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Missing/Corrupt Save File Troubleshooting Guide

Discussion in 'Support' started by ConcernedApe, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. ConcernedApe

    ConcernedApe Stardew Valley Dev Developer

    If your character no longer appears on the "load" menu, or your game crashes when you try to load your character, please follow these steps:

    Possible Quick-Fixes

    1. Often, people report that their save file problems fix themselves after a day or so (it sounds odd, but there are logical explanations for this). You can try taking a break from Stardew for one day (It's hard, I know : P) and coming back to it. Or, continue with the guide and try the other fixes:

    2. Make sure you are on the same windows account you were using last time you played your character. If not, switch users and try loading your file again.

    3. Restart your computer. Try loading your file again.

    4. Exit Steam ( File > Exit ) and relaunch as administrator (right-click the steam icon, select "Run As Administrator"). Try loading your file again. If it still doesn't work, we need to dig a little deeper.

    Finding Your Files

    Open File Explorer and navigate to the %appdata%/StardewValley/Saves folder. Verify that a folder exists with your character's name (the folder will be called <name> followed by an underscore and a bunch of random-looking numbers). If the folder doesn't exist, check the Recycling Bin or your antivirus software's quarantine list.

    Verify that the folder contains the following files:

    File #1. A file with exactly the same name as the folder.
    File #2. A file called "SaveGameInfo"
    File #3. (optional) A file with the same name as the folder, with an "_old" appended to the end.
    File #4. (optional) A file named "SaveGameInfo" with an "_old" appended to the end.

    File #1 is your actual save file. It contains all the data that the game needs to load your character. File #2 (SaveGameInfo) is only used by the "Load Game" menu. Files 3 and 4 are backups made by the game in version 1.07 and later. The backup save file is always one day behind the actual save file (in-game progress).

    I recommend making a backup of your character's folder, because the next steps require you to make edits to the files. You can create a folder called "backup" in the StardewValley folder and place your backup in there.

    If your character's save folder contains the two files with "_old" at the end, and you're okay with losing one day of progress, you can try removing "_old" from the filenames and reloading your game. If that still doesn't work, or you'd rather not lose one day of progress, proceed.

    Making a Diagnosis:

    Open your character's save file (File #1 above) in notepad (it might a few seconds to load).

    If the file is blank, your save is lost.

    If the file is not blank, then at least part of your save file is in-tact and therefore recoverable. Scroll to the very bottom of the file. If the last text in the file is "</SaveGame>", then your save file is fully in-tact. Therefore the problem must be a corrupt SaveGameInfo file (please skip ahead to the section labeled "Corrupt SaveGameInfo").

    If the last text you find is not "</SaveGame>", then your save file is partially missing. This will require a "transplant" to fix:

    Advanced Save File Surgery: Performing A Transplant

    What you will need:

    A verified "working" save file, opened in notepad
    Your corrupt save file, opened in notepad

    I highly recommend you make backups of both files before proceeding.

    1. In your corrupt file, move the text cursor to the very bottom of the file.

    2. Press ctrl+f to bring up the search window. Select "Up" where it says "Direction". Search for "GameLocation xsi". You should find something like <GameLocation xsi:type="JojaMart"> ("JojaMart" could be something different, like "Town" or "Farm"). Copy that entire fragment (From < to >).

    3. In the working save file, ctrl+f search for the fragment you just copied. Copy everything from the start of that fragment to the very end of the file.

    4. In the corrupt file, select everything from the fragment to the very end of the file (make sure you select any "whitespace" at the end of the file as well) and paste over it. Make sure the "start point" for where you copy/paste matches up exactly between the two files!

    5. save the corrupt file, and try to load it. If it doesn't work, try these steps again from the beginning.

    Corrupt SaveGameInfo:

    SaveGameInfo is not an essential file for your character. It is only used in the Load Game menu, to display information about your character. Therefore, if it is missing or corrupt, your character will not show up in the load game menu. However, the actual save file might be perfectly fine!

    To fix this, you can replace the missing/corrupted SaveGameInfo with one from another character. There will be duplicate entries in the Load Game menu, but one of them will be tied to the character you are trying to fix. Once you save again, everything will return to normal on the Load Game menu.

    (optional) For convenience, you could open the copied SaveGameInfo file in notepad and change the contents of the <name></name> field, that way you'll be able to differentiate between the two files in the load game menu.

    Extra Troubleshooting tips:

    1. Your character's save file and your character's save folder must have exactly the same name!

    2. In version 1.07 and later, Stardew Valley keeps the last two save files around for each character (rather than just the current day). So if you are unable to load your character, you can try loading the previous day instead: In File Explorer, navigate to %appdata%/StardewValley/Saves and find your character's folder. Take the files that say "_old" on the end and remove the "_old" from the filename. You'll have to remove or rename the regular files to something else before doing this, or else the filenames will clash.

    3. Antivirus software can sometimes interfere with Stardew Valley's ability to save or load files. Add Stardew Valley to your antivirus "whitelist" or try disabling your antivirus before playing (at your own risk!).

