Go Back   Tech Support Forum > Microsoft Support > Microsoft Office support

Help! Word Document completely blank

This is a discussion on Help! Word Document completely blank within the Microsoft Office support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hey guys, I have a very importanted Word document, loaded with confidential business information, which I tried to open after


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-06-2011, 03:32 AM   #1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
OS: Windows7



Hey guys,

I have a very importanted Word document, loaded with confidential business information, which I tried to open after not using it for a while. Now, when I open it in Word 2007, all pages are completely blank. No distorted text or anything, just blank characters.
The document is (according to Word itself) roughly 6 million characters, 1143 pages and the file is 7.4 Mb in size. I think I remember this being the actual file size and length when it was still working fine. Originally, it included mostly text and some graphics and I believe it was made first in Word 2003, but might have been edited and saved again later in Word 2007.

I know, making backups is the right thing to do. However, after periodically renewing my backups, this file ended up being the same in all three backups.

So far I've tried saving to a different format, including TXT. Opening the file in Notepad (completely blank) and in Win Hex (all characters '00').
Words own recovery tool doesn't help me at all.
The file has not been encrypted, no virus was found and I don't remember doing anything special after using it for the last time.
In case I accidentally encrypted it, I tried decrypting it using TrueCrypt and Cipher, two encryption tools that I have used in the past. No encryption was found though.

Does anyone have any idea what may have happened?
I fear the worst, since Win Hex shows nothing but '00 00 00 00 00 (etc)' but it would be wonderful if I could retreive this data! Like I mentioned, the file size and page count are still the same, but when I try to select something on these blank pages, I get nothing but blanks, blanks, blanks.

Thanks in advance!

__________________
IvoS is offline  
Old 01-06-2011, 04:28 AM   #2
Moderator
- Microsoft Support
Microsoft MVP

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,021
OS: Win 7 (64-bit)



Hi IvoS,

If the file is 7.4 Mb in size, it's reasonable to believe there's something in there.

Are you sure the content isn't formatted as hidden text? Try opening the file and turning on the 'hidden text' display to see what turns up. If it appears, use ctrl-A then open the font dialog box and uncheck 'hidden'.

If that doesn't work, try opening the file in Word, using the 'Recover text from any file' option. That'll at least get any recoverable text back, minus any formatting.

You say you're using Word 2007, but the file was created in Word 2003. So which file format are you using - .doc or .docx? If it's .docx, Notepad won't be able to find anything useful as the docx format is XML with zip compression. Instead, you can change the file extension to .zip and open the zip archive. Your document's text will be in the 'document.xml' file.

__________________
Cheers
Paul Edstein
[MS MVP -Word]

macropod is offline  
Old 01-06-2011, 06:33 AM   #3
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
OS: Windows7



Hey Paul,

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, it didn't help me. I tried the recovery option you mentioned. The hidden text display didn't work either.
It's a .doc btw, not a .docx.

The thing that troubles me is that, when I look into the file with a hex editor like Win Hex, every character inside the file has a value of '00'. It's like every bit in the file has been reset to a value zero, while the length of the file remains intact. That would explain why my document, when opened in Word, is filled with hundreds of pages of nothing but blanks, like empty spaces.
__________________
IvoS is offline  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
Moderator
- Microsoft Support
Microsoft MVP

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,021
OS: Win 7 (64-bit)



Hi IvoS,

Sadly, it's sounding like the contents are gone. It's as if a virus or some system corruption has wiped out the file.

About the only prospect of recovery you now have, if no good backup or copy can be found (eg on a USB drive), is to use one of the recovery programs that can find older copies of the deleted file or the raw data in the unused filespace on your HDD.
__________________
Cheers
Paul Edstein
[MS MVP -Word]

macropod is offline  
Old 01-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #5
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
OS: Windows7



Quote:
Originally Posted by macropod View Post
About the only prospect of recovery you now have, is to use one of the recovery programs that can find older copies of the deleted file or the raw data in the unused filespace on your HDD.
Hey Paul,

I'm afraid that's no option either. The original file was made on a previous PC which is no longer available. The problem came to light when one of the three backups was placed on a new PC. Looks like I have a lesson to be learned here: backups are pretty useless when the original file is screwed up
I'll have to live with it, sadly. But thanks again for your advice.

Cheers, Ivo
__________________
IvoS is offline  
Old 01-07-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
Moderator
- Microsoft Support
Microsoft MVP

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,021
OS: Win 7 (64-bit)



hi Ivo,

I hope, then, you got a print of the document and a scanner from which to recreate the file.
__________________
Cheers
Paul Edstein
[MS MVP -Word]

macropod is offline  
Old 01-09-2011, 04:34 AM   #7
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
OS: Windows7



Nope... it's gone forever...
__________________
IvoS is offline  
Old 01-14-2011, 12:01 PM   #8
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 103
OS: xp



Chect to see if AutoRecover was turned on. I think it is on by default:

Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Word Options.
Click Save.

The amount of new information that the recovered file contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery file. For example, if the recovery file is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered file won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred.

Optionally, you can change the location (specified in the AutoRecover file location box) where the program automatically saves a version of files you work on.
__________________
fklauber is offline  
Old 01-14-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
Moderator
- Microsoft Support
Microsoft MVP

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,021
OS: Win 7 (64-bit)



Hi fklauber,

As Ivo said:
Quote:
The original file was made on a previous PC which is no longer available.
So I can't see how AutoRecover could possibly help. Even if the document had been created on the same PC, AutoRecover won't do anything if there wasn't a crash.

__________________
Cheers
Paul Edstein
[MS MVP -Word]

macropod is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is on
Smilies are on
[IMG] code is on
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Post a Question


» Site Navigation
 > FAQ
  > 10.0.0.2


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:22 AM.


Copyright 2001 - 2014, Tech Support Forum

Windows 7 - Windows XP - Windows Vista - Trojan Removal - Spyware Removal - Virus Removal - Networking - Security - Top Web Hosts