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All MS Office Documents Lost!
Old 12-03-2017, 08:26 AM   #1
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All MS Office Documents Lost!

This morning I opened MS Excel to do my monthly updates to our investments and budgets and ALL my MS documents are gone!

I have a MacBook Air and use MS Office 2011. About three weeks ago I updated my operating system to High Sierra. I noticed that after I did this OS update, when I would alter and then save an Excel document, I would get a pop-up box that said Excel has experienced a problem and must shut down. I'd click "OK" and the application would close. However, when I reopened the application, the changes I had made to the document would still be saved. To state the obvious, I guess I should have realized there was a problem, but since my document changes were still being saved, I just ignored it.

And that brings me to this morning...all my docs and folders (Excel, Word, etc.) are gone. My Download folder is still there and I can open documents in this folder, but all my other folders and docs are gone. FWIW, I've been away and hadn't used my laptop in a week before this morning.

I have tried restarting my laptop in Safe Mode, made sure my iCloud account is up-to-date and tried AutoRecovery. None of this worked. When Googling the issue, there are many complaints about High Sierra having a negative effect on MS Office performance, but I haven't found anything useful about files and folders completely disappearing. Some comments suggest trying to uninstall High Sierra, but I consider that a last resort, because I'm concerned that if I do this and it doesn't work, I'll have lost any chance to recover the files.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions!

Signed, A Progressively Panicking Tallman
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:32 AM   #2
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Have you tried contacting Apple support on the new OS?

Files disappearing is definitely an OS issue - files not being opened by office is a software issue.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:32 AM   #3
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These were all in iCloud? Not on your physical hard drive? If they are on your physical hard drive, try using the search function. Maybe something happened that moved them or changed the name of the folder they're in.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:47 AM   #4
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As a Windows user, can't offer specific advice about files disappearing on a Mac laptop. But what I would say is that it's extremely unlikely that a new version of Mac OS or MS Excel would, all by itself, wipe out all your documents and folders. Something else is going on, perhaps (like Jerry1 said) the docs have been moved or simply hidden somehow.

Having said that, you should immediately get into the mindset of fastidiously backing up all your data. Setup an automated backup of all your important files using an external hard drive or a cloud account like Backblaze or Carbonite. Even though your current situation is probably not the data loss you are fearing, there will come a time when something bad happens and you'll be glad you have a reliable backup.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj.mask View Post
Have you tried contacting Apple support on the new OS?

Files disappearing is definitely an OS issue - files not being opened by office is a software issue.
pj, I have not yet contacted Apple support but will do so. Interesting distinction you make between an OS issue versus a software issue; certainly helps narrow my thinking.

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Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
These were all in iCloud? Not on your physical hard drive? If they are on your physical hard drive, try using the search function. Maybe something happened that moved them or changed the name of the folder they're in.
Jerry1, these documents were on my hard drive. I admit ignorance regarding iCloud though I have an account set up and took a look at it this morning. Tried the search function through Finder and through iCloud with no luck.

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...you should immediately get into the mindset of fastidiously backing up all your data. Setup an automated backup of all your important files using an external hard drive or a cloud account like Backblaze or Carbonite. Even though your current situation is probably not the data loss you are fearing, there will come a time when something bad happens and you'll be glad you have a reliable backup.
Sojourner, very, very true. I've always (foolishly and ignorantly) had the "it'll never happen to me" attitude. Proven wrong!
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:46 AM   #6
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I learned with my very first computer long ago in the early 80's . A computer hard drive will fail, it's just a matter of when.

My first one died after 3 months. One of the best lessons I had on computers. Now I back up to 2 or 3 flash drives every week and more frequently during tax season.

OP - perhaps you accidentally moved the directory with a dragging mouse click. We had this happen at work where a large number of files disappeared, but it turned out they were only moved by accident. Perhaps the MAC has a file search, where you could search for one of the missing files on the entire computer ?
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:05 AM   #7
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I'm not a Mac guru, but have you run a search on your hard drive?
https://discussions.apple.com/servle...e+my+files.png
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:23 AM   #8
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Uhhmm, I just found ALL my folders and documents in the Trash folder! How is this possible? Let's just assume I'm completely computer illiterate/unsavvy (not far from the truth). How is it possible that I moved EVERY personal folder and every document (Excel and Word) into my trash??

At any rate, I dragged everything out of the trash back into my Documents folder and will now do a back-up with Time Machine.

Also, I'm still having the "Excel Unexpectedly Quit" message every time I save a document. When I click on the "Don't Send" (message to MS) button, another dialog box opens saying "Excel saved changes to the file before the application unexpectedly quit". I suspect this is related to my recent OS upgrade to High Sierra, but who knows.

