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      The Light at the end of The Long Dark -- Launch Date, WINTERMUTE, Next Sandbox Update   05/16/2017

      For the latest information on WINTERMUTE (story mode in The Long Dark), as well as details on the final sandbox update prior to our August 1 launch, check out our recent Dev Diary here: http://www.thelongdark.com/news/posts/light-at-the-end/ And while you're there, be sure to have a look at our new FAQ as well: http://www.thelongdark.com/news/posts/frequently-asked-questions/
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      PS4 pre-orders are now available in some regions   07/18/2017

      If you or someone you know has been looking forward to playing The Long Dark on PS4, it's a good time to place your order. The game is now available for pre-order on the PlayStation Store and currently has a 20% discount! UPDATE: This offer is limited to most regions of North and South America. Please check the PlayStation Store to see if pre-ordering is available in your area. Things are pretty busy on our side, but we're on track to officially leave Early Access / Game Preview on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 and launch the first two episodes of, Wintermute, The Long Dark's story mode. As always, general information about the game and the upcoming launch is available on our stylish new website, TheLongDark.com . If you'd like to get news and announcements about The Long Dark by email, you can sign up for our newsletter.
chipinthedark

Win10 update destroyed my Sandbox save(s)?

21 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

A power failure happened while playing TLD today, and upon restarting Windows did its mandatory update thing (I really have been trying to put this off, forever :(, but fate was unkind ). Now TLD acts as if this is my first time in the game -- no Sandbox saves listed. Any tips on how to resurrect my 180+ days in the world, including the last week (game time) looting Tail Section? I'm not even really sure where the saved games should be located.

PC Win 10, v.426 Steam distribution 

Follow up: I discovered that all my progress in badges, etc., has also vanished. Do these persist from one sandbox to the next or are they specific to one?

Edited by chipinthedark
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I found the sticky with the save games path, and this is what is there:

Folder: autosave, empty
Folder: save001, many files, none with current file mod date
File: ep1sandbox1, no extension, 21.6 Mb, time stamp matches time of the last game save before the power outage
File: user001, no extension, 5 kb, time stamp same day as above but hours later, I think this was generated when I tried to open the game after the update

What can be done to recover my previous sandbox, given these files?

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Posted (edited)

So you will want to find a user001 file from before the loss.  That will recover all your feats progress.  

Otherwise, save the ep1sandbox1 somewhere else (or rename it), then start the game an a new game.  Then replace the new ep1sandbox1  with the old and it should get proper attention.

EDIT All other files are relics from past save game systems.

Edited by selfless
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2 minutes ago, selfless said:

So you will want to find a user001 file from before the loss.  That will recover all your feats progress. 

Thank you for the suggestions, selfless.

Is there anywhere to look for this other than the location described in the sticky re: save game files? As noted, the user001 in that location is subsequent to the power loss.

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All I can think is if you have a periodic file backup saved.

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, selfless said:

All I can think is if you have a periodic file backup saved.

Nope, I was unaware that this was an option, unless you mean a manual backup, which sadly I also did not do, not thinking it a critical requirement for playing the game. I acquired TLD over a year ago and played it then to over 250 days game time, but took a long break. I do not recall the game was ever as unstable as it has been over the  last few weeks of my revisiting the frozen world via v.426. I truly like the game a lot, but it has developed a lot not to like in its latest version.

Edited by chipinthedark
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Posted (edited)

50 minutes ago, selfless said:

Otherwise, save the ep1sandbox1 somewhere else (or rename it), then start the game an a new game.  Then replace the new ep1sandbox1  with the old and it should get proper attention.

This did not work. I tried it with both the user001 from yesterday (after the outage but the only option) and with the new user001. Only the ep1sandbox1 that was generated from the new game is recognized, so apparently my most recent game is lost because of the Win 10 update. Seems to me this indicates a huge weakness in game save integrity, since Win 10 updates a lot.

A very strange occurrence: During this process I had a few renamed files that were duplicates, so I deleted them. Upon starting TLD they reappeared in the folder. I did the deletion again and emptied the Recycling Bin, but they still reappeared when launching TLD. In the vernacular, WTF???

I verified the files once again through Steam and the report is 100% OK.

