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Project Errors and Instability RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all

    It's my first post as I'm at a loose end, for I normally research everything through Google and normally I get to the bottom of any issues

    I have a lot of users who are using Project 2010 Standard (a few use Professional).  There have been ongoing problems over a number of months, but recently, these problems seem to be getting more and more frequent.  Everyone who uses Project creates their Project via a template that I have created, or they migrate any old projects to the new template.  This template has lots of fields, tables, filters, views etc - the template isn't the problem.  The problem is as follows (and these were happening before the template was created):

    • MS Project files are becoming corrupted and when opened the entire plan is blank or blank task lines have been inserted and tasks and dates are repeated or even lost
    • On other occasions error messages appear when trying to save files, preventing normal closing and saving
    • There will be a File Corruption Error such as "there is not enough memory to complete the operation" or "an unexpected problem occurred while opening  the file. The file may be corrupted" and then you get the usual dialog box  to check the filename and path or if the file format is recognised by Project
    • Some occasions we get the MS Project 98 Error and the file cannot be opened
    • Another error prompt when opening the file via Windows Explorer is "Problem sending command to program"

    Project plans are saved to different parts of our corporate network.  Some plans are then inserted into other plans as subprojects and it is getting to a point where users are getting frustrated by the technical issues and therefore not been fully engaged in doing what they should be with their project plans, causing major problems in reporting to chief execs

    Can anyone help?  Could it be our network?  Some are hard wired, some use wi-fi.  Some work from home and "dial in".  Our IT support team have no Project technical abilities and as I said earlier, I am at a loose end and would appreciate any help

    Cheers

    Jason

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 9:40 AM

Answers

  • Hi Jason,

    There have been lots of improvements, but alas I'm not privy to the internals of what MS change.  My gut feeling is that Project 2013 isn't going to perform any better in this environment than say 2010 (note that 2016 is out now!).  Often the issue is when the network has high latency, and the project file is opened, especially with one or more sub projects.  Project Server (or project online) could be a better option, as the file is actually stored as a DB, so you've not got the filesharing issues over a network.  Project Online brings its own discipline of check-in, where users need educating.


    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    • Marked as answer by JasonWMT Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:55 PM
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:43 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Jason,

    These issues may well be to do with the network, and especially, sub projects, where good network connectivity is required (and a degree of discipline) when working with the plans.  Another issue could be the size, Project files can get quite big, and pulling these over a VPN whilst keeping them open on a remote file system can be problematic.  



    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 12:45 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ben

    Thanks for the reply

    I've always thought that it is the network, but didn't want it to be "the reason", only because in all my time of using Project (since 1995), I have never had any issues myself as I was working on local copies or delivering training in Microsoft Project.  These issues have only come once I have been working with a company where everything is naturally on the network and some projects need to feed into other projects (accessed via the network).  I have never had issues with multiple projects before and I had about 6 in 1 project at some point in the late 90s.  There are 100s and 100s of employees, across many sites, some working from home - so the pull on the network is naturally vast

    In your expertise, do you think Project 2013 is more stable on a network, or 365 or would you suggest going down the Project Server route?

    Thanks

    Jason

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:00 PM
  • Hi Jason,

    There have been lots of improvements, but alas I'm not privy to the internals of what MS change.  My gut feeling is that Project 2013 isn't going to perform any better in this environment than say 2010 (note that 2016 is out now!).  Often the issue is when the network has high latency, and the project file is opened, especially with one or more sub projects.  Project Server (or project online) could be a better option, as the file is actually stored as a DB, so you've not got the filesharing issues over a network.  Project Online brings its own discipline of check-in, where users need educating.


    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    • Marked as answer by JasonWMT Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:55 PM
    Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:43 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ben

    Much appreciated - had a flick through your blog about the pros and cons around Project Server

    I think it's something they may have to look into -- I just don't know how expensive it will be

    Again thank you

    Jason

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:46 PM
  • Hi Jason,

    You're welcome.  Re the cost, you have two options. 

    1. Project Server (and SharePoint and SQL and Windows and MS Project Pro) bought upfront with a perpetual licence.

    2. Project Online and Project Pro for O365 licenced per month.

    Good luck, and get hold of someone who knows Project Server / Project Online to help you configure if you go down that route.


    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | P2O

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 2:11 PM
    Moderator