Can't open file after upgrade

13.10.2015, 19:12

I upgraded to 11.2.4 and my file will not open. I get an error that says "MAXQDA can't open the chosen file. The file may be already opened, or it has the wrong file format, or it may be broken". I do use Dropbox to open the file between two Macs (both licensed). The reader on the other machine CAN open the file, but no the regular full copy. Help!
fsahakian
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 28.08.2014, 21:29

Re: Can't open file after upgrade

15.10.2015, 14:22

Dear fsahakian,

we kindly ask you to send your file to our online support team via the support formula, and we will check this issue as soon as possible:
http://www.maxqda.com/help-support/onlinesupport

Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA team,
Stefan
Dr Stefan Rädiker
Training, Coaching, Analysis for Research & Evaluation
MAXQDA Professional Trainer
Stefan Rädiker
 
Posts: 254
Joined: 12.02.2007, 10:18

Re: Can't open file after upgrade

18.10.2015, 16:11

This has been a frustrating process so far with MaxQDA and I wanted to share my experiences with other users.

Uploading to their server
My MaxQDA file is 700 MB and I have spent at least two days trying to get it to upload to their server so that support can take a look at it. The file just wouldn't upload all the way, I thought it was my connection since I am at a research conference on hotel WiFi - it's not - the MaxQDA server times out after 10 minutes - only 24% uploaded each time. I figured out to upload the file to my DropBox account and share a link with support. Im at a research conference and can't open my research file that worked prior to this latest upgrade of 11 - imagine the stress. When I did the upgrade a week prior, it all looked okay, until I went to reopen the file a second time and I kept getting an error.

Time Zone Difference
Because MaxQDA is in Germany, the time difference really hinders efficient customer service here in the US - it's an 8 hour time difference - I really suggest that MaxQDA hire some more support staff for US time zone customers and anywhere else where they have a lot of customers.

How I Learned it Was Them, Not Me
I was able to download a back up copy of my file from CrashPlan once I got home. The new version of 11 opens the backup file (after it does some sort of optimization, probably for v12) and it runs fine at first. If I close the file, it will not reopen - it says it is corrupt. Ive done this a few times already and this has now been proven. It's been 3 days now. The latest version of MaxQDA 11 ruins my files over and over. I tried to even download the version 12 trial, and that didn't work either!!!!

I now wasted an entire Saturday trying to recover my research file (4 total days lost). I am highly technical and thought of everything I could. I kept downloading fresh copies from Crashplan, each time having the file not open a second time.

Another Approach Tried - Re-Download the Software
Another frustrating thing was not being able to download the MAXQDA software so that I can go back to an earlier version. Every vendor I have purchased software from allows you to re-download the software at anytime - MaxQDA seems to go out of their way to prevent this, and it's a horrible business practice. I could find no way of getting a version of 11, anywhere.

Fixed it Myself
I eventually was able to download an older copy of Maxqda 11 from my Crashplan account and I also downloaded the Preferences folder (I am on a Mac). And now it WORKS.

Solving this took way too long.
The forums provided no help, customer service was responsive but it took a whole day to hear anything back due to the timezone. I lost 5 days of productivity.

NVIVO
I downloaded an NVIVO trial. I was about to convert the file, but at the time didn't want to go a different route. In essence, you guys almost lost a lifelong customer.

Don't Mess with User Files!
So as the software is upgraded, it also upgrades your MAXQDA file. It's scary to know that a file is updated but a backup of the original is not saved in a unique place just in case things go wrong. Ive done these kinds of upgrades before, but usually the old file is saved with a really unique file name like FileNameBACKUP-ORIGINAL or something.
fsahakian
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 28.08.2014, 21:29

Re: Can't open file after upgrade

19.10.2015, 17:58

Dear fsahakian,

we are very sorry for your frustrating experience with your project and understand that it was lots of stress for you.

Our programmers have checked the file that you have provided us via Dropbox and we have found the issue and already informed you via email: several documents in the project file are corrupt. You can see this, if you double click on a document. MAXQDA won't display the document, but will show a grey area in the "Document Browser" with a short hint that the document couldn't be found.

