SMS:Missing Project Data

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After the official release of SMS 13.1 a cluster of bugs was identified. These bugs could result in SMS projects being saved from SMS 13.1 which are missing data related to some coverages and/or simulations. Specific causes for this issue have been identified and fixed. These include:

  • A file was blocked from saving correctly by system security
  • The save process was terminated early
  • Project files were copied incorrectly
  • Project files were stored incorrectly
  • An unknown error occurred

Aquaveo recognized that this was an extremely serious issue and is committed to minimizing the damage done to user files. Starting with version 13.1.11, a check is performed whenever a project is loaded to identify missing data. If missing data is detected, an error message appears for the users review. In addition, whenever SMS 13.1.11 or later saves a project, a check is made to ensure the validity of the new project. A warning is provided if the save did not result in a complete project.

It should be noted that these warnings are not an indication of an error created at the time of loading the project. Rather it is a diagnostic that data is already missing and needs to be rectified.

If you receive a notification that files are missing when opening or saving an SMS project, please feel free to contact Aquaveo technical support ( to get assistance in data recovery if needed.

Rebuilding a Project With Missing Data

When missing data is detected when opening a project, the data is actually not in that project anymore. In this case the data must be restored. The component pieces of the project can be reassembled in SMS and saved out as part of a new project file. Below is a list of the file types to reassemble:

  • [project name].map: These are the Map Module coverages saved to the project. The model-specific boundary conditions will likely need to be entered again.
  • [project name]_meshes.h5: These are the meshes that were in the project. Load this before loading any of the datasets saved in the [project name]_datasets folder.
  • [project name]_grds.h5: These are the grids that were in the project. Load this before loading any of the datasets saved in the [project name]_datasets folder.
  • [project name].h5: This contains scatter sets that were in the project.
  • Any GIS layers, such as rasters or shapefiles, will need to be loaded again.

For ADCIRC models, use the following files to import the ADCIRC simulations:

  • Use the fort.14 or fort.15 files to import the mesh and create the simulation.
  • Import solution files such as fort.63, fort.64, maxele.63, and maxvel.63

For CMS-Flow, use the following files to import the CMS-Flow simulations:

  • Use the [project name].cmcards file to import the UGrid and create the CMS-Flow simulation.
  • To load solutions for the CMS-Flow simulation, import the [project name].h5 files.

For SRH-2D models, use the following files to import the SRH-2D simulations:

  • Reload SRH-2D simulations (including the coverages linked to them) by loading the SRHHYDRO file, found under the [project name]\SRH-2D\[simulation name] folder.
  • To load solutions for SRH-2D simulations that were already run, import the XMDF.h5 file from the same directory as the SRHHYDRO file.

For STWAVE models, use the following files to import the SRH-2D simulations:

  • Reload STWAVE simulations (including the coverages linked to them) by loading the [simulation name].sim file, found under the simulation folder.

It is strongly recommended that a thorough review of the project be completed before continuing working with the rebuilt project.

When Missing Data is Detected while Saving

Starting with version 13.1.11, SMS also performs a check when saving a project to alert the user of a possible loss of data. This check results in a warning that the saved file is missing data. This does not mean that the loaded project in the instance of SMS is missing data. Rather, it means that the file was not completely saved to the specified directory. While we have not identified all possible causes for this failure, some issues have been:

  • Saving to a network drive with specific write protections
  • Saving to a directory with specific characters in the path
  • Saving to a directory with an excessively long path (Windows has length limitations that must be worked around)

As these issues were identified, they have been resolved. However, others may exist. For this reason the warning is given. If this occurs, we suggest that you resave the project immediately to a local, short directory such as "C:\temp".

If saving to this type of directory works, the data is preserved and can be moved later. If the error still persists, please contact Aquaveo technical support (

Notes on migrating to a new version

This experience teaches a valuable lesson. Best practice would suggest that when a project is being migrated from one version of SMS to a new version (i.e. 13.0 to 13.1), a backup of the project from the old version should be saved. This can be accomplished in one of two ways:

  1. Before migrating, issue a "Save as package" command in the older version of SMS.
  2. After loading the project in the new version, save the project with a different name ('Save As' command)

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