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Causes of continual preference corruption?

Explorer ,
Jun 25, 2018

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I have Captivate 2017, version 10.0.1.285. I'm running Windows 10.

Ever since the first update package was released, I'm facing continual preference corruption on all my projects; both those started before the update and new ones. I have a long thread earlier this month where my project stopped working when borders were added and we finally figured out corrupt preferences were the problem. Now, I had four separate projects all stop working (no buttons would function.) Clearing the preferences gets most of them working again- but only until I make a few edits, then they randomly get corrupted again. These are all uncomplicated projects- simple shape buttons- and i am working on them locally, not a network drive.

I've already uninstalled and reinstalled.

This is a huge pain, to say the least. Any ideas of what I can do to stop this from happening?

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Causes of continual preference corruption?

Explorer ,
Jun 25, 2018

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I have Captivate 2017, version 10.0.1.285. I'm running Windows 10.

Ever since the first update package was released, I'm facing continual preference corruption on all my projects; both those started before the update and new ones. I have a long thread earlier this month where my project stopped working when borders were added and we finally figured out corrupt preferences were the problem. Now, I had four separate projects all stop working (no buttons would function.) Clearing the preferences gets most of them working again- but only until I make a few edits, then they randomly get corrupted again. These are all uncomplicated projects- simple shape buttons- and i am working on them locally, not a network drive.

I've already uninstalled and reinstalled.

This is a huge pain, to say the least. Any ideas of what I can do to stop this from happening?

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Jun 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 25, 2018

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Are you by any chance working on a corporate network and working on CPTX files that are stored on a LAN drive?

Are your Default Locations in Preferences pointing to folders that are on your local PC hard drive?

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Jun 25, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jun 25, 2018

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No, as I mentioned above these are all local files on my local hard drive.

Default location, once prefs are wiped, is the local My Adobe Captivate Projects folder; I switch it to my desktop.

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Jun 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 25, 2018

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OK.  But is your user profile (My Docs etc) stored on your local PC as well, or is it one of those situations that happens so often on corporate systems where the user profile is actually on a network drive?

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Jun 25, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jun 26, 2018

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It's on my local PC. I work from home for a good part of my job.

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Jun 26, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 26, 2018

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OK.  Well that more or less rules out all the common reasons why Preferences would corrupt.  The Preferences file itself is buried down inside your user profile folders at a location similar to this: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Adobe\Captivate 10.0

As I was checking with you before about networks etc, the most common reason why anyone gets corrupted preferences is that there's something very odd about their setup.  E.g. that they are using virtual user profiles, or some kind of thin client setup.

If your Captivate installation is a stock standard run of the mill setup, the only other reason I can think of for corruption would be either due to a faulty installation or else some kind of conflict occurring with another app on your system.

I've used Captivate for over a decade now on many different PCs running several different iterations of the Windows OS and I can honestly say that I rarely ever encountered corrupted Preference files.  It DOES happen occasionally, but should never happen as often as you are reporting.  Something MUST be wrong with the setup or installation.

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Jun 26, 2018 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 26, 2018

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Do you run Captivate as Administrator?

Just another thought: are you using a theme packaged with Captivate or custom themes? It happens that the Layouts in the Public documents get corrupted as well, that is the folder with a copy of the packaged themes. Any edit to those themes will be saved in that folder. If you use a custom theme, that is not necessarily the case.

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Jun 26, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jun 26, 2018

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I don't run as Admin; I could try that.

I've had it happen with both custom and Captivate themes.

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Jun 26, 2018 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 26, 2018

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Some users  had success by refresing the Captivate themes... they can get corrupt as well and are not reset when you clean the Preferences. Just an idea.

Try to Run as Admininstrator, looks like this is becoming more important for the most recent versions of Captivate.

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Jun 26, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jun 26, 2018

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I'll give those a try and see if they help- thanks!

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Jun 26, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jul 06, 2018

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How do I "refresh" the themes?

My issues cleared up for a while, but now they are back and are definitely related to themes.

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Jul 06, 2018 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 07, 2018

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Themes are stored in the subfolder 'Layouts'. The one that is used when working on projects is (for Win systems)  stored in the Public Documents\Adobe\eLearning Assets. This is a copied folder from the  original folder, to be found in the installation folder under Gallery\10.0\En_US\   this example path is for the English themes for CP2017. 

If you edit a theme packaged with Captivate the edits will be done in the Public Documents folder. To restore the original Layouts, you can delete the Layouts folder in Public documents, while Captivate is closed. When restarting CP a fresh copy will be made from the original folder in the Gallery. You will lose customisation. I always recommend when training to store a custom theme in another path than the original themes, to avoid they'll be deleted when you clear the Layouts.

Wished the Help documentation was more 'helpful', but that is rarely the case. Most of my knowledge I have found out by exploration....

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Jul 07, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jun 18, 2019

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Other considerations to prevent corruptions that I have seen for all computers:

1.  Use a UPS (uninterruptable power supply, approximately $100) that is always on and always cleaning the power that comes in to your computer. (Stand by power supplies may not work as well, read the package.) This can prevent high and low voltage spikes that effects saving data to the computer.

2. Check the computer power supply with a multimeter, or take the computer to a computer store and ask them to check it.  It might need a new power supply.

3. Don't put carpet in your office.  If you ever feel a "shock" then you have this problem, regardless of carpet or not.  Shocks destroy data and also computer components.  Never buy used memory for your computer since it may have been improperly handled and may no longer be good.  To prevent shocks buy an anti-static mat and put it under your chair, wear cotton, do NOT use rubber sole shoes, and connect your mat to a grounded outlet (and test the outlet to make sure it has a good ground by buying a ground tester at Home Depot or Lowes).  If the anti-static mat is not grounded then it does NO good.

4.  Turn off, at minimum, and consider unplugging your computer during a thunder storm.   Power spikes can also come in through your Internet connection. Lightning can do strange things, like jump across space, if it is high enough voltage, and destroy expensive equipment, sometimes even if it has a surge suppressor. 

Again, if you don't have consistent clean power then what you save to your computer may be inaccurately saved.  You will see the result of power problems as your computer slowly degrades and gets more mysterious errors, not just in Captivate.  By then it's probably too late and you should consider buying a new computer (with UPS).

A UPS will not last forever... each time it successfully protects you, then it protects less.  Some devices have a light to show how much they protect - the weaker the light the less protection.  When it goes out then it is not protecting your computer.  Buy a UPS WITH a light.  Do not buy a replacement battery since by that point the rest of the components are probably not providing maximum protection.

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Jun 18, 2019 0