Photoshop: PSD file missing all layers & folders, black background only when opened.

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I was working on a file this morning which had several layers grouped into folders, nothing fancy, some transparency. Saved it, closed PS (cs6). Windows (7) was trying to update and wanted to restart, and I do so.

I open the file again later, all of the layers have disappeared, all of the folders have disappeared, and the 'background' layer, which I'd removed, is back, completely black, locked.

The file size is still 315 mb. If I save a copy from PS, it goes down to what you'd expect a file containing essentially nothing would be, a few kb. If I max out contrast I can see a one-pixel strip of noise across the top of the artboard, and everything else stays black.

I assume the update process ruined the file somehow. Wondering if there's any way to recover/revert. The fact that the file retained its size has me hoping there's a way.
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Courtland Winslow

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Posted 5 years ago

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Chris Cox

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If this is just a drawing issue: Update your video card driver from the GPU maker's website. If the update doesn't work, turn off the GPU in Photoshop's preferences until the GPU maker can fix the driver bug.

If the file really is corrupt - then most likely you have disk problems, or crashed the system while it was being written.
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Courtland Winslow

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Not a drawing issue - gpu drivers up to date and all layers have been replaced by a black background layer. Almost as if it had been saved as a flat jpg, only there's only black and no image.

File was saved and PScs6 closed under normal conditions, but signs are pointing toward a corrupted file.

Whatever the cause, if the file size hasn't changed despite this apparent loss of information, is there a chance of the image/layers being recovered?

I browsed to it in bridge and for a split second it previewed in its original glory, but quickly updated to appear completely black. I assume it just had an older thumbnail cached, though I hadn't previewed it in bridge previously.
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Chris Cox

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There's a small chance of recovering the contents, but if Photoshop reads it as a valid file then other apps aren't likely to recover all the layer data.

You can try an app that reads layer data and saves each to a separate file like the PSD recovery tool: http://www.telegraphics.com.au/sw/

Yes, Bridge was probably showing the thumbnail before reading the full file to create a more accurate preview.
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Courtland Winslow

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That app seems like it would be very useful, if not here, down the line. Unfortunately it won't load for me, returning the following in System Info:

Plug-ins that failed to load:

PSD Extract/Recover NO VERSION - - from the file “PSDRecover64”

I'm using CS6 on win 7 64
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Chris Cox

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That's odd. Contact the author - he is usually quick to respond to problems.
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Chris Cox

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And you can also try http://www.telegraphics.com.au/psdpar...

Ah, crap - except he disabled it (I should check my bookmarks before posting them, darnit).
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Courtland Winslow

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Thanks for your help. In the time spent noodling with this I probably could have re-drawn it, though. Time to bite the bullet. Multiple saves from here on out, I guess.
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Mohamed Samy

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The same situation occurred with me. I found that previously i saved the file as a PDF then a i saved it as a PSD. When i return to open the PSD I found the file without any layers and folders, only with the background. then i open the PDF that i perviosly saved "open it by photoshop" then i found the layers and folders and everything i did
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Jill Armitage

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This just happened to me too ... none of these fixes worked. Before going into the cloud subscription service, I never experienced any glitches like this. So frustrating to create an entire design, save a psd file as well as a pdf file, go back to do final adjustments and not be able to get into layers!