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"The project appears to be damaged. It cannot be opened".

Nov 19, 2013 9:24 PM

The title says it all. I was editing offline and everything was fine a few hours ago, then I opened the project offline again and got that message. I don't want to mess with it too much until I can find some support from Adobe.....   Seen this before?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2013 5:12 AM   in reply to garymanilow

    What do you mean by "I was editing offline" and "I opened the project offline"?


    Which version of the program are you using and on what operating system?


    Are you  using Premiere Elements' File/Open to open a .prel file?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2013 10:11 AM   in reply to garymanilow



    Three things that I would try:


    1. Look in your AutoSave folder for that Project, and find the latest - try to Open that. Note: if the defaults were not changed, you will have 5 AutoSaves in that folder. As AutoSave files are FIFO (First In - First Out), I would look at that folder with Detail View, and check the Date/Time of each file - #3 might be newer, than #5. Try each AutoSave file in reverse order - newest first, and work backward, until one does Open correctly.
    2. As a PREL file is XML, one can use a free utility, XMLWrench, to test the PREL's header. When going to Open the PREL into XMLWrench, you will likely need to change the file extension from "XML" to "All Files," to see the PREL's.
    3. If your issue is due to a bad/corrupt Asset, one other test would be to use Windows Explorer, to "hide" the Assets. I would Move all to separate and different, newly created sub-folders, say "Video," "Still," "Audio," etc.. Then, try to Open that original PREL again. If it gets past the initial Open stage, you should get a dialog asking "Where is file ____ ?" Then, navigate to the sub-folder, where you Moved that Asset type, say "Video" sub-folder with your Video Assets. Locate that first "missing file," and PrE will attempt to relink to it, and then automatically attempt to relink to all other Video Assets in that sub-folder. This process will repeat for each Asset type, in those sub-folders. If the Open process hangs, or gives an error message, then you know which Asset type has a problem. One can then manually separate those Assets, as before, but into individual sub-folders, so that you can isolate on the one bad file - hopefully. Depending on the number of Assets in that Asset type, it can be a bit tedious, but if you can isolate a problem Asset, you can then investigate how to handle that.


    Good luck, and thanks for letting us know about the "offline editing." I had the same question as Steve G did.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2013 10:14 AM   in reply to garymanilow

    Also, why tempt fate? Why not try opening a project from Premiere Elements' File/Open menu?


    Just in case there's a problem with your file associations.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2013 3:23 PM   in reply to garymanilow



    Are you all resolved on a path to get your job done?


    I came across this Adobe document regarding troubleshooting damaged projects. You might be beyond it by now, but I will post the link just in case. cts-premiere-elements.html



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