In MAXQDA 11.2.2 we have integrated an additional general integrity check of MAXQDA project file when you open a file. If your file is opened in version 11.2.2 or newer MAXQDA won't open the file and give a (correct) error message. The new version doesn't ruin the files, but prevents incorrect data files to be opened. This is why you can open the file in previous versions of MAXQDA, but not after you have updated from an older version than 11.2.2 to version 11.2.4.

We have no concrete explanation what caused the documents to be broken, but we think that maybe opening the file while it was saved in Dropbox may have caused the issue, so we recommend to save the project on a folder that is not synchronized via Dropbox while working with it.

Optimization of project files
Please note that the issue has nothing to do with the "optimization" of the project file that MAXQDA may do when it opens an older project file. Every time MAXQDA performs a major optimization of the project file, a copy of the project file is saved in the backup folder.

Best regards,
Stefan
Dr Stefan Rädiker
Training, Coaching, Analysis for Research & Evaluation
MAXQDA Professional Trainer
Stefan Rädiker
 
Posts: 254
Joined: 12.02.2007, 10:18

Re: Can't open file after upgrade

22.10.2015, 23:44

I seem to be having the same issue. If this is the result of a broken document, what can I do about it if I can't open the .mx11 file? How can I even see what documents are corrupted and need to be deleted?
pedlt3
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 14.12.2014, 22:24

Re: Can't open file after upgrade

26.10.2015, 10:29

Hi pedIt3,

many thanks for your post. Would it be possible that you contact us via our online support formula? And if you have a small project, we kindly ask you to attach your project file:

http://www.maxqda.com/help-support/onlinesupport

We will check the project for you and will provide a solution soon. If the project is larger we will inform you how you can provide your project.

Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA team,
Stefan
Dr Stefan Rädiker
Training, Coaching, Analysis for Research & Evaluation
MAXQDA Professional Trainer
Stefan Rädiker
 
Posts: 254
Joined: 12.02.2007, 10:18

Re: Can't open file after upgrade

26.10.2015, 23:43

An update to my earlier post.
My MaxQDA file had some PDF's that would not load. Under version 11, your file will still open, but the PDF's just show an error if you click them. Under version 11.2.4 and 12, it sees this as corruption and your file won't open at all. This is what created the chaos - once I upgraded my v.11 to a 11.2.4 there was no way to go back to v.11, there is no place to let me download earlier versions of MaxQDA (which I thing they should, even if it's the trial version).

MaxQDA was nice enough to fix my file very quickly and send it back to me. I do appreciate their help in resolving this matter and trying to contact me during U.S. times via email. So please learn from my experience - keep extensive back-ups. My corruption of PDF's started with PDF's that I uploaded over a year ago!

I guess my main concern now is what happens if a PDF goes bad? Does the file just stop opening now due to corruption checker? Again, thanks to the support team for helping me.

Also, I did decide purchase version 12 (I was about to invest in Nvivo and redo my data, but MaxQDA fixed my file very quickly - I almost gave up!). I noticed that student licensing is now two years and good for two computers, this is a much better licensing model than version 11.
FredS
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 05.09.2014, 19:08

Re: Can't open file after upgrade

27.10.2015, 08:50

Dear FredS (fsahakian),

many thanks for your post.

I guess my main concern now is what happens if a PDF goes bad? Does the file just stop opening now due to corruption checker?


Yes, if something is "wrong" with the project file, MAXQDA just stops opening it. In such cases please contact us.

To prevent problems with project files (which are really rare) we recommend to
a) not open them from within a cloud storage folder, like Dropbox, Google Drive etc., especially when working on a Mac. Although we have long time experience on our own with saving and opening MAXQDA project Dropbox, we can't guarantee, that the synchronisation process of cloud services doesn't harm the integrity of the file. Of course it is no problem to synchronize project files via cloud services when they are not opened in MAXQDA.
b) not open project files on network storage folders, if the network connection is too bad, because MAXQDA needs "contact" to the project file the whole time and any interruption may lead to integrity problems, too.

Again, thanks to the support team for helping me.

You are welcome :)

Best wishes,
Stefan
Dr Stefan Rädiker
Training, Coaching, Analysis for Research & Evaluation
MAXQDA Professional Trainer
Stefan Rädiker
 
Posts: 254
Joined: 12.02.2007, 10:18

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