What causes damaged InDesign Files (Error code: 5)?

New Here ,
Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014

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In the past month our designers have had two indesign files go corrupt. Indesign doesn't give any errors while saving the document, but the next time the file is opened the error message 'Cannot open "FileName.indd". The file "FileName.indd" is damaged and cannot be recovered (Error code: 5).'

We don't need to recover these particular files but I would like to know how to prevent it!

Here's our enviornment:

  • 27" iMac late 2013
  • OS X Mavericks 10.9.1
  • InDesign CC - 9.1
  • File server is Windows 2008 R2 - files are opened and edited directly on the server through OS X's "connect to server" SMB share.
  • Damaged documents have not been massive - both under 10MB.

Are damaged files a frequent problem that you have experienced? Or do we just have really bad luck?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Apr 04, 2016 Apr 04, 2016
Hi,Please email your InDesign file to corrupt_indesign_docs@adobe.com and I will take a look at the document.If the file is larger than 10 Mb, you can zip (and password protect) the file and upload to Creative Cloud account (or Dropbox) and send us the document link.Regards,Sanyam Talwar

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014

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Damaged files are not a common problem. I work also with Mac OS X 9.1.

We connot know what the particular problem is, but things are often done wrong to cause a problem. It could be:

  • Embedded image files instead of linking.
  • Complicated files (no styles, manual text wrapping)
  • Problems with a font (cheap fonts, free fonts)
  • Font management programs
  • Importing corrupted files
  • Always saving, never saving as … (you should save as… avery file from time to time)
  • Problems on the hard drive (use file utility from another drive than the normal HD to repair permissions and repair disk, hold down alt key when the mac is started, then you can start it from the recover partition)
  • and a lot things more …

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Guest
Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014

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An InDesign file could be corrupt or damaged if any of following unexpected behavior occurs while working on that file.

  • Above all
  • System crashes
  • Power outages
  • Software conflicts
  • Low disk space
  • Viruses cause
  • Un-expected system shutdown

The best part is that Indesign has an automatic document recovery option that can prevent corruption in the most of the corruption cases.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2014 Feb 14, 2014

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And when working from a Server:

  • Above all
  • Shutting down the Server ( leaving InDesign in the rain 😉 )

But maybe that will fall in the "Un-expected system shutdown" category…

Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2014 Feb 14, 2014

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Aside from what causes the crash and files to become corrupted.

Have you backed up your server on a daily basis?

When does the corruption happen? You have the files on the server. I presume they are worked on over several days. Or is it files that are created and worked on, then saved and then you can't reopen them?

At what point during your workflow does the corruption happen?

Also you've said it happened with two files? It hasn't happened with any other files. What is unique about these two files compared to any other files you have worked on?

For your immediate problem, I don't have a solution but rather a suggestion:

For now, if your team could use File>Export (or later versions of InDesign File>Save As) and choose IDML.

Save these files somewhere local. And these could serve as backup files.

IDML files are light-weight versions of Indesign files, they're basically XML compacted documents.

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New Here ,
Feb 14, 2014 Feb 14, 2014

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Thank you all for the responses.

I'll talk with the designers and see if there was anything weird with fonts or images they used in the files.

Eugene, here's the work flow for the two files that have gone corrupt.

  • Designer creates a new inDesign file (uses linked image files - no "cheap" or corrupt fonts).
  • Works on it for 2-3 hours, saving direcly to the file server. No indication when saving there are problems.
  • Opens the file the next day and gets the error message - "file damaged and cannot be repaired".

The server backs up every night, however in these cases it backs up the same damaged file.

Are there any downsides to saving out as an IDML document? Are there formats or features that are lost?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2014 Feb 14, 2014

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IDML can cause several and severe changes in the document. In the past I have experienced following problems, but not with every export:

  1. If I have object overriden from the master page and deleted those objects have reappeared on those pages.
  2. Bleed frame got twice so wide as the whole page was. Before only 3mm.
  3. Text frame ofset vealues got mixed up.
  4. Chages of Paragraph Styles: Numbers of lists diesapeared, other paragraph styles got numbered lists.

Some more, but I cannot remember in detail now any more. You have to compare to an old version if you have to use the IDML path.

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Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2014 May 07, 2014

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I've been having the same issue lately and it seems that I'm using almost identical setup to the OP's: Mac Pro on Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.1-10.9.2, ID CC 9.1-9.2.1, Windows Server with files being opened directly via SMB. Can't be a coincidence?

Additionally, there haven't been any bad fonts used, power outages, connection interruptions or any other intereferences I'm aware of during the file edit.

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New Here ,
May 12, 2014 May 12, 2014

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I have the same setup and the same or simular problem.

A designer works in Indesign saves her file, a few minutes later

an other designer opens it and it gives an error code 5.

We tested it with a indesign file purely with text and

then there is no corrupion, with a random immage it gets

dammaged.

Files reside on a windows server 2008 R2 via smb.

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New Here ,
Jun 11, 2014 Jun 11, 2014

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I'm having the same problems.

