Unexpected file format and bug splat when opening skp file

I know there was a long thread about this and I read all the replies. I couldn’t find where to make a new post.

It looks like Colin has helped others recover parts of their files. Here’s what happened to me:

Was working on a file last night. Tried to open it this morning and got the unexpected file format message and even a bug splat when trying to open it. The file that comes up is completely blank, with no components or materials or anything that I can see in the drawers on the right. Am on deadline (of course). Would greatly appreciate your help if there’s anything you can do. The file has been saved to my laptop. I guess it’s also in OneDrive, but I’m always pulling up the one that’s in my Personal area.


Many thanks, Jana Sansbury here’s the file:

Do you have the backup copy of the file? It’ll have the .skb file extension.

I looked in my files and I do not for some reason

Did you look in your OneDrive folder?

Are you sure that the file is save on your local internal drive and that you aren’t just saving/working on it directly from OneDrive? If it’s actually saved in both places there should be two copies of the file. Have you tried opening both of them?

I just found the skb file and the same error occurs when I try to open it

What about the file on OneDrive?

Maybe @colin will have some success when he has time to look at it. He usually is able to recover component definitions and materials. Once in a great while he can get the whole file.

So I guess the big question is: what causes this? It’s never happened to me before and I hope it never happens again. Are there preventative measures I can take?

Most commonly when this happens to others it’s because they are working on a file that is saved directly to the cloud and a short interruption in connection during a save or auto save results in bad data. That’s why the advice is to always work on files that are saved locally on your internal drive and only sync them to the cloud after you’ve saved and quit working on the file for the time being.

If you used your Trimble Connect cloud storage instead of One Drive, checking out the SketchUp file to work on it would first download the file to a temporary folder on your computer. Saves and auto saves would be done locally and only at the end when you Publish to your Trimble Connect storage does the file get uploaded to the cloud.

Other thing to consider is with One Drive it can sort of look like you are saving locally but you aren’t really. For example OneDrive will show up in the left pane of File Explorer like the My Documents folder and other folders on your computer.

Thanks Dave.

Just got a note from Colin that he was able to recover the whole thing. I am so grateful. He is magic.

That’s a good thing.

@colin I just had the same issue happen right as I finished my model and I’m having no luck retrieving it… Any chance you could help me recover the file?

I can try. Can you upload the file somewhere?

Thanks for the fast response! Here’s a link to both the skp and skb files.


Something is wrong in the model that the current release version doesn’t cope with, but the later version I’m using does.

Here you go…

45’ Pisgah Park Model (Render Rough Draft) recovered.skp (14.5 MB)

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@colin You’re my hero!!! Thank you so much for the help!

I gave your file a little cleanup.

Screenshot - 6_13_2023 , 3_20_26 PM

Screenshot - 6_13_2023 , 3_20_41 PM

File size reduced by about 25%.
45’ Pisgah Park Model (Render Rough Draft) recovered purged.skp (11.0 MB)

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@DaveR I really appreciate it! Thank you! If you don’t mind sharing, what did you do to clean up the file? I’m still new to SketchUp and would love to learn how to keep improving.

I just ran a couple of plugins from Sketchucation. The first one goes through the model and removes tags from edges and faces. In SketchUp you should have all edges and faces untagged. Only groups and components get tagged. Then I ran another one to purge used stuff from the model. The components that got purged are likely ones you got from the 3D Warehouse but deleted from the model. The materials are probably ones that came with those components. Deleting components from the model space doesn’t eliminate them from the file. You have to purge them. The same with materials and styles. You can purge unused stuff by going to Window>Model Info>Statistics and clicking on the Purge Unused button. The plugin does the same thing but it gives the nice little report I showed.

It’s a good idea to keep your models clean as you go. They are less likely to cause you trouble and your work will be more efficient. Kind of like keeping your shop clean and your tools picked up. You’re less likely to step on the missing 10mm socket and go sprawling while kicking the socket into the dark unreachable place under your workbench.

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Ahh that makes complete sense. I’ll take a look at Sketchucation and start purging my models reguraly. Thanks a ton for sharing your insight! People like you make this community so great.

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@colin Can you Fix My File Please OR Tell me how to fix this ploblem ??