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Jeremy Best

Corrupt vwx Files and backups, slow and crash-prone autosaving


This is a PSA for all Vectorworks users experiencing reoccurrences of any of the following symptoms: 

  • Total corruption of one or more Vectorworks files (.vwx) - Meaning they can't even be opened. 
  • Total corruption of backup files 
  • Very slow saving files or autosaving [backup files] in Vectorworks 
  • Attempts to use Vectorworks during a slow save or autosave crashes Vectorworks (no crash reports got generated despite reporting set to 'verbose'). 


One user who was repeatedly experiencing all the above symptoms in both Vectorworks 2016 and Vectorworks 2018 reported to me a direct correlation with the presence of both the following programs on his PC running Windows 10: 

  • Seagate Dashboard - Software that comes with external drives for managing backups. 
  • Adobe Acrobat - An old/legacy version of. I think his was version 9 but I can't verify as it's already been deleted. 


He uninstalled both of the above programs at the same time after which all the above symptoms ceased and have not returned in the weeks since. He never used the Seagate Dashboard software but Windows Reliability History featured crash reports for it indicating it had been running. It also featured crashes of Acrobat as well, but given the nature of the Seagate Dashboard software I think it's the more likely cause of his saving/autosaving and file corruption issues. 


Specifically, the user reported: 

If [saving/autosaving] is taking a long time and he tries to carry on working then the whole thing freezes (the green progress bar is going really slowly, and if he tries to do anything in Vectorworks at this time it will likely crash). Success is achieved by not touching anything on the computer including other programs. It can take 30s to 1m to come right. 


I would like to stress that this situation and the apparent cause has not been reproduced and therefore has not been verified so I'm only posting this so anyone else experiencing these symptoms can draw upon this to inform their consideration of potential causes and solutions. i.e. Check any software that relates to the backing up or movement or management of files. Western Digital and Seagate external storage drives come with programs of this sort and - as was the case for this user - may periodically open themselves. 

Edited by Jeremy Best
Formatting for clarity.
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