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Monday, February 15, 2010

Thumbnail Previews and Locked Files in Windows Explorer - The Revit Clinic

Repost: http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/02/thumbnail-previews-and-locked-files-in-windows-explorer.html

Lately, I have been hearing about problems with Thumbnail previews displaying in Windows Explorer along with odd behavior of the locking of Revit files by the explorer process that prevent the files from being renamed, moved, deleted, or even opened by Revit. I found that often the problems have to do with older Revit files and families.

There are a few things that you can do to resolve these thumbnail and file locking problems.

For files that cannot be moved, deleted, renamed, or opened in Revit, there is a free tool that you can use to at least temporarily unlock the files so that they can be fixed. Try out www.lockhunter.com for the free tool to unlock these files. I found that the file locking happens a lot more with 64 bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, but this can occur on any operating system. This tool works pretty well.

The root reason that these files get locked is because Windows is having a issue generating a thumbnail preview for the file using the Revit preview component. What may be worse, is that every other file (or at least files that follow the file that is locked) also will not display the Thumbnail preview in Windows Explorer.

In order to fix the root cause of this problem there are a couple of options.

  1. Disable Thumbnails for Revit files
  2. Correct the Thumbnail display problem for the file
Here is how you can do both of these.

To disable the thumbnail previews for Revit files all together, you can do either of these. You could display thumbnails at the OS level by editing the registry, but below I give you the ways to disable just Revit thumbnails.

  • Navigate to the C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010\Program directory and locate the Revit.FilePreview.dll file and rename it something like Revit.FilePreview.old.
  • You could also unregister the preview component by using the command prompt by entering regsvr32 /u Revit.FilePreview.dll

To fix the a Revit files thumbnail preview so that it displays properly, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open the File in the Revit. You can choose to Audit the file or not, for this, it does not matter.
  2. Go to the Application Menu and select Save As, and
  3. In the Save file dialog box click on the button for Options.
  4. Under the Preview section of the File Save options select the box so that it is checked for "Regenerate if view/sheet is not up-to-date."
  5. Choose a Source view to generate the thumbnail preview with. Image001
  6. When finished, select OK
  7. Save the file with a New name.

Low and behold, the Thumbnail preview will now be generated for the new file in Windows Explorer and the file wont continue to get locked by the explorer process.

As I said, often, I have seen this problem with older Revit files or families that haven't been upgraded for a while. It is a good idea to upgrade your content with each release of Revit. The Content Batch Upgrade Utility can help you do this a lot easier. Check out a video I created on how to upgrade to a new release a while ago which might help explain the tool.

Hope this helps.

Thumbnail Previews and Locked Files in Windows Explorer - The Revit Clinic


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