I realized yesterday that I agreed to present my prospectus in a colloquium next week, which means I have to have a solid draft to submit to the colloquium members this Friday.

So I spent the entire day today–about 14 hours–completely rewriting the old prospectus. The new version had a somewhat different focus, and was much more in line with my advisor’s suggestions.

About an hour ago, sitting here working on it, my computer screen suddenly went blank. And orange. I rebooted, went to open the document, and….

It’s gone.

It’s there–I can see it. But I can’t open–just get a “document name or path is not valid…” error.

Yes. I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried the regedit hotfix. I’ve tried opening it in another program. I’ve tried scoping out the autorecover file that’s hidden away.

I can’t open it.

I have absolutely nothing but the earlier version, and a document I can’t open that is taunting me with its “last modified: 12/5/06 12:45 am.”

I can’t fucking believe this. Anybody have a time machine?

ETA: I can explain the title. After spending 2 hours trying every damn thing I could think of to fix/recover/restore the prospectus, I’d pretty much given up. I thought I’d just start trying to rewrite it…but after the first sentence I started realizing just how screwed I was. So–having tried every other way to attempt to open the document–I decided to see what would happen if I searched for it in Google Desktop. And guess what?

Google Desktop is The. Shit.

My search popped up a browser window with a list of every saved version of my prospectus…as html documents.

Fucking brilliant. Amazing. So unexpected that I feel like somebody just walked in and handed me a bottle of Chinaco. Or, you know, 14 extra hours.

So yeah. I copied the html. It’ll take a smidge of reformatting, but not an extra day. Whoohoo!

ETA2: For the sad, desperate people who will inevitably Google in despair and find this post: when your search results come up, click on “cached” next to the document you want. It should give you the html versions then.