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How can I repair a coruppted word document?

asked 2020-06-12 03:42:31 +0100

Rosie Jolene gravatar image

My documents are not legible. they tell me they are corrupted and can be repaired. Is there any way i can fix them so they are ligible?

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The exact corruption (often visible through the error message) is required to answer if there's a way to repair or not. Sometimes it's easy to completely fox the problem without any data loss. Sometimes it's impossible at all. Please provide the full error message, and possibly the documents themselves (if they are not confidential, since they would be available here publicly).

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2020-06-12 09:45:27 +0100 )edit

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answered 2020-06-12 08:23:44 +0100

blashrkh gravatar image

updated 2020-06-12 08:26:38 +0100

Assuming you are using Windows:

Depending on how important the files are to you and how confident you are you might try the following (but do it in order, according to the numbers).

If the files are extremely important then and you are not confident then I would recommend taking the machine to a computer technician and requesting they create a backup image of the data before attempting to repair the system. This is an extra level of assurance just in case attempting to repair the files causes more damage (rare, but possible), which in such rare circumstances can destroy the possibility of retrieving files.

IMPORTANT: for now do not save over any documents. as doing so can irreversibly overwrite the data that is possibly retrievable. As soon as you get the chance, do steps 1 and 2 first because if there is filesystem corruption pseudo-random overwrites of data can include operating system files, which may or may not eventually result in eventual inability to start the machine properly.

To check and fix, do steps 1 and 2. Once these are done, continue with steps 3 and 4.


  1. First, you should shut down your system completely including ensuring the power is off and that the device is not in hibernate mode.

  2. run an offline filesystem repair using the command line. Win key + R, them type cmd.exe and press enter. Once the command prompt pops up, type "chkdsk /offlinescanandfix <drive>" where <drive> is the location of where you save the file. Pretty much most of the time this will be "chkdsk /offlinescanandfix C:". It should prompt you to reboot, and the scan should take place. Look for any errors or diagnostic information or warnings.

    The above command allows the filesystem to be repaired. Filesystem can be damaged when power to the machine is lost during writing to the hard disk drive, for example during a storm or power interruption.

    If that does not fix the problem there are some other things to check.

  3. Determine if garbled / supposedly corrupt documents are able to be viewed in other applications. What type of files were you saving as? Most file types should be recognised by an online document viewer just upload a sample of one of the supposedly corrupt files and see if it is actually corrupt, or it is a display or operating system / software issue on your end.

  4. Create a new document type a sentence, add and image, etc and save it. Close of LibreOffice completely. Open the file back up again. Is the file displaying correctly? If the file is displaying correctly close off libreoffice and then go back to one of the corrupted documents and check to see if it is still displaying as corrupted.

    Hopefully the testing of the above will allow you to determine if it is a LibreOffice issue: if so, then try starting in LibreOffice's built-in safe mode (see post referred to below, and search for "safe mode".

  5. If the files are still appearing ...

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Asked: 2020-06-12 03:42:31 +0100

Seen: 154 times

Last updated: Jun 12 '20