, Verbatim is making big steps fine-tuning the Azo to optimize shelf life. Just notes that not all Verbatim discs are Azo, as they also make media in some of their plants with cyanine and phythalocyanine dye. Expect this shelf life to fall somewhere beyond the 30 years of the TY, and under the 100 for the Mitsui/MAM-A silver.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/guides/guide-display/-/17MPF9BC6G14P/104-0167881-5569506

Kyobanim
01-24-2006, 11:21
That is a well written article, but think about it. How long do you really keep a cd\dvd that you have created? As far as disks go, you get what you pay for. Don't buy the multi-pack disks from Wal-Mart.

Like Dan, I keep data on a separate hard drive sitting in a box on the shelf. It only takes a minute to install and retrieve/add data and if the drive ain't spinnin, it ain't wearing on the parts. I also use USB storage devices for data currently in use.

You can also purchase a web site and store data there. They usually have a good backup routine and as an added bonus you can sit down at any PC with a net connection and get your stuff.

aricbcool
01-24-2006, 12:05
Like Dan, I keep data on a separate hard drive sitting in a box on the shelf. It only takes a minute to install and retrieve/add data and if the drive ain't spinnin, it ain't wearing on the parts. I also use USB storage devices for data currently in use.

I recently got a new PC, and now I use the old one as a secondary/backup PC. I've got them connected via wireless router, so both have Internet access and access to each other.

--Aric