Thursday, May 11, 2017

Autodesk Support is Great

Today started out fun. A large Revit project with an impending deadline could be opened but not saved. This is were I get involved.

I usually start by opening the central file directly, Detached, and with Audit checked. Turns out, when Audit was checked the model would not open at all. In this case, the following error was provided.

This is the link listed at the bottom of the dialog: Revit Help; Missing Elements error

  • FYI: I recently posted a Revit Idea suggesting it would be helpful if Audit told us if it did anything or not. Well, in this case it does provide some feedback. Here is the Revit idea: Tell me if audit had to do anything. Feel free to vote for it!

So, as many know, when a central file is corrupt you start looking for a good local file. None could be found, they all had the "too many elements missing" error when opening with Audit. Same for all of the Previous Versions backup files and even the IT nightly backup. Even files from the day before had this corruption. So this issue had crept into the model a few days ago.

Given this is clearly some sort of corruption, I sent the model directly to Autodesk Support. If you have Autodesk products on subscription, you have access to Autodesk email-based support (I think that is how it works). This ticket was submitted at 9:31 am today.

Autodesk to the rescue... at 10:40 am I get an email from Andrea Johnston, our new favorite person at Autodesk, with a link to a repaired model. As one would expect, Autodesk has special tools (not available to resellers, who also provide support) to repair corruption within a Revit model.

With the newly repaired model in hand, we were able to get the project team back to work. Without this critical support we would have lost a LOT of staff time.

Andrea also provided this help bit of info related to the problem:

  • This "too many elements missing" issue is hard to pin down. Basically Revit is just telling you that there are more elements missing from the model than it can safely ignore and continue opening. This can happen with a bad sync or a corrupt family, or something entirely different, and tracking down the cause is difficult. In the future, if you see that one user is getting this error, and someone else with the model has it open and is not seeing the error, that person can sync and compact the model to clear the issue for the other user. Otherwise, feel free to send us the model again if you run into the problem.
Another great thing about support, is this is one of the primary ways required software changes for existing features gets into the system (i.e. bug fixes); support staff can send issues to development if they are not already "known issues". Another way is the "send crash log" prompt you get when Revit crashes. I always add my email address and type something about that just happened. They are indeed watching this. In fact, I once received a phone call about 30 minutes after a crash asking if i could send the file for analysis by Autodesk!