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Network file destruction bug in Word 2001 and 10.2 Apps
While using MS Word 2001 in the Classic mode (9.2.2) under OS X 10.2, Word erased a file based on a network server.

I had opened a Word file across the network, did some minor editing, and attempted to Save (Command + S) (to the same network server). Word responded with a message "Word cannot complete the operation because too many files are open." Word erased the original document, but did not finish the Save. The file was lost. This one file was the only file open, and little else running.

I reproduced this a couple of times (with duplicates of other files), with the same destructive finale. I had no problem saving/resaving to a local disk, however, across the network seems to be something that offers the system a challenge. I have not tested Excel nor PowerPoint under the same circumstances.

[Editor's note: I don't have Word 2001 to test this with, so I'd appreciate any corroboration that the macosxhints readers might be able to provide. If this happens regularly, it's obviously a very bad bug on someone's part.]
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Similar problem
Authored by: Fat Mike on Sep 21, '02 12:02:31PM

What OS is the server running? An employee at work is having a similar problem to the one you're describing only that she's using Office XP on Windows 2000 Professional. We are running AppleShare IP Servers v. 6.3.3 on MacOS 9.1.

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Server detail
Authored by: brw3sbc on Sep 21, '02 01:50:59PM

In response to the question regarding the server.

It is a PowerMac 700 (upgraded Quadra) under OS 8.1. (File sharing on) with a pair of mirrored 2G hard drives where I store my important current documents. Although protected from a hard disk crash, I'm not protected from problems such as this. Interim solution is to Save As after the error message.

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try quitting other apps
Authored by: hayne on Sep 21, '02 01:18:14PM

I've had this happen to me a few times with Word 2001 with files on the local disk. I recall reading that it occurs more often after making many changes to the document - it's something to do with temporary files created by Word. It's been a while but I think I recall that I was finally able to save the document after quitting other applications.

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Old bug
Authored by: tstout on Sep 23, '02 02:51:12PM
This is an old and reasonably well-known bug in MS Word (most versions up to at least 2001). It's described in MS KB article #q289545

MS's solution to this problem:
Close your document after you save it approximately 20 times. Next, reopen the document and continue working until you have saved another 20 times. Close the document again, and repeat the process as necessary. (empahsis added -tms)
Don't know if it's fixed in Office.X or not (I wouldn't bet on it), but just know this is not an OS X specific bug.

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NOT Old bug
Authored by: brw3sbc on Sep 23, '02 04:21:56PM

This is not the same bug. Error is not the same. I can re-produce this at will with only Word and Classic running. Error will occur on first attempt to Save. Have never had this problem, and continue not to have the problem, with OS 9 and earlier.

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Info from Anonymous...
Authored by: robg on Sep 25, '02 08:29:53AM

The following was sent in as a tip by an anonymous reader, and posted here as a comment for others to see by yours truly...

"I don't know that this bug is limited to Word 2001, or to Mac OS X 10.2. It also may not be limited to network operations. I've had this happen to me on two occasions, using Appleworks on Mac OS X 10.1.5, all from my local hard disk.

I think there may be a flaw in the way Mac OS X saves information to disk. Without knowing for sure, my observations are that first it removes the original, then it writes the new file. While it works most of the time, if something interupts the save it fails in the worst way - the whole file is lost.

I'd thought the problem was with Appleworks, the fact that it happened to someone else using Word means it may be a system wide issue. Of course, I may just be an idiot who can't save a file, so until there's more confirmation I wouldn't post this as gospel. If you get more reports like this one, though you might want to post a warning.

I've already submitted feedback to Apple, and I think I'll resend it to let them know that at least one other person has experienced the same kind of loss (albeit under different circumstances)."

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Re: Info from Anonymous...
Authored by: brw3sbc on Sep 29, '02 10:05:56AM

It was good to read this post, as it confirmed my experience.

I am suspicious of timing of events in OS X. I note that on occassion when I send a multipage document to my HP LaserJet, I may get back, mid-print, an error message that indicates that the printer is busy. Yes, it was busy - on that very job that created the error message. Fortunately, no action is necessary, as the job does progress to completion, and the error message is automatically withdrawn.

Also, I keep a file of the Usenet groups to which I have subscribbed. When I double-click on the file, NewsWatcher is launched, however, frequently, NW reports that it cannot communicate with the server. A quick double-click on any of the subscribed items reveals that communications is sound. I believe that some processes are getting ahead of others in the normal sequence of events, and NW is being impatient (I have alway-on DSL).

With regards to the file destruction, I suspect that the OS is not letting the server, or other process, conclude its erasure of the file before it starts to write the new. The system is still busy finishing the erasure, the write attempts to start, and fails because the system is busy, and it quits, with its false error message.

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Network file destruction bug in Word 2001 and 10.2
Authored by: itdept on Aug 13, '03 12:02:54PM

sorry, i've got no solution, but i'd like to confirm the same bug here.

users using mac os x 10.2 classic environment with word 2001 are losing files completely when they try to save across the network (cat 5 - 10/100 base t) to a mac os x 10.2 server. the same doesn't happen in mac os 9 but it's serious enough to have stopped us upgrading to mac os x dead in our tracks (40 g4 macs)

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