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Project file corrupted – all tasks mixed up

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  • #415425 Reply
    James Davies

    Good afternoon,

    I have a major problem with my project schedule.
    It’s happened a couple of times, but i’m at a loss why.

    I have a shcedule with around 1800 lines. I have updated the schedule with %’s, new dates etc without issue.
    I then save as to a new name.
    When i reopen the file, it has been corrupted and all the tasks, indents, tasks ID’s are completely mixed up.

    Has anyone seen this issue before?

    Any help you can give would be fantastic, or i’m resigning myself to cut and pasting around 1800 lines so they are back in the correct order.


    #415426 Reply
    Larry Christofaro

    James, are the IDs out of order or are the tasks rearranged to different IDs? If the former then it might be as simple as sorting by ID. You might also try a different View and Table if the table is corrupt. Now sure what version you are using but make sure you have all updates applied. Hard to tell if you already copied to a new schedule once. Rare bad luck to have a schedule get corrupted twice.

    #415427 Reply
    James Davies

    Hi Larry,
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Task ID’s are all in the correct order. It just seems to have completely changed all tasks order.
    When i open the file it has dozens of circular references because it’s moved tasks from one place to another, and indented tasks in a seemingly random way.

    I tried on two other colleagues machines, emailed the file, saved on C drive instead of server, with the same result.
    I then tried on another colleagues machine and it worked without problem. (only difference is that her machine is a bit older)
    Trying a repair/reinstall of microsoft office now to see if that fixes it.

    Fingers crossed.

    #415433 Reply
    Jason Walsh

    James – I’ve noticed this issue for years. I’m having real problems with Project 2013 now. If you indent a row it decides to lift some tasks and stick them at the top of the plan – again, as I recall, it’s always done this.
    What is driving me nuts right now is that when I try to save, it says it’s read-only so I try to save with a new file name – no, it’s doesn’t like that, so I save straight – seems to work but when you open the file it’s either corrupted or doesn’t open at all.
    I’ve tried the saving to XML trick and then opening that but no, says the file is buggered – I’ve tested this using a stable working file that isn’t buggered, but still no dice.
    Yesterday, the save-as wouldn’t work, so I just kept saving the same file. The time stamp confirmed that it was saving. Today I open the plan and all the task are jumbled.
    I’ve tried restoring previous versions of the file but then project will hang and not open at all requiring a system restart. I’ve come to the conclusion after using Project on over a dozen client laptops in the past 20 years, that MS Project is an unstable piece of trash. I shouldn’t have to be a master planner with a deep and detailed knowledge of the tool to manage a two thousand line plan – again I’m not doing anything clever; no coding, special formatting or even resource levelling, just creating a schedule with predecessor tasks linked throughout.
    I wish you luck, but I don’t hold out much hope.

    #415869 Reply
    Gerald Witt

    I have also had this problem before (twice). I usually just redo the project in a new file. I have tried to copy to XML and bring it back in, but I get mixed results.

    #416312 Reply
    Miles Goodchild

    I have seen this sort of odd behaviour a while ago when we had a mix of versions on the site (I think it was 2007 and 2010?) and a file created in 2007 and then maintained in 2010 was very susceptible to corruption with all sorts of odd effects. The only way I found to fix it was to copy into Excel and then copy into 2010. This was a manual process and required the fixing of things like summaries which got turned into Manual rather than Automatic scheduling however it was effective. I then banned 2007 from being used in the programme and the issue went away.
    I have no idea if this is anything like what you’re experiencing however the use of copying through excel could be a useful way to strip out what ever is causing your repeated corruption?

    #416458 Reply
    Rena Stearns

    A couple suggestions: close project of you will be away for any length of time. Project doesn’t seem to do well being left over for a length of time.
    You might want to try using the inspect function to determine which task is causing the problem. I didn’t have the same situation as yours, rather when I kept leading back to the same activity after several paths of using the inspect function. When I discovered the culprit, I copied the task and pasted it right below, then deleted the original task; the problem resolved. Obviously, there was something corrupt with the original task.
    Finally, if you ever try to save your file and you get the jumbled screen and/or it sits spinning, then that is likely when your file becomes corrupt.

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