Monday, February 26, 2018

Problems With Revit Local and Central Files - A Self-Help Post

At LHB I sent out a weekly Revit tip email, which is meant to inform and remind everyone about office standards, best practices and self-help items. I thought I would share last weeks tip as I think it will be a popular post when someone gets stuck and has to deal with a Local/Central file issue.

There are a number of other scenarios that can happen, but the outline below covers the mains ones I see regularly.

Start tip...

Occasionally, Revit Central models become inaccessible and/or corrupt. Use this outline to troubleshoot the problem. Keep this outline handy so you can deal with any problems when no one is around (like 2am before a project deadline).

Cannot Sync w/ Central (no message about incompatibility)
This can happen due to network connectivity, storage space, pending system updates and more.
  • Save Local and close
    • If you cannot save,
      • Verify your C drive has enough free space
      • Try a Save-As to another Drive/Local location
      • Crash Revit and try to reopen the Local (not from the Central)
      • Nothing left to try, make a new Local from the Central file
  • Re-open Local and try Sync w/ Central again
  • If that does not work,
    • Reboot computer and try again
  • If that does not work,
    • Ask IT to verify if the Central file is locked by a user
    • If locked, IT can tell who it is or reset the rights
      • Could even be “another discipline” user who is locked up while linking (i.e. reading) your model; LHB is multi-discipline and all links are live models.
  • If that does not work, you have two options:
    • Option A:  you stand to will lose a lot of work – go to “replace Central with Local File” section below
    • Option B: not  much work would be lost – create a new local
      • In this second case, others working on the project would stand to lose more work if your local file became the new central file
      • In this second case, you would lose some work
Cannot Sync w/ Central (message about incompatibility)
This can happen if someone is trying to access the central file remotely (corruption), has replaced the central file is a local file, or the central file was upgraded.
  • This always means it is not possible to save your local changes to the central file
  • In this case, you have two options:
    • Option A:  you stand to will lose a lot of work – go to “replace Central with Local File” section below
    • Option B: not  much work would be lost – create a new local
      • In this second case, others working on the project would stand to lose more work if your local file became the new central file
      • In this second case, you would lose some work
Cannot create a new local
In Revit, using the Open dialog, you browse to the Central file and “Create New Local” is grayed out. There are only three reasons this happens, as explained below.
  • You are in the wrong version of Revit
  • You have a local file selected
    • Someone may have overwritten the Central file with a Local
      • In this case, go to “replace Central with Local File” below
    • You may have accidentally browsed to your Local, rather than the Central  file
  • The selected file does not have worksharing enabled
    • This would only happen with a non-LHB model
    • All of our Revit models start with worksharing enabled
Cannot open the central file and/or make a new local file
The file may be corrupt, have corrupt families or corrupt linked Revit models.
  • Open Revit, in the Open dialog, select your Central file and then check “Audit”
  • Click Open; Revit will check the model for errors, correct them if possible and then open the model
  • If this does not work, temporarily rename all of the linked RVT/DWG files and try the previous steps again
    • Be sure to coordinate with other disciplines before renaming their files
    • This will rule out problems with the linked files
  • If this does not work, try one of the restore/replace options listed below (in order)

For the following replace/restore options, it is best to create a backup copy of the Central and Local files first.

Replace Central with a Local File
Follow these steps if you need to replace the central file.
  • Important: Ensure everyone is out of the model (central or local)
  • Important: Check with everyone working on the project to see who has the most to lose, and use their Local model
  • Start with the selected Local file closed (do not use Save-As, as this can leave worksets checked out)
  • From Revit’s Open dialog, select the Local file (single-click)
  • Check Detach from Central, and then Open
  • Use Save-As to overwrite the old Central file
  • Sync w/ Central and be sure to relinquish all rights
  • Close the new Central file
  • Important: Everyone needs to make a new Local file
    • This is one of the reasons a new local file should be created every day
Restore Previous Version (self-help option)
LHB has ‘previous versions’ enabled on  the network drives (this is a Microsoft Windows feature)
  • In Windows Explorer, Right-click on a File or Folder
  • Select Properties
  • In the Properties dialog, select the Previous Versions tab
  • Find the row that corresponds to the last time the file was working correctly (you want the newest one)
  • Double-click to open the folder, and drag any required files out to restore them
    • Follow the ‘Replace Central with a Local File’ on the restored file to re-establish it as the new Central file (do this for local or central files)
Restore Previous Version (IT assistance required)
LHB IT does nightly backups in addition to the automated 'previous versions' feature above.
  • The IT department also performs a nightly backup
  • Provide the Folder/File name and location and where to restore it to
  • Should the old files be replaced?
Tip: Make sure everyone working on your project has the same updates/service packs applied to Revit.

End tip...

Curious if you see any problems with this outline or would add something... please comment below and I will update this post!

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