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When you try to open the .bak file, do you rename it to say .yxmd? Try doing that and open it.
Also, you can right click on the yxmd and choose "Open With..." and choose Notepad. Scroll through the XML code and see if it ends abruptly or if it seems to close everything properly. If it ends abruptly that means the file is corrupted and won't likely open.
One thing to do is check your autosave feature. Go to File-->Open Workflow-->Open Autosaved Files. Your work may have been saved here and you might be able to recover some things that were lost.
Thanks for the advice. I think you might be on to something about it being corrupted. When I tried to make a copy of the .bak file so that I could convert it to a .yxmd it gave me an error message. When I tried to open it in Notepad it also gave me an error message "Make sure a disk is in the drive you specified".
Generally file corruption has environmental roots. It could be any number of issues ranging from unexpected shutdowns, anti-virus software preventing the write, or some other IT related issue on the machine. A best practice to keep in mind is make sure to save your file before shutting down your computer, rather than shutting down, then having Windows tell you Alteryx is keeping Wiindows from shutting down, then clicking save. The save procedure may not complete in time. That said, for your specific error message sounds like a Windows error, you may want to contact your IT to help you resolve this.