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Help: flash CS5 crashing and corrupted .fla's

Apr 16, 2012 10:04 AM

I'm having one hell of a problem and could really use anyone's help who has a good idea.

I am working in flash CS5 on windows 7 64.

I am currently also running into the crash at save problem.  The most recent version of my .fla corrupted about four days ago, which is something I've grown accustomed to (got the wonderful 'unexpected file format' error).  So I went to my backup file- same issue.  I had to go back 12 backup versions to find one that would work (even my backups on external drives when copied back over to the local drive or opened from the external would give this error.  They did NOT give this error a week ago).  But this backup version now crashes on Save, Save As, or if I try to create a new .fla while the backup .fla is open, it crashes.  If I try to open any other .fla while the backup .fla is open, flash crashes.  Sometimes is gets non responsive and needs to close; sometimes it simply sits there, does nothing, SAYS it's running, but will not respond to clicks, minimizing the window, or anything at all and I will have to force quit out.  Sometimes it will crash when simply clicking a library item. 


I have tried the following recommended fixes:

save the file to a new directory- on the rare chance that flash doesn't crash on save (about 1 in 10), and doesn't corrupt and make a new .fla that's 2k in size (about 1 in 4), the new .fla has all the same problems of the original.

change the JAVA environment variable- no help

increase the jvm.ini xmx value - tried 124. 256, 512, no help

open the file using zip and access the xml library assets directly, deleting them until you find a corrupt file- done it.  three times.  to three different versions of the .fla from the backup files.  Flash still crashes.

save out as .xfl - on the rare chance that flash doesn't crash on save, the .xfl is corrupted (2k file size, no library, and for some reason a black square for an icon) about 3 out of 4 times.  The 4th time, the file works no better than any other .fla

update flash player - no help.

update plugins for all browsers and debug versions - no help

update flash CS5 to the most recent version - no help

download and install all windows updates - no help

delete preferences and config folders - no help


The ONLY way I can avoid flash crashing is to go back to a backup version from more than two months ago.  This version will open, save properly, and debug properly without error.


I have attempted and failed at every suggested fix I have found online or on these forums for this cluster of problems I'm currently having.  I have three weeks to the project deadline, and there is no way I can go back two months in the production timeline.


obviously I cannot afford to lose two months of work.  If anyone has any idea what could be happening, I would be exstatic- I'm really at the end of my rope here.  After four days of looking for help and fixes online and on these forums and talking to adobe support on the phone ('we do not handle coding issues' is the only response I get.  gee, thanks for the help), none of the fixes that have been recommended to me have worked.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 10:12 AM   in reply to AMLlys002


    Can you please zip up your the fla that you're crashing on save, change .zip to .zzz and email it to me at I'll take a look.




    Flash Pro, QE

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 10:24 AM   in reply to *Q

    Sorry to hear you're having this issue but having used every single version of flash since well before it supported scripting I can't say I've ever seen this issue happen a single time.


    Your computer specs would be useful. As much information as possible. So far, not being *Q (an Adobe Employee?), I'd expect your system is the issue. I keep mine clean as a whistle and in both Windows 98/2K/XP/Vista/7 and Mac OSX I've never seen this kind of issue in any version (and I own several copies of all of them).


    BELIEVE ME, using AS2 is an exercise in patience. I've seen AS2 arrest me more times than Gary Busey with just outright blatent bugginess. But SAVE file corruption? Never. So I wonder 3 things. What anti-virus/malware/spyware apps you run if you're infected, if your hard drive is just outright corrupting things (driver or hardware failure related) and if you're trying to save files over a network (especially to a different OS). I've purchased about 750 hard drives in my life and I've seen 250 of them ride the failboat. I've also seen corrupted files when saving over networks (which Adobe clearly states is not supported, regardless that it works and I do it anyhow).

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 10:39 AM   in reply to AMLlys002

    Wow, your file is really big. You should try optimizing it or splitting it into multiple flas. I believe you are probably hitting the memory limit which causes the crash and/or performance issues.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2012 10:49 AM   in reply to *Q

    System specs will help determine if that's outside the memory limit. For instance you'd literally need to be at 1GB memory with no pagefile to fail to export that file which is highly unlikely, but impossible to know until you tell us your computers specs.


