.xls file dumped out of existence

Discussion in 'Windows Vista File Management' started by PhilNotVeryHappy, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. With Vista Ultimate I had Excel 2000 (who can afford an upgrade?) dump a file
    I was working on - would not let me save it. Since closing down Excel the
    file has simply vanished from my hard drive. There are no shadows, no .tmp
    files, no backups, nothing in the rubbish bin, no hidden or system fiiles -
    it's as if this file never existed. I have never experienced such a clinical
    dumping of data before coming to Vista.

    Please explain...?
    PhilNotVeryHappy, Feb 7, 2008
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  2. PhilNotVeryHappy

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Phil.

    One last try before you give up on finding your lost file. Sometimes, the
    old "brute force" methods will work when the GUI methods don't.

    Open a Command Prompt window. At the prompt, type:
    dir c:\*.xls /s/a

    If you have a lot of files and folders on C:, you may have time for a cup of
    coffee, but if there is ANY .xls file ANYWHERE on Drive C:, this should find

    This is the most elemental form of the command, but many variations are
    possible. Dir is the old MS-DOS command from days when folders were known
    as directories. The C:\ says to start in the Root of Drive C:. The *.xls
    says to list all files with that extension, no matter the filename. The /s
    switch says to search subdirectories, all the way to the bottom. And the /a
    switch lists ALL files, even those with Hidden or System or any other

    Of course, you can search Drive D: or X: or any other volume, and you can
    use wildcards to search for .xl* files, in case it used a different Excel
    extension. As with any command in the "DOS" window, type the command
    followed by /? to see a mini-Help file listing all the switches and
    parameters you can use with that command.

    To access locations that might require Administrator credentials, you can
    right-click Cmd.exe and Run as Administrator to open an
    Administrator:Command Prompt window. In this window, all commands and
    applications run elevated.

    If this doesn't find your missing file, it ain't there. :>(

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    (Running Windows Live Mail 2008 in Vista Ultimate x64)
    R. C. White, Feb 7, 2008
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  3. Thanks for that R.C. - yes, I'd completely forgotten about DOS commands.

    The file is gone - apparently erased from existence forever. It
    demonstrates that modern operating systems are not completely trustworthy.

    Let this be a warning to all Vista Users, and a timely reminder to MS to get
    its act together with a service pack.
    PhilNotVeryHappy, Feb 7, 2008
  4. PhilNotVeryHappy

    Julian Guest

    Abandon hope all ye who enter... but only *after* going through...

    Excel sometimes creates strange looking numerically (hex) named temp files
    whose extension is not, IIRC ".xls"...

    I would search again for files created/modified at about the time you were
    working on the missing spreadsheet - and ask whether you had the
    Autorecovery on (was it available in 2000? I'm looking at Excel 2002)

    If so, have a look in the location specifed for autorecovers (mine is at
    C:\Users\Me.MyPC\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\ but you could also look
    under \AppData\Local just in case).

    Failing all the above scan the disk (must be a free utility out there
    somewhere) for any unique strings to find out what file(s) they are in, or
    you could - god forbid - tell Vista to index everything... though whether
    that would work I'm not sure as there might not be a "PersistentHandler" to
    tell Vista how to read the key file type)

    I'd hang around outside just a little longer...

    Julian, Feb 7, 2008
  5. Thanks Julian - I've had a good look around, but nothing. Anyway I've now
    spent the past 24 hours re-doing all the work I lost, so the recovery is no
    longer necessary. However, 2 days worth of VB coding for a non coder is no
    small loss Mr Windows Vista, whoever you are...

    Incidentally, Excel2000 appears not to have autorecover but does have a
    backup facility, which I didn't have switced on because it's hidden away in
    the never never land of unnoticed menu tabs in secondary windows. Let me
    just say this: It is now switched on.
    PhilNotVeryHappy, Feb 8, 2008
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