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I hit the close button after choosing which doc to work with, now I can't remember how to get the window to reopen.

This is the pane that shows if your document got corrupted/word crashed and it usually offers the original and 'recovered' version

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Can't you just go into the autorecovery directory and copy the backup files? Also look your document's directory. Work makes a temporary copy of your working document in the document's folder. –  surfasb Sep 19 '11 at 13:49
    
The autosave option was not checked (thanks corporate default!) where is the autorecovery directory? –  adolf garlic Sep 20 '11 at 14:03
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By default, it is under %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Word. For you, %APPDATA% will probably be the Roaming folder. –  surfasb Sep 20 '11 at 16:00
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1 Answer

This is the Microsoft article detailing searching for corrupter / lost Word files. Hopefully this helps to start with.

This site details how you could go about finding such documents .

There are a few different methods to recover your data.

Instructions
Automatic Document Recovery

Open the Windows Task Manager by pressing "Control," "Alt" and "Delete" at the same time.

Under the "Processes" tab, ensure that no instance of Word is running, and choose "End Process" for anything that might be Word.

Reopen Word. The "Document Recovery" task pane should open on the left hand side of the window with your document listed in it. Click on your document, then "Save As" to save it.

Search in Word

Click "Recent" in the "File" menu in Word 2010, then click "Recover Unsaved Documents" and search for your AutoRecover file, which will end in ".asd."

Click on "Word Options" in the Microsoft Office Word button in Word 2007. Click "Save" in the following navigation pane and note the folder path in the "AutoRecover File Location" box. Click "Cancel," close Word and open and navigate through a "My Computer" window to find the folder path you noted before. It should contain your .asd file.

Click "Options" under the "Tools" menu in Word 2002 or 2003. Under the "File Locations" tab, double click on "AutoRecover files" and note the folder path, then close out the "Options" window and close Word. Open a "My Computer" window and find the folder noted earlier. It should contain your .asd file.

Search in Windows

Click on the "Start" menu in the lower left corner of your desktop. Type ".asd" in the "Start Search" box (Vista or Windows 7) or "*.asd" in the box under "Search for files or folders named" (XP). If using XP, you'll additionally have to choose "My Computer" from the "Look in" box. Hit "Enter" or click "Search Now" to search for the file.

Start Word and click "Open" from the "File" menu in Word 2010. In this list of "Files of type," click on "All files." Navigate to the .asd file you found and click "Open."

Start Word and click "Open" from inside the Microsoft Office button in Word 2007. In this list of "Files of type," click on "All files." Navigate to the .asd file you found and click "Open."

Start Word and click on "Open" from the "File" menu in Word 2002 or 2003. In the list of "Files of type," click on "All Files ." Navigate to the .asd file you found and open it. Restart your computer using the Windows "Shut Down" menu and start Word. The "Document Recovery" task pane should open on the left side of the window with your document in it

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I already looked at that and it doesn't seem to tell you how to pop that pane/window back open –  adolf garlic Sep 19 '11 at 10:15
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Seems the only way is to exit Word completely and then re-enter. From what I can find it opens on startup if there are files present in the auto-recovery folder. –  Joe Taylor Sep 19 '11 at 10:26
    
I just fired up word and this window does not appear, this despite me selecting the 'want to keep working with these files' option (slightly paraphrased) previously –  adolf garlic Sep 19 '11 at 10:45
    
Even worse, I just tried this method office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word-help/… which totally crashed word, causing some kind of restart which is no longer listing the files I originally was working with. A POX ON YOU MR GATES!!!! etc.... –  adolf garlic Sep 19 '11 at 10:48
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