    4. Try exiting steam and running Stardew Valley directly from the local files. It will be located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Stardew Valley. Run Stardew Valley.exe as administrator (right click > Run as Administrator).
      Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
      HoppingDuck, sayit, hennesm3 and 7 others like this.
    • RushToward

      RushToward Big Damn Hero

      Thank you so much for taking the time to type all this out for your playerbase!
        VegasRedStar and Vith like this.
      • Fharcy

        Fharcy Space Hobo

        thank you, i gonna try and hope these works
        • Fharcy

          Fharcy Space Hobo

          what to do if none of these options didn't work and i have no "working" save file ether, because they are missing now, is there way reset game to when it was first time loaded/ installed
          • Fharcy

            Fharcy Space Hobo

            i don't know anymore what is going on with it, still stuck with loading/save data freeze even when all character save data is gone now and missing savegameinfo files too
            • Fharcy

              Fharcy Space Hobo

              i found way start from zero again, but i find out also lauch game second time cause character files get corrupted and make that loading freeze bug appear again, this one is really nasty one
              • Luka KLLP

                Luka KLLP Void-Bound Voyager

                Following your steps, it seems my "SaveGameInfo" file is corrupt. However, I don't have another character, so how do I fix this :p (I tried using the _old save game info file, but that didn't work)

                EDIT 1: I downloaded a fresh SaveGameInfo file from this thread: http://community.playstarbound.com/threads/how-to-fix-corrupted-save-files-tutorial.110048/

                and the game still crashes when I click "LOAD" on the main menu. So perhaps this isn't the problem?

                EDIT 2: I can't start a new game either, the game crashes when trying to Save. Surely a little more is going on here than a corrupt SaveGameInfo file?

                EDIT 3: Even when I delete my save entirely from the saves folder and replace it with a brand new one from the aforementioned thread, it still crashes. (it also placed the deleted save back in the saves folder for some reason)
                  Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
                • Fharcy

                  Fharcy Space Hobo

                  Well game work 100% fine before this 1.07 build update, after that everything stop working for me at game and this load freeze/crash appear repeatedly.
                  • Luka KLLP

                    Luka KLLP Void-Bound Voyager

                    Yep, it definitely isn't a corrupt file that's causing this, there's something else going on
                    • ConcernedApe

                      ConcernedApe Stardew Valley Dev Developer

                      If the game crashes when you try to save a brand new character, then editing your save files probably won't help. It's likely some kind of interference caused by windows, an antivirus program, or something more subtle.
                      • Luka KLLP

                        Luka KLLP Void-Bound Voyager

                        Hmm. I just tried with my antivirus off, and it worked. Reason I didn't think it was this, is because the game DID work yesterday, with antivirus on. Strange... Will try to add it as whitelist and report back!
                        • Jokahontas

                          Jokahontas Space Hobo

                          Just got on today after class. All of my data is gone after update. I tried out each of your methods for data backup but no luck. :poke:
                          • Yusuke Urameshi

                            Yusuke Urameshi Space Kumquat

                            What is in your %appdata%/StardewValley/Saves folder?
                            • dintern

                              dintern Astral Cartographer

                              So I have three different characters and whenever I load this one character it always makes my game crash. I tried following the guide to do a transplant, but none of my three saves had GameLocation xsi in them. However, the other two run perfectly.
                              • NannerBell

                                NannerBell Space Hobo

                                I am heartbroken. I had 91 hours of game play racked up and the game stopped working while saving and now the load game screen says there are no save files. I searched for the SaveGameInfo folder and found that it should still be fully intact but I don't understand how to attach a new character to the original save file. I am not very experienced in this sort of stuff so I'm just completely lost. Any help is greatly appreciated.
                                • Aemi

                                  Aemi Starship Captain

                                  I attached a second character to my primary file that wasn't loading. she finally appears on the menu but when i open the file the whole program kicks the bucket.
                                  I have even less than zero idea on how to disable my antivirus or whitelist it since there are several folder places for stardew valley information and my virus scanner is really REALLY unhelpful in teaching me how to use its exceptions function.


                                  turns out it was a corrupted mod file that was crashing my game. Your method brought back my save file and i removed the mod. thank you!
                                    Last edited: May 13, 2016
                                  • karamany

                                    karamany Void-Bound Voyager

                                    i keep typing %appdata% in the file searcher and i cant even find it there, anyne has any idea whats wrong?
                                    • barbodon

                                      barbodon Space Hobo

                                      I am having same trouble , same one character crashes every night as a go to sleep...loose the whole days work.Can anyone help ?
                                      Tried opening as Administration. no change. Tried going into %Appsdata% and saving another profile , again didn't work. Looked at my anti virus, that's not the issue.
                                      • ravermonki

                                        ravermonki Space Hobo

                                        I am having issues and all data but the Savegameinfo is intact, downloading new one also does not work, should I just wait for a update?
                                        • leggo35

                                          leggo35 Space Hobo

                                          i have tried everything and none of these work plz help.

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