There was a problem reading the layer data. Read the composite data instead?

New Here ,
Nov 27, 2013 Nov 27, 2013

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I can't open my psd with properly in Photoshop, it keeps showing :There was a problem reading the layer data. Read the composite data instead? 

Photoshop cc

Help please

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 27, 2013 Nov 27, 2013

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If you created the document and save the file you having a problem opening with CC then either the file is corrupt or you have run into a CC bug. If the file was save by some other version of Photoshop you may have run into a compatibility issue. See if the file will open in CS6 without a problem if the file was not saved written by CC.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Jun 23, 2021 Jun 23, 2021

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open your file here and re-save as photoshop

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New Here ,
Mar 29, 2014 Mar 29, 2014

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I just discovered this issue. Apparently if your PSD document has a tonne of layers, it will save normally. Then suppose you are working on it one day, and create lots of new additional layers...saving that will then corrupt the PSD file, as apparently the number of layers exceeds some hidden limit. You will not be able to load that back in, as Photoshop doesn't appear to allow you to do that.This issue appears for both PSD & PSB files. I lost a few weeks of updates, but recovered thanks to a few backups.

One clue you can use to ensure you don't inadvertently save over the file (thereby corrupting it), is to try duplicating a layer or a group of layers. You will not have the option to do so. If you encounter that, immediately open a new file, and drag a few groups of layers to the new document (and deleting them in the original document). You should then go back below the 'limit', allowing you to save normally.


As for the original corrupted file, well I tried repairing it with a whole host of tools. But nothing worked ....

MacReady: Any way we can we fix it?

Garry: It's gone, MacReady.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2014 Mar 29, 2014

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Your theory does not hold up.   Yes Photoshop has many limits you can not exceed.  For example Photoshop only supports up to 53 Alpha channels try to create the 54 Alpha channel and Photoshop will let you know you can't.   Photoshop supports something like up to 8,000 layers you can not exceed that try and Photoshop will let you known that you can not make more layers..  A PSD file has a file size limit you can not exceed 4GB.  If you layered document would exceed 4GB in file size Photoshop would inform you that you can not save the document in PSD file for it would require more then 4GB of data.  You would at this point save in PSB file format.  You can not exceed limits. Limits are not hidden they also may not be published however if you try to exceed a limit Photoshop will let you know. 

Read what the message states.  There is a problem reading some layer data.  There is either corrupt data a file error a layer data did not write correctly or was written correctly by a newer version Photoshop which has some option not supported in this release of Photoshop.   So Photoshop can not correctly make that layer in the document its trying to open.  Photoshop is giving you the option to either have it use a raster layer for the layer it can not process or or just open a single composite layer for the entire image. So you don't completely loose your image.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Mar 29, 2014 Mar 29, 2014

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No theory about it. I just tested it on a 60MB file, and was able to replicate the issue on a completely different system, but still running Photoshop CC. Basically load any PSD or PSB file with a gargantuan tonne of layers, duplicate groups of those layers until it passes the threshold & doesn't let you do any more. Then, saving that as a separate file will be successful, but attempting to load that back in will not. It will inform you to either "Read Composte Data" or "Cancel". Heck, I just created a brand new 3.45MB file with nothing in it but crazy numbers of layers, and it still wouldn't load.This only happens if you duplicate the layers to go past the threshold. Drag-dropping layers to an already layer-fat file will not be successful, Photoshop will give you a warning in that instance.

I don't believe the data is lost though, it's still there, but won't load due to PSCC restrictions. Should Adobe lift those restrictions in the future, the file should be able to load.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 29, 2014 Mar 29, 2014

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To his credit, JJ did mention the possibility of it being a bug.

I'm not sure reporting it here is enough to ensure it gets seen by Adobe, though occasionally they stop by here.

This is a better place to report bugs:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family

-Noel

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 05, 2014 Jun 05, 2014

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Hi Guys,

Just wanted to say that I totally agree with BECreativeHK

I have not spent any time testing their theory, but I had a PSD (32mb) with a ton of layers and I was duplicating folders to revise certail screens for a UI and Photoshop decided the file was now corrupt. Such a bummer. The file can't be opened and I had to go through and make a full day+ of revisions again.

In the past I would have been nervous about large file sizes with PSDs, but not layers.  Now I'll be cautious with the amount of layers too.

Definitely sucks when you have to rely on an incredible program like Photoshop and poof, some BS happens with zero warning.  And I'm running the latest version. (14.2.1)

I recommend the PSD team build in smarter alerts so that actions like duplicating folders doesn't cause your hard work to disappear.

Cheers!

Michael

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New Here ,
Nov 28, 2014 Nov 28, 2014

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Hello,

I have run into the same mistake! I don't want to lose my file! Is there any solution for it? Please help me

Cheers

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2014 Nov 30, 2014

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Hi sercan,

I was not able to revive the file. Had to recreate it from scratch. ,(

Cheers!

Michael

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2015 Feb 27, 2015

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Dear Team,

I m using Photoshop CC 14.2.1 x64 on MAC.... i m working with hundreds of layered photoshop file for UI Designing..... After my proper saving the file and shutdown my photoshop.... i was shocked when my file opened... it was showing "There was a problem reading the layer data. Read the composite data instead ?"... after clicking the read composite data option.... the total file was in single layer... but my photoshop file size is 51.0 MB... Please help me to recover my file... i m worked day and night for whole week..... Please help me team.....

