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Corrupt Word file corrupts whole system

23785 Views 190 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2013 12:41 PM by Allan Eckert RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Kidstolondon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:21 PM (in response to marycontrary)

    IMHO, the best advice so far has been to:

    1. turn off autosave in MS Word
    2. turn off Apple's Time Machine
    3. pray
  • marycontrary Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2012 2:26 PM (in response to epollari)

    thanks epollari... i too do not want to disable time machine... I will give it a go x

  • petermac87 Level 5 Level 5 (4,065 points)
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:27 PM (in response to Kidstolondon)

    Kidstolondon wrote:

     

    IMHO, the best advice so far has been to:

    1. turn off autosave in MS Word
    2. turn off Apple's Time Machine
    3. pray

    I would not recommend the 2nd option unless you have made and saved a bootable clone of your system using CCC or SuperDuper!

     

    To see how many people who come here have lost their data entirely by not having a backup is quite disturbing.

     

    Good Luck

     

    Pete

  • marycontrary Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 27, 2012 2:28 PM (in response to Kidstolondon)

    Will do the autosave xx   pray to microsoft???

  • marycontrary Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 27, 2012 3:06 PM (in response to petermac87)

    mmm well bootable clones,CCC's & Super Dupers are all a bit beyond me... I like many just want to safely use the gear ... relax without having to repair reformat  & readjust our days and nights. I think microsoft has a responsibility to sort this.

  • petermac87 Level 5 Level 5 (4,065 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2012 3:13 PM (in response to marycontrary)

    marycontrary wrote:

     

    mmm well bootable clones,CCC's & Super Dupers are all a bit beyond me... I like many just want to safely use the gear ... relax without having to repair reformat  & readjust our days and nights. I think microsoft has a responsibility to sort this.

    Microsoft has a responsibility to fix Microsoft products, but keeping a backup is not hard and methods can be searched easily on these forums. They are there to help you not lose any data if your system crashes, and that would include wiping all your data, and not just your MS Office documents. That is a consideration in using the gear safely and being able to relax knowing you have a reliable backup should a disaster hit your drive.

     

    Happy Computing

     

    Pete

  • marycontrary Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 27, 2012 3:40 PM (in response to petermac87)

    Yes I understand that Pete. I have heaps of mages that I manage. I am just disappointed that I have to spend all this time sorting out problems smile x

  • Scott Atchley Level 4 Level 4 (2,225 points)
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    Sep 2, 2012 12:07 PM (in response to epollari)

    I found this thread because my wife's work iMac was exhibiting issues from a corrupted file system to kernel panics.

     

    I have to agree with etreesoft. If an application (e.g. Word) can corrupt the file system, then the bug is with the file system (i.e. Apple). The file system is maintained inside the kernel and user applications have to access the file system via the kernel.

     

    That said, it does not help epollari. I understand your frustration about what appears to be gremlins. I finally convinced my wife to get an external drive and start using Time Machine a few months ago. A couple of weeks ago, she starts getting warnings to rebuild her Outlook database. It reached a point about 10 days ago when it would hang on reboot.

     

    She brought it home and I reinstalled from her Time Machine. I then logged into her account and would rebuild the database and then start Outlook. I would then check the file system with Disk Utility and all was well. I repeated with a few more apps and eventually the file system would show corruption. I would reboot into recovery mode and repair if possible and restore if not.

     

    At one point, I had just logged into her newly reinstalled system and before I could do anything, the kernel panicked. When this happened, I assumed it was a hardware issue. I contacted Apple and discussed this with an agent. They felt it was the hard drive failing, but I was not sure. The SMART stats did not indicate any errors other than a possible over-heat warning.

     

    The Apple repair contractor replaced the hard drive and started the reinstall and left my wife's office. The reinstall never completed. It would download and fail verification. Suspecting bad RAM, I created a memtest86+ CD and had my wife run it on the iMac. The test normally takes 30-60 minutes and show show no errors. Within three minutes, it reported 45,000+ errors.

     

    Memory tests cannot distinguish errors between the actual RAM modules, the RAM connectors on the motherboard, and the CPUs' caches. The cheapest steps are:

     

    1. Reseat the RAM modules

    2. Replace the RAM modules

    3. Replace the CPUs

    4. Replace the motherboard

     

    After each step above, you need to reboot and rerun memtest86+.

     

    In my wife's case, Apple replaced the RAM modules (all four) and it now seems okay (I am writing this from her machine).

     

    The downside is that while the bad memory was in place it was corrupting not only the internal file system, but also the external hard drive's file system. I think I got a good version from Time Machine, but we have no way of knowing. After restoring from the Time Machine, we can no longer see the old backups. Hopefully, we will never need them.