EDIT: I think I see what may be happening with the "resurrected" files -- Steam is using cloud-saved data to restore them. This may also shed some light on the lost sandbox, even though there is a save file in the folder -- could it be the Steamcloud data does not agree with that file and so it's preventing me from using it now? I know a little about save games in general but nothing at all about Steam's data mechanics.

Edited by chipinthedark
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So STEAM seems to replace all your disk files with the cloud files when the game loads.  While it plays it then uses only cloud data (you can delete or modify disk data at will without effect).  Then it replaces all the cloud data with your disk data upon exit.

Weird.  So to get your original save game up into the cloud (and playable), you could put it in the folder while the game is running and then close the game.  Have fun.

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16 hours ago, selfless said:

So to get your original save game up into the cloud (and playable), you could put it in the folder while the game is running and then close the game.  Have fun.

No fun at all, unfortunately, though I do appreciate your suggestion. It did confirm that Steam was resurrecting those files, I have managed to get rid of them. But even with the old (and desired) save game in place as the ONLY files in the save game folder, TLD does not recognize it and asks for a new sandbox. I guess this is game over for me, I won't play a game with this many bugs and game-killing weaknesses. It was fun while I could actually play it, but comes with too many gotchas.

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41 minutes ago, chipinthedark said:

No fun at all, unfortunately, though I do appreciate your suggestion. It did confirm that Steam was resurrecting those files, I have managed to get rid of them. But even with the old (and desired) save game in place as the ONLY files in the save game folder, TLD does not recognize it and asks for a new sandbox. I guess this is game over for me, I won't play a game with this many bugs and game-killing weaknesses. It was fun while I could actually play it, but comes with too many gotchas.

 You're kidding, right? I mean, you lose power to your system - in which case you're lucky only your game files were corrupted - and blame the game for not behaving correctly afterwards?

 The reason your saved game got corrupted is because you were playing when the power went out which prevents any running programs from writing to the hard drive (i.e; saving) or they would be incomplete and thus corrupted.

 A little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing. Sort out your power problems before you start pointing fingers at the game mate.

 

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18 minutes ago, Carbon said:

 You're kidding, right?

Not kidding at all. I have had power outages frequently while playing other games and have never yet been unable to recover to the last game saved, both console and PC games. Your own knowledge of file saving seems lacking. If interrupted DURING a save, yes, corruption of that save is likely, but that was not the case. I had a perfectly viable save game on file before the outage and update, and it was not usable after the update. Plus, as other threads I have started and commented on document, there are many other problems with the FC and subsequent TLD versions that are directly connected to game saves, which were changed significantly in those recent updates. There are questions about the Steam cloud data's part in this specific problem as well, but as it is beyond my control, I have to take that as part of the overall problem. Plus, recovering an earlier save should be possible but it seems only one save game file is kept and constantly overwritten (?), which seems to me a particularly chancy approach given that outages like that I experienced are not all that uncommon, particularly in regions where lightning storms can be common. Even with a decent UPS, a strong strike nearby can surge a system to shut down, most often with no damage or file corruption of any type, as was the case here. TLD simply came back unable to use the existing save game. Since Windows updates frequently and often whether I'd prefer it or not (also beyond my control), the game needs to be able to handle it gracefully and in this case, did not seem to do so. Lack of response from Hinterland support about this is also an issue. Yes, I know they are busy getting Wintermute ready, but they also need to address ongoing issues or, as in this case, the player base can lose confidence.

incidentally, if my purpose was to "point fingers,' as you so inelegantly put it, I would not have spent a fair amount of time trying to find a solution to the issue, but would have just complained and left it at that. But instead I reported an issue, asked for advice, followed it to no avail but with appreciation for the help, and in the process found what I consider a major weakness regarding TLD save-game protocols. Part of alpha- and beta-testing is encountering and reporting such problems so that they can be addressed and hopefully remedied. But if it also means the game may not be reliable in terms of preserving the progress made over many RL days of play, then it's not unreasonable for someone to back off from playing until the next update, when such problems, and the others I have reported and commented on, may have been fixed.

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Who wouldn't be annoyed if the game lost a save!

To me it sounds like your PC might of did a restore, roll back to latest stable OS that was working? doing so can remove all data unless you tell it not to. I could be totally wrong but sheesh power sap during game play can never be good. Why did you tell windows to update :)

 

 

 

Edited by nicko
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No rollback, just a Win 10 update, the kind you cannot choose to avoid, which I dislike intensely but what can you do. I did put it off for a very long time, but once it's been d/l'd (no choice on that either) it updates on the next restart.

