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In my org, we have a central shared network drive, mapped on startup to G:. People generally edit their Word documents directly on this network drive.

The problem is, when the drive becomes unavailable (network issues/ server issues etc.), Word reports the error, closes, and deletes the auto-recovery files. This obviously means users can lose a lot of data!

Is there any way to stop this from happening?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

A bit more info would be nice as to:

  • how often is your Autorecover set to? Is it set to something?
  • Are you saving your Autorecover files to the network drive? Have you tried saving this locally? (Word 2003>Tools>Options>File Locations>Auto Recovery files)
  • Have you played with your settings at the save options in Word 2003>Tools>Options>Save

MS KB#827099 might be able to give you a few hints of things to try, plus will give you a better understanding of how the Autorecover feature works. Sounds like it could be something pretty easy as far as a misconfiguration of the Save Options.

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You may wish to enable offline files for that network location. This will not prevent disconnects but it will give you offline copy to work with even if connection is lost in middle of editing. Once connection is restored, file will be copied back to server and synchronized.

Only issue here may be if another user modified that file while connection was down since that would cause synchronize error and you would need to resolve it automatically.

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