A Quantum Leap in V8 File Corruption Repair

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New FileFixer release fixes the most destructive form of V8 design file corruption ever reported.

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA — The newest version of FileFixer for V8 now offers Search and Repair capabilities that handle the most frequently occurring new forms of file corruption, unique to V8. What are these new forms of file corruption? In order to fully understand these new forms of corruption, a little background information about the new V8 design file format is necessary.

Your V8 files contain many more subfiles and subfolders than those shown in this simplified illustration.

V8 Design File Structure
Each MicroStation V8 file contains multiple subfiles and subfolders.

The “Models” subfolder contains the visible geometry (graphical elements). Non-graphical, model-specific elements, such as reference file attachments, are also stored here. There are additional subfolders and subfiles nested in this folder — more about that in a minute.

The “Non-model” subfolder contains shared information, such as level definitions, shared cell definitions and fonts. One or more models in each V8 design file use this information.

The “File Properties” subfile contains Windows file properties, such as the document’s author, subject, comments, keywords — the familiar file properties viewable using Windows Explorer or by selecting File | Properties from MicroStation V8’s main menu.

Microsoft Word and Excel files are also organized this way. This internal file organization is called structured storage.

The above illustration is a simplified representation of the internal organization of V8 design files. Brace yourself — here come the gory details. The following illustrates the additional detail actually found in each healthy V8 design file:

Your V8 files contain many more subfiles and subfolders than those shown in this simplified illustration.

V8 design file’s internal structure
Any one of these subfolders and subfiles can be damaged and inaccessible — and inspection of customer V8 files reveals these subfolders and subfiles do become corrupted. This is the most common new form of V8 file corruption: structured storage corruption.

How do I know I have structured-storage corruption?
The most alarming symptom of structured-storage corruption is the following cryptic dialog box:

Translation: “Help me, FileFixer. You’re my only hope.”

This message displays when the internal structured storage framework of a V8 file is pulverized — no known application besides FileFixer can open or repair a V8 file in this condition.

The good news is that the lines and circles and cells nested within the wreckage are often intact, but damage to the subfolder and subfile structure of the file prevents their access — until now.

File Recovery Techniques
Completely new file recovery techniques had to be developed to salvage elements from such damaged files. The new approach is analogous to the famous Norton Undelete, which salvages “deleted” files from a hard drive. When FileFixer detects severely damaged internal file structure, it reads through the entire file looking for healthy pieces of the original file. The healthy pieces are recombined into a healthy V8 design file.

Disappearing Elements
But you won’t always encounter the cryptic dialog message illustrated above. Structured storage damage can destroy chunks of a V8 design file without warning — and no error dialog is displayed. One damaged subfile or subfolder can prevent access to the remainder of your model. The symptom of such file damage is elements that disappear from view.

In the following illustration, subfile 5 is damaged and elements stored in the remaining subfiles 6-20 (containing more than 75% of the drawing’s geometry) are not displayed:

A damaged subfile prevents access to remaining subfiles.

And, even more insidious, a missing subfile can also prevent remaining geometry from displaying. In the following illustration, subfile 5 is missing. Elements in the remaining subfiles 6-20 will not display:

A missing subfile prevents access to remaining subfiles.

But you can relax — Axiom has handled the tough part. The new release of FileFixer for V8 detects and handles structured storage corruption. All you have to do is click <Start>.

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