Friday, December 24, 2004
Tip of the Day - Tip of the Day Blog
Tip of the Day - Tip of the Day Blog : "Don't work off Floppies in Word
People who are new to computers have a tendency to store their data files, including Word documents, on floppy disks. They think this is safer, in case the hard disk has a problem. This may have been true in the early days of hard disks, but there are a number of reasons not to use floppy disks to store your documents:
* It is much slower loading and saving documents.
* Floppy disks are more prone to disk errors than hard disks.
* It is too easy to misplace a floppy disk.
The biggest reason to not work on floppies has to do with how Word handles its temporary 'scratchpad' files. Microsoft designed Word to stash critical parts of the document in 'temp files' on disk instead of trusting them to RAM. There are a couple of temp files opened in the %temp% folder when Word starts, and there are two or more opened where the document file is located.
If your document file is on a floppy disk, that's where the temp files will be created. There is no way to keep Word from doing this, and it's always been this way, clear back to the days of Word 2.0. A problem arises if you remove the diskette too soon. Some of the temp files are closed when you close the document, but if you have copied anything to the Clipboard, a temp file or two will remain open until Word itself is shut down. At some point, it is guaranteed that Word will try to clean up after itself, and if you've prematurely removed the diskette, it can't access the temp file and may pester you for it until you either give it the file it wants or until you forcibly end Word.
The other and more important reason for not working directly from floppy disks is their small capacity. Word temporarily needs a little over twice the amount of space that the saved file will occupy to properly save the file. If you fill up the diskette in the process of saving the file, Word may crash and you may corrupt your file.
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