File won't open 'unexpected file format' message

Hi there,

I need help. I have got the dreaded ‘Unexpected file format’. I don’t know what to do. I am on a deadline and it’s about 2/3 weeks worth of work. The deadline is next week.

Please can someone let me know if there is anything i can do?

i am trying to upload the file but it won’t let me, possibly because of file size 515MB

Considering the max size limit for uploaded files, yes, your file would be too large. You would need to upload it to somewhere like Drop Box and share a link. @colin sometimes has success recovering files or at least part of them. I expect he’ll be along but it’s only 5:00 am where he is so he’s probably inspecting the insides of his eyelids.

Hi @DaveR

Thanks for replying, I have attached a wetransfer link for the file, hopefully this works.

@colin I hope you might be able to help with this once you’re up and about, my fingers and toes are crossed for a miracle to happen

As Dave suggested, I did manage to get the components. This file is 510MB of the original 512MB, hopefully it has some useful things in it:

Hi @colin

Thank you so much for this. So we have the components which is a massive win, thank you so much for this. I take it that getting back anything else is not possible, the original file and groups etc are now lost?

thanks again for this, so so helpful

That’s not unusual, unfortunately.

Out of curiosity, where have you been saving your file as you’ve been working on it?

I guess i’m lucky that this is the first time it’s happened to me. Amazing that you could recover the components, out of curiosity how did you manage to do that?

So we think we have an issue with our D drive on the PC. I had a back up on an external hard drive of the files, but this morning when I opened the file on the D drive I got this message and a driver issue message. So ran a disk clean, but this file and a couple others disappeared. Thanks fully the other files copied over from the external hard drive fine, but it seems that the backup file for this one might have already been corrupted when I copied it across.

It only takes a microsecond interruption during a save to cause vital data to be lost rendering a file corrupted.

The structure of a SketchUp file is proprietary and I’ll state in advance that what I write below is based on inference - I don’t have any inside knowledge about the file format.

That said, from @colin’s sometimes success at recovering the component and group definitions but not the placement of instances in the model, it seems obvious that these are kept in different parts of the file and that the file damage often affects only the instance information. Depending on the placement within the file structure, this could provide a clue about when in the process of saving the file the damage occurred.

I’ve wondered sometimes whether SketchUp ought to automatically put your entire model into one component for you. Or whether that would be a good precaution to take. Then that one component, if recovered, would give you back all of the lost raw geometry and groups, and scene layout.

Someone would surely complain about that.

Problem is, that would likely double the size of the file?

I did a quick test, of the most complicated model I have used recently. It already happened to have everything in one outer computer, so I exploded it once, purged unused, and saved that to a new file (this was with 2020). It came out as 33,429,729 bytes. I then put everything into a new component and saved that to another file. It was then 33,431,325 bytes. The extra 1596 bytes of file size would be acceptable.

This hypothetical automatic component need not be in the scene itself.

Hello there.

i’ve been searching help by the last pages of google about this problem and everybody said that the file was lost for ever until somebody bringme here, i got a size file of 87.709 kb

it’s about 2 weeks of work, Could you help me? it’s my last chance
Thanks for the atention

As with most other cases, I recovered 53 MB of components and materials, but nothing will show in the scene. Try this file, and see if the components includes most of what was in the scene.

Really thnk you, well, now i know i have to save it in different places
Thank you so much.