After several hours of work today, Powerpoint suddenly gave the error message “PowerPoint was unable to display some of the text, images, or objects on slides in the file, filename because they have become corrupted. Affected slides have been replaced by blank slides in the presentation and it not possible to recover the lost information. To ensure that the file can be opened in previous versions of PowerPoint, use the Save As command (File menu) and save the file with either the same or a new name.”
Now it is all very well giving a really verbose error message, but to totally blank out slides and wipe out missing data is a very peculiar way of fixing the issue. It looks like a hotfix was released in May 2011 but in our case, I saved the file to a usb drive, copied it across to my machine that had office 2010 installed and then opened the file in Powerpoint 2010. I was able to open the file but this time I got another warning about some data being corrupted but the slides that were empty in 2003 were displayed ok. I then resaved the file back to a new filename on the usb drive, opened the new file back in 2003 and we were really relieved to have a working powerpoint file to continue working on.
Not only is the data back, it also means another 4 hours of work does not need to be repeated and instead more time can be spent surfing waves – a great result all around.