Lost files from portable hard drive

I am using a free for 30 days trial version of Sketchup 2021.

Over the last few days I have been making a model for a client pitch and saving it each time to my portable hard drive.

Today Sketchup reported a “Bug Splat” and had to close the programme.
When I restarted the programme the files were no longer on my portable hard drive.

Are these files gone forever or are they stored somewhere while using a trial version?

I have to say at this point that I don’t feel the trial is going that well!

Hope you can help me.

They should be sotred where you told SketchUp to save them.

Have you tried searching your computer and the portable drive for .skp files? How about the .skb back up files?

The general advice is to always save files to an internal drive and copy the files to your external location.

When you installed SketchUp did you do so correctly? That means right clicking on the downloaded installer and choosing Run as administrator?

Did you send the Bug Splat report in with some info that identifies it’s from you? If so, @colin might look up the report to give an idea of what caused the Bug splat.

Please correct your forum profile. It says you are using SketchUp Make 2021 which is impossible.

Why are you using a trial of 2021? Why not the current 2022?

Although it wouldn’t have anything to do with your files, you might want to look at the first sentence of section 2.6 here.

I looked for bugsplat reports for your email address, for 2021 and 2022. Didn’t find any, but that only means you either didn’t send one in, or you didn’t include your email address.

To go over some things Dave didn’t, there is no trial version of SketchUp, what you installed is the full version. Your signing in will let the program continue to work until March 26th. You could download and install 2022, and your sign in will work for that version as well.

As it’s the same software, that rules out anything that a trial version might have done. Unless Windows deleted the files they should be on your drives somewhere.

Windows searching for all .skp files can take a while. I use this utility, which instantly gives a list of those files. It has a date modified column, you should be able to track down recent files you have worked on:


By the way, if you still have auto save turned on SketchUp should show recovered files in the welcome window. Even if the original file is lost you could open one of the recovered files, and do a save as, to put the file into an easier to find place. The harder to find place for the files will be in this folder (copy and paste this text into the path field in File Explorer):

%AppData%\SketchUp\SketchUp 2021\SketchUp\working\SKETCHUP\RecoveredFiles

See if there are any files in that folder.

Good point. It is the full version of SketchUp. You’re allowed to use it for 30 days without a paid subscription for evaluation purposes.

Thanks Dave & Colin for such a prompt response. You guys are really great to help me out.
Correction - using full version of 2022 Sketchup for evaluation.
Have been saving all files manually to “Sketchup” folder on portable hard drive successfully for 3 x days. Following the “Bug splat” that folder was empty. Just a .temp file. No .skp or .skb files in there. Presume therefore that I didn’t have autosave switched on.
Nothing in the Appdata folder either. Just empty.
Recovered files were showing in the welcome window each time I logged on but after the Bug Splat there were no recovered files.
I have to admit that I did not send a fault report when asked to do so.

I have completed a search for .skp & .skb files on my computer.
I found all the other sketshup files I made using the old version of sketchup.
I guess this means it could be because I didn’t have auto save on.
Although, for the first 3 x days, the files did restore on the welcome screen.
Only after the bug splat the restored files didn’t appear on the welcome screen.
Wonder if I should uninstall and reinstall the sketch up 2022 program.

Not sure if that’ll change anything but it couldn’t hurt. Maybe instead of uninstalling and reinstalling you could just run a repair. Make sure you do it with the right click on the installer and Run as administrator.

For the future be sure to save the files on your internal drive, not to a portable drive. Copy them to the portable drive if you need to take them with you but leave the originals on the internal drive.

A crash of an application such as SketchUp should not possibly result in the deletion of multiple files from a hard drive. Something else must be going on. It’s possible that the Windows filesystem on the drive has become coincidentally corrupted, but that seems very unlikely (a crashing application should not corrupt a filesystem).

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