Cannot open compressed library

Hello. I’m a little panicked as my library of over 1700 articles is having problems. We’ve always made compressed libraries as backups and to transfer from workstation to workstation. This week, compressed libraries will no longer open. I get the error message "Error writing to file C:…(…).pdf for an “A” reference. If I delete the pdf and recompress, I get the same message for a reference a little further down the list. I’ve tried to recover the library–no change.  I’m working on Endnote X, with Windows XP. Help ?  Thank you. 

That error is often triggered if you either don’t have access to the directory (write protected) or the disk is full.  The fact that it gets “a little further down the list” suggests that full disk might be the problem? 

Full disk as in my harddrive is full? That’s not it. I’m only at half capacity, with 18 G empty space. Where do I check access to the directory? As far as I know I have full access to everything.  Thank you…

but are you trying to open it on the device rather than copy it to the hard drive and then open it?

I’m not sure I understand.The compressed library is in a folder on my desktop, alongside the functional, uncompressed library used to make it. I’m not trying to open it on a USB key.

I think that you should not try to open it where the original is.  Since those files need to be overwritten?  Try to open it in another folder? 

I’ve tried that too, with no luck. Any other ideas? 

lets take this to Private message, and post solution, if we come up with one?

Have you contacted tech support?

The problem isn’t solved on our main computer, but the libraries will open on another computer on Vista instead of XP, so I’ll leave it at that for now and hope it’s not a sign of things to come. Thanks for the help.

I think this is also the problem with the  question.

They ftped me the library.  If the file started on my desktop, it opened with no errors.  But if I put it in a folder on my desktop (named x-banque), it did not report an error, but it did not successfully reconstruct the library.  It was empty.  The green bar went about one eighth to one quarter, or less thru the loading and then stopped, giving me a blank endnote program.  Looking at the folders showed that the pdf folders stopped at “C:\Documents and Settings\lmw\Desktop\x-banque\Banque d’articles thèse Caroline.Data\PDF\Bydlowski, S., Corcos, M., Paterniti, S., Jeammet, P., & Consoli, S. M. (2003)-2220224000” and that the folder was empty, while the preceding folders had the attached PDF.  X3. --Same thing with X, X2 and X3, if it was at all buried, I had a problem. 


I suspect that  way your computers are organized, the paths are getting too long to be handled appropriately by the Windows operating system.  The full name of the file you list below on my computer, if saved in my network drive:my documents is


H:\My Documents\Banque d’articles th%E8se Caroline.Data\PDF\Berenbaum, H., Raghavan, C., Le, H.-N., Vernon, L. L., & Gomez, J. J. (2003)-0923362560\Berenbaum, H., Raghavan, C., Le, H.-N., Vernon, L. L., & Gomez, J. J. (2003).pdf


Can you look at the number of levels of folders that your computer is creating?  Also, the names of these files and their folders are relatively long to begin with.  


What happens if you just try to save the compressed library to a drive, not  buried in the folder structure.  Like just on C: or a drive and not in a desktop folder? 


I am not sure how to fix this though, apart from shortening all the PDFs (and reattaching) or making sure these libraries are always kept in a structure that doesn’t pick up the “documents and settings” part of the folder and making sure they aren’t too deep. 


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Good point, Leanne.

When I was using MS-DOS or Win 95, everybody knew “8 letter limitation”. But, since Windows evolved to “256 letter limitation”, people just type very long file name without wondering anything. There is still a limitation. I counted the numbers of letters in the path you reported, which was 180 including space. If the folders in the original owner also had very long folder names, it gets easily more than 256. Vista actually uses a little shorter path names for individual documents, which made it possible to uncompress (or possble to compresse successfully).

If many PDFs were not appropriately compressed due to the long path/file name problem, I don’t think we can recover with any means. All we can say is “Please be aware of Windows file name restriction”.

I still keep all my PDFs named by pubmed ID, and organize them through Endnote so that I don’t need to open bunch of folders and PDFs. I never name full text PDFs with author/title/theme, because it just make the file name long, and I know many of them will look alike, and very confusing later anyway. So, I gave up naming PDFs like “Integrin-Hynes-JCB-2001” very early days. Also, I often name folders abbreviated like “Expts 4 Smmr Stdnts 07” meaning “Experiments for summer students 2007”. This lab-wide policy made us really trouble free in terms of the file handling.