I should have clicked the last save button before Revit crashed. I needed to add one last annotation. Maybe hitting the ESCape button now is a good idea? It was definitely time to be prepared for situations like this.
This shows how important synchronization is for BIM data management. The core competencies are mostly workarounds and I will explain some of them.
An old-school Revit user’s motto: “It’s always better and faster to do it a second time.” Unless, of course, it was a preliminary design phase and your first conceptual model crashed without saving an original file for recovery.
In this blog post, you will learn about four resources I had to find.
But first, let’s make sure the backup options are optimized for your workflow.
First time ‘Save As’ is very crucial to grant your file a first recoverable copy.
Save this “concept” file as soon as you have drawn a meaningful line. Continuous backup files are created in the same folder with numbers (file name. 0001, 0002, etc.).
If your Revit file is not saved, you should specify how many backup copies you want to keep before they overwrite the previous ones.
- Go to the File tab > Save As drop-down menu > click Project.
- In the Save File window, click “Options…”.
- Change the value for “Maximum backups”, and then click Save.
Reminders are Revit’s way of dealing with people’s poor attention span and memory. The time you should allow to elapse between saves is the same as the time you can spend repeating your work.
Set the save reminders:
- Go to the File tab > click Options.
- In the General options, change the Save reminder interval.
Recover RVT Files
There are “hidden” snippets of recent actions and views that you can find in Revit’s journals. Coordinating synchronizations on a local/cloud server increases the number of recovery files in your system.
I was going to suggest a third-party AutoSave plugin, but after several software tests, I’m sure it’s not worth it. The developers of similar plugins have stopped supporting the latest versions of Revit.
It is recommended to keep a synchronized model file and to use the built-in backup feature.
Journals are logs of the last actions you performed in Revit. Your folder contains readable Slog, DMP and TXT files created after a crash.
Worker logs are snippets for regenerating views and printing.
Families and projects can be restored using journals only if the project file is located in a local network and not in a shared work environment.
The default location of a Revit journal file is C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 20XX\Journals.
- Right-click the file and select “Open with…” and then select Notepad or any text editor.
- Look for a line that says (Jrn.Data “file name”).
- Edit the line below so that it looks like this: (“IDOK”, “<Model name>.rvt”).
- Remove the lines with the crash error messages at the end of the TXT file.
- Go to the File tab > click Save.
- Copy and paste the edited journal file to the location of the problematic Revit file.
- Drag and drop the journal onto the Revit file.
Journals are rewritten shortly by default and are not a reliable source for backups, but they are handy for diagnostics and emergency view regeneration.
Sharing files on a local server (file-based) or in the cloud (server-based) increases your chance of recovering the project files.
- Go to the Collaborate tab > Manage Models panel > click Restore Backup.
- Select your project file > click Open.
- In the Project Backup Version window, click Save As.
If frequent synchronizations with the central model are not possible, save your file between allowed synchronizations.
The local copy you saved after the first “save” to a network and other copies can be found at: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit <Release>\CollaborationCache.
These backup files are RVTs with all recoverable data cached.
Considering how large projects can get, mandatory recovery can be another factor that affects user interface performance.
Autodesk cautions that automatic recovery of Revit files can slow workflow and crash the user interface for medium to large local and shared projects, especially for mass-in-place models. Always remember to adjust recovery settings, clean up, and compress your local and shared projects.