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Recovering from Problems

Most of the time, things go along just as they are supposed to. You create, save, and back up data, you shut the computer down and boot it back up without incident. You always find the data you need, and it is always in the folder you saved it to. Notice we started that first sentence with the phrase most of the time, though.

Occasionally, something will happen to break the cycle of certainty. If you have ever been in the middle of a project when the power went out, you know what we mean. A power outage can wreak havoc on an open file. Problems can also arise when you open a file from an e-mail attachment or network drive, work on it, click the Save button (vs. Save As), and then close the file. If you have ever done this, you know how difficult it is to locate the file when you are ready to work on it again. Problems can also occur when you install faulty software, get a virus, or work on a read-only or shared file with a colleague.

When any of these things happen, you need to know how to recover. An operating system problem (a problem that affects the entire computer) may mean using System Restore to revert the computer to a previous state. If it is a problem that affects Office only, you may need to use Office Diagnostics, a new feature in Office 2007. If it is a lost file, perhaps searching the computer is the answer. If you have lost a file during a power outage or computer crash, you may need to incorporate complicated search techniques, such as browsing through recovered files in Office. In this tutorial, we address the most common problems you will run across and detail their solutions.