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New Here ,
Jul 03, 2014 Jul 03, 2014

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I have just started having the same issue in my studio, we are running 12 macs and the problem is only happening on our newest mac even though the others are running the same operating system (Mavericks 10.9.4). It seems to be very random which files are affected but the set up seems similar, with the mac connected to a windows server via SMB and it always seems to be the next day after a back up has run when the file is corrupted. We have updated to CC(2014) and the problem as persisted so I don't think it is specific to a version of InDesign.

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Explorer ,
Jul 11, 2014 Jul 11, 2014

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Yep, ditto. Given how much information InDesign retains for recovering from other errors you'd think there'd be a relatively straight forward fix Adobe could implement for this (regardless of the cause).

Has anyone hit the same problem with Server 2012? We're aiming to upgrade in a few months and it'd be nice if doing so squashed this bug at the same time.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 19, 2014 Nov 19, 2014

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I work between my work office and home often. This has happened to me 3 times in the past couple weeks but always happens at home with the files I bring from work via a drive. Am I saving too often? Something to do with the photos I have in the file? Is is my external drive? It always happens right after I hit command+s, which I do often out of habit. So frustrating. I've contacted Adobe support on two different occasions regarding 2 different files and they couldn't do anything to get them back. Luckily this time I only had about 2 hours into my file. The first one I had about 40 hours in and lost it completely. Really hope I can prevent this from being a reoccurring thing.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 19, 2014 Nov 19, 2014

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Get in the habit of copying the files from the external drive to your hard drive, do your editing, then copy back to the external for transport.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 10, 2014 Dec 10, 2014

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Thanks, Peter. Turned out my external drive was old and bad. Glad that was the problem. I started to think my files were cursed. Thanks for the input!

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New Here ,
Dec 15, 2014 Dec 15, 2014

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IMO, you can run Stellar Phoenix InDesign repair software to check if the repair of your damaged INDD file is possible. You can try out this for free.

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Explorer ,
Jan 27, 2015 Jan 27, 2015

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Just to update. We've moved over to Windows Server 2012 R2 for the server running a SSD RAID, a much faster switch, and Yosemite for all the Macs. Not sure which did the trick - maybe a combination of all of them, but no more Error Code: 5 - not for three months.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 29, 2015 Jun 29, 2015

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Im having the exact same problem—and it's just begun recently. The only solution I have found is to go to my Apple Time Machine and find an earlier version of the file and open it. Of course, all of my recent edits are lost. Its happening to both simple files and elaborate ones.

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Explorer ,
Sep 25, 2015 Sep 25, 2015

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Plenty of error codes 5 over here, too. “Introduced” with the first CC version under MacOS 10.7.x (AFAIR), this error occurs almost regularly when I try to reopen an INDD file that had been open while InDesign (CCx) crashed or froze, which happens in average at least once a day. Crashes or freezes often (but not exclusively) occur after waking the Mac from sleep. No recovery mechanism saving even a tiny slice of bacon here, just error 5.

As a solution I use a customized startup script by Gerald Singelmann that automatically creates a new IDML file with every Save and Save As.

I only work on my internal hard drive, but I keep and edit most (but not all) of my InDesign files in the Dropbox folder. My current MacOS version is 10.10.5 on a mid-2012 MacBook Pro with 16 GB RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. I use InDesign 8.1, 10.2 and 11.1 on the same machine, often simultaneously.

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New Here ,
Sep 29, 2015 Sep 29, 2015

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I've seen this happening at two different locations now. One user works on her own off of her local hard drive and is running Yosemite and the other has files stored on a Mac 10.9 server and is running 10.9.5 herself. Both have had files randomly get corrupted since moving to CC 2015.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 03, 2015 Nov 03, 2015

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I recently updated to InDesign Creative Cloud and also have a new Mac Pro, the round black one. On my old computer and InDesign CS5, I NEVER had this happen for years and years and years and years.

As soon as I update to the latest and "greatest" I have problems as if I were back in 1998.

The error I get is:

Cannot save "Untitled-2" under a new name. The file "DBTmp391-752636544" is damaged (Error code: 0)

The file is gone. I have to restart InDesign and recreate the whole file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2015 Nov 03, 2015

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Probably a conflict with something else you are running, perhaps a font that's bad or a Chrome plugin.

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Explorer ,
Nov 03, 2015 Nov 03, 2015

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Thanks. Maybe you could dwell just a little bit on how a Chrome plugin might affect InDesign (I have to admit this idea definitely scares me!). As for bad fonts, I only use Typekit sync and my user fonts folder to activate fonts and keep both as clean as possible all the time, i.e. activate fonts for a couple of current projects only, but I will give it a try and empty the fonts folder to test that.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2015 Nov 04, 2015

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While I can't tell you why seemingly unrelated Chrome plugins conflict, I can tell you that there are a number of them that are known to do so (including PushBullet). Conflicts are not limited to Chrome plugins, either, but they are common. Do you have better luck running in Safe Mode (startup with the shift key down)? That would confirm a conflict with some background task.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2015 Dec 07, 2015

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I am having similar issue. Indesign crashes while working on a document and will not open the document again. The message ""filename.indd" may be damaged. Do you want to open it anyway?" By clicking "Yes" the program crashes and the whole thing begins again. I am losing significant work hours due to issues with Adobe-s recent upgrades / updates. Will definitely switch to another software as soon as it is developed.

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