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10 hours ago, chipinthedark said:

Not kidding at all. I have had power outages frequently while playing other games and have never yet been unable to recover to the last game saved, both console and PC games. Your own knowledge of file saving seems lacking. If interrupted DURING a save, yes, corruption of that save is likely, but that was not the case. I had a perfectly viable save game on file before the outage and update, and it was not usable after the update. Plus, as other threads I have started and commented on document, there are many other problems with the FC and subsequent TLD versions that are directly connected to game saves, which were changed significantly in those recent updates. There are questions about the Steam cloud data's part in this specific problem as well, but as it is beyond my control, I have to take that as part of the overall problem. Plus, recovering an earlier save should be possible but it seems only one save game file is kept and constantly overwritten (?), which seems to me a particularly chancy approach given that outages like that I experienced are not all that uncommon, particularly in regions where lightning storms can be common. Even with a decent UPS, a strong strike nearby can surge a system to shut down, most often with no damage or file corruption of any type, as was the case here. TLD simply came back unable to use the existing save game. Since Windows updates frequently and often whether I'd prefer it or not (also beyond my control), the game needs to be able to handle it gracefully and in this case, did not seem to do so. Lack of response from Hinterland support about this is also an issue. Yes, I know they are busy getting Wintermute ready, but they also need to address ongoing issues or, as in this case, the player base can lose confidence.

incidentally, if my purpose was to "point fingers,' as you so inelegantly put it, I would not have spent a fair amount of time trying to find a solution to the issue, but would have just complained and left it at that. But instead I reported an issue, asked for advice, followed it to no avail but with appreciation for the help, and in the process found what I consider a major weakness regarding TLD save-game protocols. Part of alpha- and beta-testing is encountering and reporting such problems so that they can be addressed and hopefully remedied. But if it also means the game may not be reliable in terms of preserving the progress made over many RL days of play, then it's not unreasonable for someone to back off from playing until the next update, when such problems, and the others I have reported and commented on, may have been fixed.

 The save corruption in this case is nobody's fault and if blame needs to be assigned then it's on you. You should be running a UPS of some kind to protect not just TLD saves, but your entire system's integrity. Claiming that your woes are a deficiency within the game and that somehow TLD should take into account people who live in areas with many lightning events is ridiculous. When a spike finally cooks your mainboard or PSU, will you blame the manufacturer?

 Complain and to point a finger have the same meaning and yes, that is exactly what you have been doing since you decided to post, first blaming Windows 10 for your problem (look that your thread title), now TLD's save system. That your complaint correlates to a very select few others is irrelevant due to the clear and obvious cause of your problem; your system lost power while you were in-game (and the bold text above is illustrative of your not knowing how the save system works). You cannot claim allegiance to others experiencing a similar saved game file issue because their complaints are legitimate; no clear cause has been identified, unlike your case.

 Anyhow, too bad, start again and take responsibility for living in an area where this is commonplace by investing in a UPS.

Edited by Carbon
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Just stuff it Carbon, you have no idea what my system has or has not for surge protection (perfectly adequate) nor have you any sound notion of file integrity and susceptibility, you end up sounding like a fanboi. I posted the entire subject as a question, which, you may notice if your head wasn't where the sun don't shine, has not been adequately answered, and you have ignored that the files have been repeatedly checked for integrity by the process recommended by Hinterland with no hint of corruption. The loss of the sandbox was just a capper on a long succession of errors and save game failures that have naught to do with power loss and have been reported by numerous other users, absent any power issues at all. Since this is an alpha, the idea, in case you missed it, is to report any and all occurrences bearing on game operation that may or may not reflect issues with game system design and implementation. Such reports are not complaints but do fulfill the purpose of alpha and beta testing. Since Hinterland has chosen not to reply, for what they consider good reasons I am sure, and I won't argue that, it's a perfectly reasonable response to choose not to play until such time as the next version comes out and such issues can again be investigated via game play, to see if they have been addressed. So just put a cork in it, eh?

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This kind of hassle is why I will never use Win10.

5 hours ago, chipinthedark said:

just a Win 10 update, the kind you cannot choose to avoid, which I dislike intensely but what can you do.