Thanks in Advance

By Sridhar

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2015 Dec 01, 2015

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the same happened to me... i want to cryyyyyyy

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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So this is how adobe treats its paying customers they brush us off and send us to a shit forum GTFOH im cancelling my plan tomorrow and i better not get charged extra for doing so.

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New Here ,
Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018

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This just happened to me too after the latest update. Between this and the illustrator GPU rendering bug that's been going on for several months., I'm getting pretty tired of Adobe's bugs. These are huge issues that should be taken care quickly, given the costs of CC. As an Adobe supporter for the past 12 years, I gotta say I'm pretty disappointed.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 29, 2018 Jan 29, 2018

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My instinct would be to investigate what might be behind it.

Does it still open in the previous version? What happens if you try to resave it to a different name in the old version - will that open in the new? What happens if you copy the layers into a new document?

Most cases of file corruption - minor or major - are caused by hardware issues. These are by nature often very erratic.

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Explorer ,
Mar 27, 2018 Mar 27, 2018

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So I just encountered this problem. Basically a week's worth of work, about 200 layers and PS saying "Ooops, can't open it, sorry, bye".

Few hours of trying different stuff I finally opened the file in www.photopea.com. It read all the layers and I was able to download intact PSD that opens in PS with layers. Try this. If it doesn't work try different apps that can read PSDs.

It's great that there is a free software out there that can fixed what an overpriced, unreliable software breaks.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 28, 2018 Apr 28, 2018

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I just came across the same issue with a TIF file today. I had been working with this file while on vacation from a separate LR catalog that I created just for that project. Today, I imported the images back into my main LR catalog but I did not move the files to any other drive (the original image (CR2) and XMP file are on an external drive. With all layers the file was 1.6 GB with only about 20-30 layers (mostly adjustment layers). I'm using Lightroom CC Classic 7.1, Photoshop CC 19.0 and I'm on a MacBook Pro early 2011 running High Sierra 10.13.3. Note, I had not done any editing within Lightroom on this particular image--it was all Photoshop work. I was editing just fine; going in an out of Lightroom and Photoshop. I had created three or four copies of the file using this standard process: Lightroom>Edit In> Photoshop > Edit a Copy (of the original file) over the a few hours. I had just exported a JPG for the client when I noticed I need to make a couple of more edits in Photoshop. So I went back into Lightroom and again followed the procedure outlined above. This time, however, it got the dreaded error "This image was generated from source data that Photoshop cannot read. That data will be discarded. Continue reading?" I clicked OK and found that the image was now a single-layer TIF but is still 1.6 GB. In fact, all of the previous copies of that image that I edited today are no corrupted and are only showing one flattened layer. I'm trying to recover the image using Photopea (thanks for the suggestion drmono) but I think it's too large and hasn't loaded over the past hour.

Any idea what caused the corruption? Do you think it is the actual TIF file and/or the XMP file that got corrupted?

Thanks very much.

Regards,

Andy

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Explorer ,
Jun 12, 2018 Jun 12, 2018

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It's probably too late. Sorry, I didn't see the notification. I'm not sure about the actual TIF/XMP problem but as far as Photopea goes, maybe try different browser. I think I was loading the file first using Safari which I use normally but it always crashed (the file was around 600-700mb), than I switched to Chrome or Firefox (not sure) and it worked.

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New Here ,
Dec 06, 2018 Dec 06, 2018

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Discovered this issue today as well... Big file with lots of layers and folders, most of them duplicated so maybe that is the problem. Scary. It's my main design file for the work I'm doing and would die if that file died... Will keep copies in the future for sure!

Anyway, the www.photopea.com really helped for me at least. You just upload the file and save it again and you have everything back!

Close call that one... Really hope Adobe will look into it. Having stuff like this happen without a warning is scary af.

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New Here ,
Apr 12, 2020 Apr 12, 2020

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Thank you very much for your advice, it helped a lot! You saved my hard work.

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New Here ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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Thank you so much drmono!

www.photopea.com worked perfectly just as you suggested.

Cheers!

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Explorer ,
Jan 20, 2020 Jan 20, 2020

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I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH DRMONO!!! I seriously thought I was doomed when Photoshop refused to open a file I had with a lot (but really, not THAT many layers. I can't believe that software is free!! YOU and Photopedia are a lifesaver (and why can't Photoshop / Adobe recover these files?)

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New Here ,
Apr 09, 2021 Apr 09, 2021

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This worked for me, thank you so much!!

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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I AM ABOUT TO LOSE IT!!!  I created a PSD file with only 5 layers. Image size A2. I'm getting the "trouble reading composite data" message on this file.  Checked the external hard drive, did a scan and no issues. Still wouldn't open. Transferred the file to another external hard drive, same issue. Have now tried to open other files, similar in size and same issue. Where's the glitch?  Is this an Adobe issue? 

Now, I've lost invaluable time trying to find a solution for this problem. 😞 😞 😞 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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"Checked the external hard drive"

 

Don't ever save directly to an external drive. Save it to an internal hard-wired drive, then copy it over.

 

All it takes is to accidentally bump into something while the save is in progress, and the file can become corrupt. Just a microsecond broken connection is enough. USB3 cables and connectors have always looked very fragile to me, because the connector itself isn't very deep, and looks like it can be pushed out of position very easily. It doesn't help that the cables are usually very stiff and inflexible.

 

When copying to the external drive, don't move it.

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