    I've exported 700MB FLAs without any issue at all on 4GB ram. It's not a good idea to inflate your FLA like that but there's no problem with exporting any size FLA with reasonable computer specs.


    You can trim a lot of that space by loading your videos/images/audio externally rather than importing it all to the library. I certainly presume a 120MB FLA is meant for desktop/kiosk/etc playback rather than web. Almost nobody that isn't sporting a 20mbit line would wait around for 120mb to preload.

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    Apr 16, 2012 11:03 AM   in reply to AMLlys002

    Disable all your mal/spyware apps and disable AVG temporarily while you save or open and see if it helps. Those programs job is to intercept every file access and check it which can certainly corrupt something if done poorly. As good as AVG is, you get what you pay for, and it's free.


    No version has this 'corruption' issue. Not in the last decade. I've used Flash 2 until CS5.5 extensively and never saw this issue.


    How much RAM do you have? Also are you saving to a SSD or perhaps a RAID? If not a SSD or RAID you've an overachiever in checking your drivers as they typically never change and/or are Microsoft to begin with so I doubt that's the issue. Although if you've installed the wrong drivers for your motherboard chipset that'll definitely ruin your day but the problem would definitely exist outside flash (like your whole OS).

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2012 8:19 AM   in reply to AMLlys002

    I think the amount of time you've already invested in this warrants a complete reinstall of flash itself. If no other application (say photoshop, etc) has any issues with opening large files (if you don't have one, make one) then something got corrupted in Flash.


    Are you working from a Creative Suite or do you just have Flash as a separate product? Either way I honestly would get rid of that copy of Flash (uninstall) and reinstall it. Clearly something is very corrupt in it. Flash CS5 would never behave like this and you have PLENTY sufficient RAM. You do not at all need to adjust any variables in java or any ini files at all.


    Consider reinstalling Flash and see if the problems just go away. I can tell you the people in your boat are very few.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2012 11:31 AM   in reply to AMLlys002

    If you purchased it through the Adobe store they will give you a link to re-download it. Simply contact them and they'll ask you for the relevant information. Be ready with an order date and an order ID and it should be tied to whatever email your Adobe ID was that purchased it and you'll have no problem. I've done that before. If it wasn't so damn big I'd just put CS5 on a server for you but I know the store will help. No you do not need to repurchase it if you can provide them with a valid key.


    It's not a big deal to reinstall CS5. For the amount of trouble you're going through would you rather base your workflow around a corrupt installations whimsy needs or just reinstall and have no more issues?

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    Apr 18, 2012 10:31 AM   in reply to AMLlys002

    Send me a private message with your email. I'll provide you with a CS5 trial installer.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 29, 2012 4:56 AM   in reply to AMLlys002

    Hi all,

    CS5.5 crashed my files much more often than my CS5 install.

    aparently CS5 likes to corrupt the DOMdocument inside the .FLA's archive.


    even windows will not recognise or extract the corrupt DOMdocument. All other files work fine though. (some users believe it saves an invalid character such as a shift-enter character into the DOMdocument somehow.\)


    Rename the .FLA to .zip and try to open the DOMdocument in the root directory. This is the only file that seems to currupt.


    I personally believe it happens most when you are saving a file over the network and the connection is interrupted somehow while saving the file.


    I am guessing the DOMdocument is updated as it saves each of the other parts of the file.


    Here's the really freaky part Adobe, pay attention to this one:

    if you make a file, and save it once as MyFile1 (last updated at 2pm)... then copy and paste that file (duplicate it) into a 'backup folder' MyFile1 (last updated 2pm)

    then do some updates and save it again... MyFile1 (last updated at 3pm) and duplicate it into the backup folder too.

    in between now and 4pm you close Flash and refresh it, re-open your 3pm file. It opens fine and you continue coding...

    If at 4pm you save, and the save crashes corrupting the file, both the 3pm backup duplicate and the original file will be corrupted at the same time.

    The only file that will work again now is the 2pm backup.




    here's some information on how you can go about repairing the file, but you will not get the Timeline (DOMdocument recovered): iles-how-can-i-get-my-xml-library-assets-back-into-a

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