Lost info on external drive

External hard drives
Hard drives
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Word
I was using a Sandisk 80G external drive. I was working on a word document saved on it. I saved many times while working on the document. When I tried to close it, I was prompted as asked if I wished to save the document before closing. I clicked on yes and the prompt went away but the document would not close. I was not able to close the document with the stick in and I eventually removed the stick. The document still would not close. I eventually kept trying and it eventually closed. Before closing and removing the stick, I saved the file to the desktop. Now, I can't open the desktop. It shows on the icon that there is 27 KB of information. When I click on it, the document attempts to open in word, but then an error message comes up that says "The document name or path is not valid. Try these suggestions.
  1. Check the file permissions for the document or drive.
  2. Use the file open dialog box to locate the document. No document is there when I to to file and open. Is the document somewhere on my computer or the stick? Is there a recovery program out there? Please help.

Answer Wiki

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Sounds like you have a shortcut to the document on the desktop, not the document itself. Did you try putting the external drive back in and opening it again?

File recovery can be tricky some times. There are several options one can use like recuva or PC Tools for windows. You can get some other freeware and or open source downloads at sourceforge..net. Also check out file recovery options at Analysis and Review dot com


Based from your stated problem, you might not have saved your word document before you unsafely remove your external hard disk drive. Unfortunately, there is no option to recover your unsaved document. The best thing you can do is to create a new document again and carefully and surely save your documents in both desktop and external hard disk drive.

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  • Kevin Beaver
    You may be able to recovery the text in the document if you load what's there in Notepad: right-click, select Open With, and select Notepad. Otherwise, try Davory...It's gotten me out of a bind several times.
    27,525 pointsBadges:
  • ToddN2000
    Check the properties of your desktop icon to see if it is an actual file or a shortcut to your external drive. If your drive try hooking it back up and click the desktop icon. If not then try and open with notepad like Kevin mentioned.
    135,485 pointsBadges:

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