RefMan crashes during import of large RIS files

I am using RefMan 11, and have a large database (about 70,000 references). From time to time, I need to make edits to the exisitng references, e.g. to add volume and page number details to references that were initially imported pre-publication. The only way I know to make the changes is to export the references in RIS format, update them with a Perl script, and re-import the new RIS file. This risks creating duplicate records, so if there are a lot of references to change, it seems best to export the whole set and re-import to a new database after editing. My problem is that RefMan often crashes during the import process. I have taken great care to ensure that my Perl script produces a legal RIS file, but nevertheless there are some references that invariably cause a crash. Has anyone else encountered this kind of problem, or can suggest solutions to try? 

Possible cause #1

There may be single record in your database that is causing the problem. Does it always crash at the same record number? (e.g. RefID 200) If you break the import file into a few files (e.g. make two files with RefID 1-300, RefIDs 300+), does it crash only for one file, or all of them?

If it crashes for all of them…

Possible cause #2

I have found that sometimes RefMan 11 will crash if your import filter doesn’t specify what to do with each & every field, particularly for big fields (like abstract, or “cited references”). Check if there are any big fields, and if yes, make sure they are either going into a specific field or are set up with “Not Specified” as the field.

For example: we were importing records with a “cited references” field, which sometimes had 30+ lines of references listed. We don’t really care about this field so it wasn’t mentioned at all in the import filter.

We found that RefMan kept crashing until I created a line for that field with destination “Not Specified.”

My wild guess is RefMan stores any field not listed in the import filter in temp memory, instead of just ignoring them, and with each record it keeps building up until RefMan crashes. If you say “Not Specified”, then it doesn’t retain it in memory.