     

    I wish that Apple would include the old hardware test suite in the restore partition, but they don't. You can download memtest86+ ISOs at:

     

    http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

     

    and then burn it to a CD using Disk Utility. It is a free app and works with Mac OSX with Intel CPUs (unlike the original memtest86). To boot the CD, restart and hold down the Alt/Option key after you hear the bong. It will show up as a Windows CD. Simply select it and it will start the testing.

     

    I hope this helps.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,330 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2012 12:28 PM (in response to marycontrary)

    marycontrary wrote:

     

    mmm well bootable clones,CCC's & Super Dupers are all a bit beyond me... I like many just want to safely use the gear ... relax without having to repair reformat  & readjust our days and nights. I think microsoft has a responsibility to sort this.

    Having a backup is your insurance against any catastrophe, from theft to error, not having one is foolish.

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,385 points)
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    Sep 2, 2012 12:36 PM (in response to thomas_r.)

    MTBF = mean time between failures

     

    Allan

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,385 points)
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    Sep 2, 2012 12:46 PM (in response to epollari)

    Thomas is right. A disk can fail at any time. I have seen them fail in one day. Those were server grade disks also used with the servers I supported.

     

    MTBF is only a statistical average and has absolute nothing to do with whether that drive is good or not.

     

    Allan

  • Kidstolondon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2012 1:09 PM (in response to petermac87)

    (actually, I turn off Time Machine except for when I am making a weekly backup to a remote drive, then I turn it on for the backup.)

     

    All this discussion of hard drive failures is interesting—and describes a real issue for computer users— but not this issue, IMHO.  The problems described are only happening when running MS Word and when working with large Word files, plus (apparently) when using Time Machine.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,895 points)
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    Sep 2, 2012 4:43 PM (in response to Allan Eckert)

    Allan Eckert wrote:

     

    Thomas is right. A disk can fail at any time. I have seen them fail in one day. Those were server grade disks also used with the servers I supported.

    What is a "server grade" disk? Such disks are usually found in RAIDs, where the "I" stands for "inexpensive". People running real servers don't care much about reliability. They always assume imminent failure and plan for it. Whenever the RAID controller indicates a failure, they don't reformat or reinstall, they toss it in the trash.

     

    Now, it is reasonable to assume that the handful of remaining hard disk manufacturers are selling consumers hard drives that they think are more reliable than "server grade" disks? Or are the "server grade" disks actually better? Either way, I think you want Time Machine running

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,385 points)
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    Sep 2, 2012 6:06 PM (in response to etresoft)

    I was in server support before RAID was the big thing. Most of the servers I was supporting at my retirement still did not use RAID. What we did was buy the best disk available which were called server grade by the vendor.

     

    I must totally agree with on your point about backups. They are of paramount importance. Personally I backup all of my data twice using different software for each backup. A slight case of paranoia there from my server support days. After seeing data get lost so many time it makes you get that way.

     

    Allan

  • Russell0986 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 10, 2012 5:57 PM (in response to epollari)

    Just a follow up on some of the post.

    I have experienced this problem now on two machines, and it is clearly a Word related problem. First machine was my MacBook Air. The warning started coming up on a large document I was working on. With this document I was able to save the file off with a new name each time the error appeared then Force Quit Word.

    Began working on a new document in Word on the same computer. This document was a large file (about 80 megabytes and the other document was similar in size) with numerous photographs embedded in it. Error appeared, 100% CPU usage and there was nothing I could do. Had to shut down the computer but it would not restart, came up with a disk error. Tried everything and I could not repair the disk or get it to boot, finally had to reformat the drive and restore from time machine.

    Started working on the document again on the same computer (2011 MacBook Air - 250 GB SSD drive). After about two hours in the Word document the error appeared again. Once more was forced to format the drive and restore from time machine. Nothing I could do would shut down Word or let me reboot. As before, was forced to turn off the computer and went to restart, had a corrupted drive. Suspected the SSD drive had gone bad. (This computer had never crashed before and is not used frequently)

    Continued to work on the same file on my Windows computer (same file, it was saved in a DropBox folder).

    Fast forward 1 day. Started working on the same file again on my MacBook Pro (less than 2 months old). Worked on the file for about 30 minutes and the error appeared again. I was able to Force quite Word (I made no attempt to save the file as I had before). I was able to shut it down and successfully reboot after running the disk utility during the start up. (Disk could not be repaired without reboot) The first three errors during the repair process:

    Incorrect size for Word Work File L-4.tmp

    Incorrect number of file hard links

    Overlapped extent allocation (id =2129…ont/Word Work File L-5.tep)

    Before this, event this computer had never crashed.

    Now I am working in the same document, without issue within Parallels Desktop using Word 2010 for Windows, on the same computer.

    Both computers have the latest updates installed of Mountain Lion and Word 2011.

    I can’t say for sure the problem is created by Word, but Word is clearly the trigger. The large file size appears to be the other element that has to be present (from my experiences).

    Whether the actual problem is within Lion/Mountain Lion or Word I can’t answer. But it is clear Word is the cause.

     

    Greg

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