When I turned on the computer this morning, WordPerfect 6.0 had uninstalled itself spontaneously taking with it a remarkable number of wpd files. Everything up to 2007 was backed up on a disc and most of what is important is duplicated on Word, or in e-mails, or on the net; there will be a number of post-2007 files on my dodgy external hard drive, sorting out which is now a priority.
I am running PCtools disc recovery utility, which at the very least seems to be indicating that most of the missing files still exist, but somehow were erased.

Worst case, I lost some incomplete work and have to reconstruct some financial stuff.

The mystery is, how this happened.

Later PCtools File Recover has not actually been much help – it has confirmed that the files are still in some sense there, but it doesn’t seem to be able to recover them in any form that WordPerfect can read. Word won’t open them either. It told me that they might not work if I recovered them to the same disc, so I got them to write to a CD. That didn’t help either.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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11 Responses to DISASTER

  1. zeisgeist says:

    Yikes! I have no idea how that happened but you seem remarkably calm. I would be FREAKING OUT!

    Good luck!

  2. cdave says:

    First thing to do. Turn off the computer!

    When you “delete” a file you usually only delete the pointer to the file. The data is still on the hard drive, but the computer doesn’t know where. It thinks that bit of the drive is blank space. The longer you write to your hard drive, the more likely the “blank” space that contains the “deleted” data will be overwritten.

    There should be some Linux Live CDs you can burn to try to recover the files to an external hard drive, without writing anything to the old hard drive. But I’m not sure which ones.

    Reply if you want me to research into it.

    • cdave says:

      In fact, here’s some instructions.

      If you can’t get hold of another machine to download and burn the Linux CD, and want to use that computer (risking losing more data), then this post looks like a good starting point for free Windows tools.

  3. paratti says:


    Fingers are crossed for you.

  4. calimac says:

    This word “perfect” – I do not think it means what they think it means.

  5. gngrmyrsn says:


    You’ve probably looked, but are they showing up as text files anywhere? Or can you move them to a directory where you can see them as text files?

  6. paulathomas says:


    I am tied up until Thursday but after that I’ll have a little time. I cam almost certainly get the text out of any files you still have, it might be a little mangled but probably not. If you’d like me to do that please let me know and email me a sample file so I can get started.


  7. green_knight says:

    I’m just passing through on the way to somewhere else, but once you have the file, Word should help. I am fairly confident the Windows version has this feature, too, but the Mac version of Word offers ‘recover text from any file’ as an option; readable or not: if it contains text in any form, including binary, Word will open it.

    I used to use it to open large files, save the segments onto floppies, and stitch them together again. Those were the days…

    Best of luck!

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