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When Working Files Crash


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Does anyone have any best practices tips for what to do when a working file crashes?


If a normal VW drawing crashes, I just open the backup and save as the original and I'm back in business. When I am using a working file that updates/syncs with a project file, doing this (saving a copy of the backup working file as a new working file) screws up the permissions and it will not work with the project file properly any longer.  So I end up creating a new shared project file and creating new working files whenever I crash... Pain in the butt. 

Maybe there is a webinar on this somewhere that I missed.


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Hi @gbland


I presume you mean if Vectorworks crashes in such a way that the Working File becomes corrupt. (If not, presumably you can just reopen Vectorworks and the Working File and carry on. Backup files are used when the original is corrupt or if you've made changes that Undo can't reverse). 


Vectorworks produced a comprehensive publication on Project Sharing referred to as the 'Workflow Document' on this page, which I know covers what to do if your Working File becomes corrupt, but this is also answered in the Project Sharing - FAQ forum. 

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Thanks for the reply! I'll check out the links you sent. 


I am not talking about corrupt files... I'm just looking at retrieving unsaved work. If I have an autosave backup running every 15 minutes but I have not saved the working file for 2 hours and it crashes, I would loose 1.75 hours of work if I just fire up the working file would I not?  My thought is how to open the automatically saved backup and use it. Again, this may be addressed in the workflow doc you linked to... I'll check it.  Finding holes in my self-education.


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  • Vectorworks strongly recommend users have '5 most recent backups' or more
  • Autosave interrupts workflow - especially so for users with larger files or slower/older hard drives or when working on files stored on a server, so saving frequently might be an imposition. 
  • I would also suggest changing to trigger autosave by 'number of operations' to capture work done instead of time lapsed. This will avoid overwriting backup files when (for example) you've only done one operation since the last backup and then gone to lunch.
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I recommend always comparing the timestamp of the backup file with your working file.


It would be great if, after a crash, VW would offer the option - together with timestamp information:

Reopen the working file or Recreate working file from backup

Edited by bcd
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