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Visio files crashing while making any changes to them

Started by Agamicox, August 30, 2017, 08:09:37 AM

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Hi all,
Need some help on a situation we have with some of our Visio files in the company.
As an example I have 4 files. All of them were created using Visio 2010 so extension ends in *.vsd
I can open all 4 files no problem, however only one of them I can actually work on without crashing Visio. The other 3 simply crash Visio after you do any of following steps: Scroll up/down (mostly up) in the file, copy objects, try to convert file to another version, Save file, Print file, add or remove a shape.
I was looking at these files for long time until I noticed that one of them (which works OK) looks different visually while on Desktop of the computer (thumbnail is different).
If you pay attention, file number 1 (on the left) looks like normal Visio file, where is the other 3 looks like file is drawn over with something?
File size doesn't make any difference too as the one which does work OK is much larger.

please help!



Thank you for the link. Might help some people who point to similar first questions


Hi all

Guys does it really so uncommon issue or my description does not make sense?

We are really stuck here with not knowing what to do. Official MS support is silent too


@Surrogate, congratulations for the MVP! ;)

some silly ideas:
- get a V2010 version, open each file, copy its content to a new file.
- or save as xml, then reimport in newer version.
- ... hire a professional visio specialist ???


Maybe you could upload the files here (one that you can open and another that you cannot)

In general, it may be a hardware (video card / driver) problem actually.. Or some software is installed on the computer that handles previews incorrectly.
Maybe you could try to turn off hardware accelerated rendering (in Tools -> Options -> Advanced)


Hi all and appreciate even the silliest of recommendations!

So I tried all of them, except hiring specialist :D believe it or not but I was able to use mouse to capture mouse of objects in each of Visio files and CTRL+C them to new file. This would result in somewhat skewed drawings, but at least most of it was there and file is not crashing anymore.

Just want to mention one more time, that all 3 files were crashing only if i'd scroll view up until certain point in drawing where shapes and objects end + if any type of amendments are done to file (save, save as.., print, etc.)

Really weird one...

Newly created file thumbnails also look "bad", with weird shapes on them... but, what ever, at least they do work!


My usual first step to resolving file based Visio issues (for any version)

Open the source file
Save-as in XML format (file extension will vary by version)
Close Visio
Open Visio
Open the XML version of the file
Save-as to binary format (.vsd is usually the best choice regardless of version, but you can also try .vsdx for later versions)
Close Visio
Open Visio
Open the refreshed binary format file.

May need to do this with any linked templates, too.

Most problems will usually go away via this process.

You may find that you get shapesheet formula errors on opening the XML version, which tends to be more diligent in syntax checking than opening binary.  It is usually essential to fix these before proceeding, by deleting/recreating the object, or resolving the precise issue in the formulae.  You may also find at this point that the issue with the object has been inherited from the stencil (or template) used, so you need to fix the problem there, too, to eradicate the problem thoroughly.


Hi Miles,

I was not able to do ANY operation with the file, Save as.. including...


That's a pretty warped file if even an immediate file-save-as after opening won't work.  Sounds like you have managed about the best way possible with limited cut/paste.

Does the Visio Viewer (ActiveX embedded into IE in most versions) cope with the file, at least for grabbing a bitmap or printing?

I wonder if it is worth trying some of the command line switches to start up the file, e.g. /safe, or unregister/reregister in the registry with /s /r /s

Other options:  These days, some other applications can read vsd/vsdx (but not usually roundtrip usefully or offer all features), i.e. Libreoffice/Apache OpenOffice, Lucidchart, Gliffy.  Again this may allow some recovery but need effort to put back into a clean Visio properly.
Most seem to be based on an open source Visio file parsing library (which I think also drives some conversion tools).


Since files which were corrupted (not working) were not really files I could hold on to for too long I am unable to confirm or carry out suggested steps.

tbh, I was very happy with this "cheat" fix of simply catching as much objects as possible before application crashes and transferring to new one.

I hope it does not come back!  8)

I guess we can treat this topic as Resolved. Not most technical solution out there and still don't know exact root cause, but something to do with objects used in the file I guess...

Thank you all for help and input!

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