My map is gone!!! halp :(

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Armadillo of Doom, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    I don't know how else to explain it. I was going along, when my computer started to lag a bit. I figured it just needed to cool down. So I reset and walked away. I come back and load the file.. it's just blank. Like an empty black space, not a trace of map anywhere. Even the slightly older backup version doesn't load properly. For those who don't know, some time ago I made a really half-assed attempt at Rock2. It's not something I'm proud of, even though few people actually saw it. I mean, I started this mapping group, one would think I could produce something of higher quality. So I've been working on my contest entry, if not to win, then to redeem myself a bit.

    But I digress. I never even got to take screenshots, but I swear to you this map was real. I've been developing it for 3 months, and lord knows how many hours of actual mapping time. Is there any way to recover the auto-saves that Hammer makes? I'm gonna try decompiling the bsp, but I don't know how well that is going to work. Please tell me there's a way to access the auto-saves? I need a drink :(
     
  2. kimangroo

    kimangroo L3: Member

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    Hey immortal, I feel for you, I really do, I've had similar experiences with both hammer and other software and it's a really, really shit feeling when something you've spent ages sweating over, just ups and disappears...

    don't panic though, I'm sure there is a way to recover if not all, most of your work. I've got a few suggestions as a noob, the hammer gurus will surely be along soon if these don't work.

    1) Hammer crashes regularly for me (it just did it now which is why I'm browsing the forum not mapping), but when I load it up again it offers me the option of loading the last auto-save. The auto-saves are .vmf_autosave files and unless you changed the default, they are located in the C:/HammerAutosave folder. Pick the last one and save it under a new name (don't overwrite anything just in case). There are also .vmx files that are saved in the same folder and that can just be renamed to .vmf to use (again use a different name like my_map_recovered.vmf).

    2) I had one really stupid problem a while back which gave me this strange error 1 file 1 message whenever I saved a file. I couldn't work out what was wrong so I just ignored it. The next day when I went to open it again it loaded a completely blank map! Scoured the net for answers, couldn't find any. After a lot of head scratching I realised that I had run out of space on my hard drive! Hammer didn't give any kind of coherent error message, but I shouldn't have just ignored it. Luckily I saved my autosaves on a different drive so I could use them.

    3) I've also managed to corrupt my .vmf files by using double quotes in some of the entity fields. This time although hammer would save them without an error, it wouldn't open them again. This was easily fixed by opening the .vmf file in notepad++ (I don't really recommend editing it in normal notepad). I know this doesn't seem to be your problem, but you should check the size of your .vmf map files to check that they have content and then open them up in notepad++. If they can be opened, well I can guess they're not completely corrupted and can be edited and saved.


    This is all I can think of at the moment, my biggest recommendation is actually just NOT to save anything on top of an older file that you have given up on. Cos then you have really lost the file. Rename stuff instead.

    Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get your map back.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  3. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    I actually had my hopes up, lol. There are only 2 auto-saves in that folder, and both are from my practise map awhile back. Words cannot express the amount of sorrow and pissed-off-ness that I am feeling.
     
  4. Shmitz

    aa Shmitz Old Hat

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    This is why I save with a new version number after every significant change/addition. I'm usually up in the 40s and 50s by the time I have something that's actually playable.
     
  5. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    I do the exact same thing. I just recently cleaned it.. i had over 600 files and 3.93gb of .vmf and .bsp in my /maps folder.

    Immortal.

    Have you tried system roll back if you didn't turn it off already?
    Also check this out http://undelete-plus.com/
     
  6. kimangroo

    kimangroo L3: Member

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    Also immortal, be careful when you try different ways to get your map back, sometimes you can delete stuff that would have been recoverable by some other method. I've done that before too.

    Have you checked what the map files you still have actually contain? Are they literally 0kb files or do they contain data? If they've got data, I reckon they should be recoverable. You can edit the file in notepad++ and just start deleting the brush entries one by one from the bottom of the file up (I'm pretty sure that's where the latest brush goes). Each time you delete one, try and load the new file in hammer. Make sure you save all these files under different names for safety's sake.

    Can I just check with you what you've tried:

    1) no vmf_autosave files? I thought it was on by default but check your hammer configuration (tools - options - general) to see if it's been turned off or they have been saved in a different place since your last practice map. There should be a bunch of options for amount of disk space used, number of saves to make etc... for next time)

    2) renaming .vmx file doesn't work either? The .vmx files should be in the same folder as your .vmf files.

    3) what's the size of the .vmf files and the .vmx files? Can you open them in notepad++?

    4) a long shot but maybe something is wrong with your hammer installation? Can you try and open the file on someone else's machine? Maybe upload them here?

    I know this is one of the most upseting computer experiences around, but I still reckon you can get most of your map back, so don't give up!

    Indeed, I actually did lose the first part of my map after a corrupted save, but I didn't know that it could be edited manually so I just gave up and binned the thing in disgust. Since then I've become obsessive about saving multiple backups on my main hardrive, autosaves on a seperate drive, seperate copies on another computer and a usb flash drive and I'm on mapname_243!
     
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    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  7. Armadillo of Doom

    aa Armadillo of Doom Group Founder, Lover of Pie

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    I managed to recover one of the older saves. Though it pains me to see how much I have to make up :( Back to the grindstone, as it were.
     
  8. DJive

    aa DJive Cake or Death?

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    good now get back to work

    /me makes a whip-pish sound
     
  9. kimangroo

    kimangroo L3: Member

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    Congrats immortal, now you are a true hammer mapper! :D

    The second time round your brushwork will be cleaner, better and faster but make sure you save those multiple backups this time. :thumbup1:
     
  10. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    did you have, by chance the cordon tool set to a box of 0 height 0 width and 0 length?
    that would make your whole map dissapear.