Word pretends to save files, not really saving them


The following oddity has just occurred: one of our users has worked for many hours on a Word document, saving continuously. The document was open all the time, and she didn't close it until it was done.

This morning when she opened it, it only had the first few changes she had made, but everything done after 17:24 was not saved.

Now... 17:24 is the file's Last Modified Time. However, we have a Word add-in that we have developed ourselves for internal purposes, and this add-in logs to the event log whenever a user saves a document (this is not the add-in's actual purpose, this is just an extra trace we use).

I can see in this log that the user had actually saved the document several times after 17:24, and each time it is saying that the current Modified timestamp is 17:24. So basically, Word is "pretending" to save the document but doesn't actually do anything.

Also, I am seeing other Word documents in the log getting saved, and those were saved successfully. File and folder permissions are set correctly.

The only error I'm getting in the event log for that evening is

License Activation Scheduler (sppuinotify.dll) failed with the following error code: 0x80070005

which I believe is a Windows activation error. Also, late at night I got the following weird error from our add-in:

Activation context generation failed for "C:\Program Files (x86)\{Our company name}\{addin folder}\{addin name}.dll.Manifest".Error in manifest or policy file "C:\Program Files (x86)\{Out company name}\{addin folder}\{addin name}.Manifest" on line 4. The element asmv2:clrClassInvocation appears as a child of element urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1^entryPoint which is not supported by this version of Windows.

This is a WinSXS error. I have not clue why this is happening, there are no multiple versions of our addin on this system or anywhere for that matter.

My questions are:

  1. Has anyone encountered something like this, when Word simply decides to pretend it is saving files while in fact it is not? How would I even go about troubleshooting this non-reproducible error?

  2. Can the Windows activation problem affect this?

  3. Can our WinSXS add-in error affect word in this way, even though the add-in works well?

Any help would be appreciated... thank you!

asked on Super User Nov 19, 2013 by user884248

2 Answers


The older version of Word I have has an option on the Tools... | Save tab called "Allow fast saves". Here's what the documentation says about it:

Allow fast saves: Speeds up saving by recording only the changes in a document. When you finish working on a document, clear this option and save the complete file with a full save. A full save may decrease the file size of your document.

If this option is enabled, it could be causing the problem you describe. It's been a long time since I installed the application, but I think it was enabled by default.

answered on Super User Nov 19, 2013 by martineau

A few things I have seen that are similar:

If saving locally, check the temp files. I have seen users lock a file, or crash word and start working with the auto-recovered document and then continue to edit and save in the temp directory not realizing it.

Offline Files If the user is working on a machine with Offline files enabled and working on files on a network share; I have seen Offline files see the share as offline and work on the file with an offline cache. Especially problematic with laptop users. The file may be in the offline file cache.

These are both not super common, but worth checking.

answered on Super User Nov 19, 2013 by Austin T French

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