Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I created a password-protected Word 2010 document at work, brought it home using a flash drive, tried opening it using Word 2007, and it won't open. It doesn't even present me with a password-entry box. Word runs, but flat out refuses to open the doc. I have the password, but what bloody good is it when I'm not presented with the password input dialogue?

OpenOffice Writer yields no joy, and WordPad tells me the document is either 'Corrupt or protected under Rights Management.' NotePad opens it quite willingly, and I see frequent references to 'encryption' that look coherent, with large blocks of text that did look so.

WinZip says the file is 'not a valid archive', which an unencrypted Word 2010 file should be a valid archive.

Is there anything I can do to recover this file?

share|improve this question
What happens back on the machine at work (a) with the flash disk and (b) in terms of any earlier version/recycle bin etc? – pnuts Jan 1 '13 at 2:13

You would first need to verify if the document in question is open protected (the password is only needed to open the document) or if the document is encrypted (which means the password is used to decrypt the document).

If it is the first then you may still be able to get the content extracted by recovering the text in Microsoft Word. If it is the latter then I'm afraid there is probably no way to recover the data. If the data is corrupted then decryption process won't work and there is no easy way to get the data back.

share|improve this answer

Use Microsoft's built in repair option. Instructions on how to do that and other recovery options can be found here

You may also be missing a patch. Download and install the patch described here (even though it may be difficult with your friend lacking internet access.

Additionally, next time, consider using an online utility or document managing solution such as Google Docs now known as Google Drive.

share|improve this answer

First of all, you should consider using Microsoft inbuilt repair Option.

To open a specific document by using the Open and Repair feature in Word, follow these steps:

Start Word.

On the File menu, click Open.

Note In Word 2007 or Word 2010, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Open.

In the Open dialog box, click to select the file that you want to open.

Click the down arrow on the Open button, and then click Open and Repair.

share|improve this answer
Can you stop linking to that article which results in the reader being told paid software is the ultimate solution? – Ramhound Jul 29 '14 at 12:10
Mr. Ramhound, I am just trying to share a solution i explore to serve. If it goes to a paid tool, it's up to the user to buy it or not. This is so sad that besides of being getting appreciation for what i shared, i am receiving unexpected response. I never thought of such experience, at least not here at superuser – Stephen Jul 29 '14 at 12:13
I appreciate quality answers, not answers that link to a blog post, which just tells users to use paid software. You have provided a link to the same blog in several of your answers, this indicates to me, your trying to promote that website. – Ramhound Jul 29 '14 at 12:17
Enough, Now this is something i really never expected to get such a response from Superuser. I have multiple websites bookmarked in my browser, And i am sorry to be a part of this website. Disappointed – Stephen Jul 29 '14 at 12:21
The way I said it originally was from the persepctive I have seen 3 answers all linking to the same website from one author, all answers to 2 year old questions, and the quality of the other answers I read ranging from anywhere from barely acceptable to low quality. – Ramhound Jul 29 '14 at 13:15

protected by slhck Apr 23 '14 at 7:10

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.