You can do what I recommended to a friend after seeing all his Win10 woes. Roll back to Win7. Solves a multitude of problems.

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5 minutes ago, JAFO said:

This kind of hassle is why I will never use Win10.

You can do what I recommended to a friend after seeing all his Win10 woes. Roll back to Win7. Solves a multitude of problems.

What and leave your system open to all sorts of Trojens / malware and highjacking?

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15 minutes ago, nicko said:

What and leave your system open to all sorts of Trojens / malware and highjacking?

No more than Win10 is open to those things. Microsoft are still supporting Win7 until January 14, 2020. Microsoft's claims that "Win7 is dangerous to use" are scaremongering intended to force people to "upgrade" to the most unpopular version of Windows since Vista. See this article for why their claims aren't really so.

49% of computer users are currently using Win7 (that's actually 0.5% higher than back in April), compared to 26.8% on Win10. Microsoft aren't going to ignore that market any time soon. As for Trojans, malware and highjacking, anti-malware, anti-virus and other security programs still work just fine on Win7. Anyone running Windows needs those things to stay secure, including Win10 users. Don't believe the marketing hype.

Edited by JAFO
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11 hours ago, chipinthedark said:

Just stuff it Carbon, you have no idea what my system has or has not for surge protection (perfectly adequate) nor have you any sound notion of file integrity and susceptibility, you end up sounding like a fanboi. I posted the entire subject as a question, which, you may notice if your head wasn't where the sun don't shine, has not been adequately answered, and you have ignored that the files have been repeatedly checked for integrity by the process recommended by Hinterland with no hint of corruption. The loss of the sandbox was just a capper on a long succession of errors and save game failures that have naught to do with power loss and have been reported by numerous other users, absent any power issues at all. Since this is an alpha, the idea, in case you missed it, is to report any and all occurrences bearing on game operation that may or may not reflect issues with game system design and implementation. Such reports are not complaints but do fulfill the purpose of alpha and beta testing. Since Hinterland has chosen not to reply, for what they consider good reasons I am sure, and I won't argue that, it's a perfectly reasonable response to choose not to play until such time as the next version comes out and such issues can again be investigated via game play, to see if they have been addressed. So just put a cork in it, eh?

 UPS isn't primarily for surge protection: Uninterruptible Power Supply for use when the power goes out so you don't lose or get corrupted data, exactly what happened to you. I suggest that after you get your power issues solved, play the game normally and see if any problems arise. I suspect that all will be well, as it is with the vast majority of users whose power doesn't fail. Good luck!

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Alrighty everyone, let try to keep things friendly in here.

@chipinthedark  we're not avoiding your issue, things are just a little bananas on our side right now with the upcoming launch!

I checked in with our Support lead and he thinks that the saves may have written out incorrectly. A power outage can have some serious impact on recently written data, and with Unity there are a lot of smaller files that need to be written while saving. You could try running a scandisk, but there might not be much that can be done at this point.

Thanks for your feedback about this though, it's helpful to hear that cases like these can happen. It gives us things to consider when designing and improving our systems for the future.

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@chipinthedark when you copied your old sandbox and user001 file into the Local folder was the game already running and on the menu window, or was the game completely closed?

If it wasn't completely closed then exit all the way out of the game to desktop, switch steam to offline mode so nothing gets copied from cloud saves, copy your old sandbox and user001 files over to the correct local/hinterland/thelongdark folder, then start the game.

This should load your old sandbox if it is not truly corrupted as others have indicated it may be.

If you copy the save file over while the game is already running, even while in the main menu, it will continue to load the new sandbox save where you started over with nothing.

@Carbon, there is no need to kick a guy when he's down. He has a right to be frustrated that he lost all his progress. If you don't have any ideas on how to solve the issue and be constructive...why not just remain silent on the matter? Also he's correct, if the game wasn't actively creating a save game the moment he lost power then there is no good explanation why his last save in the game is no longer functioning after restarting The Long Dark. His save file shouldn't be corrupted, if it somehow became corrupted then this should be looked into by the support team....

@chipinthedark did you create a bug ticket, and if so did you attach your save file and user001 file to the bug report? If not I would, maybe they can modify your corrupted files and mail them back to you...

Also had you made any system restore points? You may be able to restore the save game folder to an earlier known good configuration...

Edited by Thrasador
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