CS4 error message: Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand the file

New Here ,
Jan 10, 2012 Jan 10, 2012

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I get the error message in the subject line of this thread when I try to open a AI file in CS4. The file in question is a master plan for a river parkway. It includes a TIF of an aerial image of the project site (created from a SID file) with Illustrator generated linework for the various trails and other master plan features.  Illustrator attempts to open the file, which appears for a brief time but without the aerial image TIF background visible (only the Illustrator linework and text is visible), then this message pops up, I click OK and the file closes and I'm put back at the opening screen.

I am running Windows 7 Pro (32-bit). My colleague created this file on his computer (same OS and programs as my computer) and he can open it fine. He did have this same issue for a bit, but then ran Updates under the Help menu and this seems to have fixed his problem. Before then, he had been re-starting his computer and having only Illustrator open, and was successful in getting the file to open.

I ran the updates yesterday and am up to date but the problem persists.

Any ideas? Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2012 Jan 10, 2012

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Maybe

- the file is from a newer version of  Illustrator

- a plugin was used that you don't have

- the file is corrupted

contact the person who handed you the file about the details

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2012 Jan 10, 2012

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Thanks for replying, most of this is in my original post.

The file is from the same version of Illustrator (CS4) as mine and his computer is the same OS as mine (Windows 7 Pro 32-bit). The person is my colleague and sits about 10 feet away from my desk. He can open the file without issue so I don't think the file is corrupted (it doesn't make much sense to me that he can open it and I can't if it is corrupted, but perhaps). He has not added any plug-ins nor have I.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2012 Jan 10, 2012

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Then you could try rebooting your system, re-starting Illustrator (this will also clear the cache), probably delete preferences. Make sure that no other application is open. Illustrator is a 32-bit application.

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New Here ,
Jan 18, 2012 Jan 18, 2012

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Hi Sam,

This is an issue that has plagued Illustrator CS4 since it's release. The problem is a memory issue. Adobe has never addressed it satisfactorily and likely won't since CS5 has now been released for almost a year now - tho I've read somewhere that CS5 has the same issue. On their site, Adobe has made a few weak mentions about it and has posted a hit-or-miss workaround, but their explanation kinda sounds like B.S., really and it's fairly apparent they're not sure what's going on and likely it's a compound problem and the result of a few different issues. They talk about some bug with color books between Photoshop and Illustrator, but that's DEFINITELY NOT the whole problem.

Here's a solution, tho it's certainly not perfect and will not always work:

1. Start a clean instance of Illustrator - DO NOT LOAD ANY FILES EXCEPT YOUR TARGET FILE, and

DO NOT HAVE RUNNING OR LOAD ANY OTHER FILES DURING THE WORK SESSION.

2. Find a good free memory manager that will allow you to free up memory with the click of a button, such as CLEANMEM - Google it - it's free.

3. Free up memory before you start Illustrator and, if the file opens, after you get the file loaded.

4. While you'll be able to work with the file, save it; manipulate and create new vector objects within the file, likely you will not be able to add additional linked files.

In the past, the times that I've had this issue have been when working with really large files and large linked graphics - like convention display graphics. The issue just gobbles up, or limits memory allocation. Good Luck!

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2014 Jun 13, 2014

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Hi There. I just encountered the same message using Adobe CC and thought all was lost. I had placed a .png file within illustrator as a template to work from to create my lotus flower. After 2 hours of work and saving all along. Later when I tried to open the file I received that same message. Then I realized that the .png file linked to my illustrator file was the one causing the problem. I deleted the linked file from the folder illustrator was referencing. When I tried to open the illustrator file again I got the dialog box that said missing links, replace or ignore. I chose replace and used a .psd file and voila! It opened and all my work was fine. Hope that helps. If you're not sure which links are causing the problem, try opening each one in photoshop to see which one is giving you a problem. That's how I discovered the corrupted linked file.

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New Here ,
Sep 13, 2017 Sep 13, 2017

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Omg it worked! Thank youuu! It was the corrupted png file. You just saved my a.ss. Thanks for sharing!

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2014 Aug 14, 2014

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Had the same issue. Here's what happened:

1. In the Illustrator file, I had a image named 'logo.png'
2. I moved the illustrator file to a new folder, along with the 'logo.png' asset
3. Later that day, I had saved A DIFFERENT 'logo.png' to the original location as the first 'logo.png'
4. I deleted the different 'logo.png.
5. Illustrator could open file

Summary - I had duplicated file names, and the newest one happened to be in the same exact folder location as the old one. Make sure you don't
have duplicate file names anywhere else.

HOPE THIS HELPS!

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2016 Dec 04, 2016

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Thank you!

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 10, 2015 Mar 10, 2015

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I just had the same thing with a file a customer gave me. He usually sends me good .PNG but for some reason it gave me errors this time. I couldn't open in either Illustrator or Photoshop, I restarted my computer and still couldn't do anything. I thought it was weird that I could still open it through the Windows Photo Viewer so I tried opening it with Microsoft Paint. I resaved it as a PNG again with a different name and I can now open the file in both Photoshop and Illustrator and doesn't look like any resolution was lost either. Hope this helps anyone else.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 21, 2020 Apr 21, 2020

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LATEST

upgrading illustraotr to a version post 24.1 will save from pain of corrupt links..

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