minus all the data. What happened? How do I recover?
Anyone who’s used computers for any length of time has been in exactly this
same situation. I know I have.
And you’ll find that most of us have developed a habit that you might want
to consider as well.
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First, the short answer to your current situation is unfortunately simple:
the data is most likely gone, and you can only recover by starting over and
entering it again. I know that some will suggest convoluted approaches to
looking at temporary files, or worse, but in my experience that wastes more
time than just biting the bullet and starting over.
Why did it happen? Who knows? These are computers and “stuff” (or a few
other words beginning with “s”) happens. It shouldn’t but it does. If it
happens too often there may be problems worth investigating, but “it froze”
isn’t really enough to know where to begin.
So, knowing that it happens, and knowing that it’s bound to happen at
exactly the wrong time, what might you do differently the next time?
If you were to watch me type this article, you’d see me occasionally type
“CTRL+S”. That happens to be my editor’s “Save Document” shortcut. Because I’ve
been bitten by this exact same issue – sometimes bitten very hard – I’ve
trained myself to save the document “every so often”. Every page, every
paragraph, it doesn’t really matter too much how often, just realize that if
something happens, you’ll likely lose everything you’ve done since the last
time you saved.
So far I think I’ve hit CTRL+S about 5 times. It’s just become a habit.
I know that a lot of you are thinking that Excel (and Word, and other
applications) have something called “autosave” where they do something roughly
equivalent to my manually saving the document periodically. That’s very true,
and you should absolutely make sure those features are turned on. They have
also saved my work at times.
But there are two problems: sometimes they don’t, and not all programs have
an auto-save feature.
But all of them have a manual save feature.
So, learn what the keyboard shortcut is to save your work in progress, and
get in the habit of doing so “every so often”.
Nope, you shouldn’t have to; things should always just work and never
But we all quickly learn better.