I appreciate that this is not a computer forum, but I know there are a lot of smart people here with a wide range of experience and expertise, so it's kinda become my go-to place for info on a wide range of topics!
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:27 AM   #9
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Glad you found them!
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:36 AM   #10
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Whew! (Wipes sweat from brow). You dodged a bullet there.

Having had experience with both PCs and Macs, I think catastrophic data losses are much less likely with the Mac. I too have a MacBook Air and MS Office for Mac, 2011. I was recently attempting to convert an Excel file to .csv, without success. Trawling the help sites did not help. I don’t think I was doing anything wrong. I do think it’s possible that the new Mac OS has screwed up our Excel, which is now 6 years old. Maybe we should contact Microsoft to see if an update is required.

P.S. I have a Seagate drive permanently attached to my MacBook Air when it’s at home. It backs up everything daily. You really need to backup regularly, and an external drive is a good solution if you prefer to avoid the Cloud.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:38 AM   #11
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I was going to suggest checking the trash and then I got to your post saying you found them! I'm surprised Finder didn't search the trash though. I would have thought it would.

I think you need to upgrade to Office 2016 (or Office 365) to get your apps working on High Sierra. MS is not updating Office 2011 any more and Apple apparently did something in the OS that is causing the older Office apps to crash.

https://support.office.com/en-us/art...a-1c5607b26b28

Quote:
Office for Mac 2011

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Lync have not been tested on macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and no formal support for this configuration will be provided.

All applications in the Office for Mac 2011 suite* are reaching end of support on October 10th, 2017. As a reminder, after that date there will be no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options or technical content updates. Refer to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle for more information.

* Lync for Mac 2011 has a limited time of Extended Support for security fixes.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cathy63 View Post
I was going to suggest checking the trash and then I got to your post saying you found them! I'm surprised Finder didn't search the trash though. I would have thought it would.

I think you need to upgrade to Office 2016 (or Office 365) to get your apps working on High Sierra. MS is not updating Office 2011 any more and Apple apparently did something in the OS that is causing the older Office apps to crash.

https://support.office.com/en-us/art...a-1c5607b26b28
Well, you just answered my question. Time to upgrade!
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:42 AM   #13
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+1 on bullet dodging. Worth remembering what the big iron people used to say, "No backups? No sympathy!"
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:45 AM   #14
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Glad you found them! Now that the danger has passed, GET THAT BACKUP DONE!

I don't do a full backup that often. On my windows laptop, I use a utility called "CopyChangedFiles" against my Documents, Music, Downloads, Pictures, and Videos folders, onto a 128GB memory stick. It only takes 5-10 minutes or so, and I do it about once a month, and when I do anything important like taxes, download vacation photos, etc, that I want to make sure get backed up right away.

I figure if I have an HD failure, I can restore from the occasional full backup, then get the most current of my documents from the memory stick. If I somehow lose a single or set of files, I can also restore them from the memory stick.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:57 AM   #15
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OP - I suggest you give Libre Office a try since it's free. before you upgrade your old MS. It is well used, works on many platforms including MAC and you can keep up to date at no cost.

https://www.libreoffice.org/
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathy63 View Post
I think you need to upgrade to Office 2016 (or Office 365) to get your apps working on High Sierra. MS is not updating Office 2011 any more and Apple apparently did something in the OS that is causing the older Office apps to crash.

https://support.office.com/en-us/art...a-1c5607b26b28
Thanks for this info Cathy...I had no idea. So had I stayed with OS El Capitan, I could have continued to run Office 2011. But it appears now that I've updated to High Sierra, I've got to spend $150 for Office 2016. What a deal!! The price for "progress."
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:20 AM   #17
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I use Clonezilla for backing up. It is a free backup program that can backup any operating system. I put it on a USB drive and it boots into its own system.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:21 AM   #18
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OP - I suggest you give Libre Office a try since it's free. before you upgrade your old MS. It is well used, works on many platforms including MAC and you can keep up to date at no cost.

https://www.libreoffice.org/
Hmmm, just did an E-R.org search for LibreOffice and it appears a lot of folks on this forum use it; find it meets their needs, and is a good replacement for MS Office. I'll look into further. Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:29 AM   #19
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My main desktop PC has three 1TB HDDs. One has the Windows OS and programs. Another has all data and files. And the third is a backup of the second. The backup disk is also regularly copied to Amazon Cloud Drive. We also backup photos to Prime Photos and Google Photos. Certain files with a lot of personal information (tax forms, etc) are on a flash drive in our fire box, along with all our important papers. Our laptop has nothing of any importance on it.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:31 AM   #20
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Hmmm, just did an E-R.org search for LibreOffice and it appears a lot of folks on this forum use it; find it meets their needs, and is a good replacement for MS Office. I'll look into further. Thanks!
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