When Your Flash File Won’t Open…

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Categories: Adobe Flash, Troubleshooting

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This has happened to me, I’ve slaved days over a single .FLA file, regularly saving back-ups. One day, the worst possible scenario… I can’t open the FLA file. (I was using Adobe Flash CS3)

What eventually happened is that I could open another file, and it was only then that I was able to open up the FLA. Unfortunately, when it came to exporting the file as an SWF, it crashed.

I tried determining logically what it is that could have happened. For the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. That was 4 months ago.

Flash forward to today, I figured it out.

Even though resources are stored in the FLA (which explains it’s often-bloated filesize), it seems to still rely on the original location of the files. This is not a problem if you work on one computer, however, it turns out that the reason my Flash file wasn’t crashing was because get this:

Flash CS3 was looking for resources (that are supposed to be stored in the file). When these resources were stored on a network, and the FLA was on my desktop. It was crashing, and vice versa (resources on computer, fla on network).


Keep all your files and work entirely on your desktop. Re-reference files in your FLA that are not on the same hard drive as the FLA. Delete files in your library that are not in use.

Hopefully that saves someone hours of anguish.

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3 Responses to “When Your Flash File Won’t Open…”

  1. Nick Says:

    Hi Pat

    I’m having the same trouble with a socket server I just downloaded for Flash. If I try to open the FLA on my C or D drives, it works; if I try it on my E or F drives, it fails. I actually have no idea what to do. I hear you with regards to deleting assets in your library that are no logner in use (I do regular library cleanups as a rule).

    But when you say “Re-reference files in your FLA that are not on the same hard drive as the FLA”, what do you mean? In my case, I cannot even open the file using CS3 — it simply exits immediately with no warnings and no errors, when I access it on either of those drives.

    Would welcome any help at all you can offer, this is driving me batty.

  2. Nick Says:

    Hmm, the issue is resolved. I haven’t learnt much… i.e. why the Flash IDE was simply quitting without warning when I tried to use the same file I had just used on another drive. “Adobe only knows” about that one. But it’s working today. Anyway, your blog entry was helpful with regards to informing me on the use of network drives and Flash, so thanks for the heads up.

  3. Patrick Burt Says:

    Hi Nick, I’m glad you got everything working. I know how much of a pain it can be. :)