AutoRecover – Not a Substitute for Saving

The nose is well and truly back to the grindstone as university kicks off again with what is likely to be my final semester of study for my Masters of Science in Information Technology. Whilst the semester itself doesn’t kick off until tomorrow I am wanting to get a good head start on the assessment items and give myself plenty of breathing space given the perils of full time work and those unexpected things that crop up every now and then.

Anyway, I finished the first lab assessment last night but not without a setback along the way. I had written up about half of the assessment in Microsoft Word when I encountered a BSoD (or blue screen of death for those of you unfamiliar with the term) referencing exfat.sys as the culprit. Of course, with any sort of unexpected or uncontrolled shutdown you run the risk of losing unsaved work and unfortunately for myself I had not even saved the document in a safe location on the home server. I feared the worst but hoped for the best.

Once my computer had rebooted, I fired up Microsoft Word and found that there was an AutoRecover copy of my document and luckily for me most of my work had been preserved. I did have to spend some time recreating the lost content though (perhaps ten minutes) but it could have been a whole lot worse.

So before you get too carried away with any sort of document you might want to consider the following:

  • save your document in its intended location before you get underway,
  • save the document after achieving milestones in the document (in my situation, after answering each question in the assessment),
  • save a new version of the document if you are making significant changes just in case you need the old information later on,
  • consider decreasing the AutoRecover interval from the default of ten minutes to a lower value if you are a fast typer.

While AutoRecover has improved in terms of reliability over the last few versions of Microsoft Office applications you shouldn’t necessarily rely upon it as a substitute for saving your documents regularly.

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  1. […] no autorecover for the scripts that I write unlike Microsoft Office applications but even then the autorecover functionality should not be relied upon as your backup. Therefore, I need to save and save often – saving takes little time to do and saves a huge […]

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