Plants vs. Zombies: Game of the Year

Plants vs. Zombies: Game of the Year

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Demondog162 Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:55pm
Finally Found A Fix For The "File reading error"/"Failed reading file"
My laptop runs Windows 8.1 and after a few leads from PopCap Support, I figured out how to fix this issue (hurray!!)


First we need to be able to view hidden files to find the folders/files we need. Here's what PopCap Support told me to do for that for Windows 8 users:


1. Run a Windows search to find "Control Panel"
2. Open the Control Panel shortcut (there may be several listed, as this tool is accessible through multiple paths, but the shortcuts all lead to the same tool)
3. If your Control Panel is set to Category view, change View by option to Large Icons
4. Click Folder Options
5. Click the View tab
6. Click Show hidden files, folders, and drives
7. Click Apply, then OK
(NOTE: remember to change it back to Hide hidden files, folders, and drives after you're done fixing the problem)


Next, navigate to this file path:

C:\ProgramData\Steam\PlantsVsZombies\userdata


PopCap Support suggested a few things that didn't work, such as "restore previous versions" and copying/pasting files from the "userdata" folder. I couldn't find the "restore previous versions" option, nor was I able to find any files in the userdata folder. Instead, I found a folder called "userdata_backup". I did the following steps and was able to launch PVZ AND keep my progress from before the "File reading error":


1. Make sure the userdata folder is empty.
2. Move all the files from userdata_backup into the userdata folder.
3. Launch PVZ. The game will then have a pop-up window that will overall ask if you'd want to load your local save file, Steam save file, or cancel. Click Local Save File.
4. BOOM! You should be able to successfully launch PVZ with your progress still intact.



UPDATE: I completed The Tree of Wisdom achievement AFTER the fix, and it DOES safe to the Steam Cloud!! Now that it's for sure that the local save file has overwritten the one in the Steam Cloud, you're all set to kill them zombies. Good luck everyone!!
Last edited by Demondog162; Apr 28, 2015 @ 11:10pm
Originally posted by Hobocannibal:
since google sent me here and the last post is pretty recent. As far as i know there isn't a known public fix for the save corruption. Any methods meantioned are basically "find a place where there is a backup". Including this one which is "get steam to download the cloud version of your save".

With anything that ever involves deleting a file, always make a backup elsewhere, you want to make sure you can revert if something doesn't work properly.
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Showing 1-12 of 12 comments
I love u gay!!!!
Rocket Bunny Jun 29, 2018 @ 1:08am 
it deleted all my progress on both my computers. >:( i lost 30 hours worth of work because of you
you didnt need to click local save file, you needed to click steam save file. :steamfacepalm:
The author of this thread has indicated that this post answers the original topic.
Hobocannibal Aug 31, 2018 @ 5:50am 
since google sent me here and the last post is pretty recent. As far as i know there isn't a known public fix for the save corruption. Any methods meantioned are basically "find a place where there is a backup". Including this one which is "get steam to download the cloud version of your save".

With anything that ever involves deleting a file, always make a backup elsewhere, you want to make sure you can revert if something doesn't work properly.
pluto Aug 31, 2018 @ 2:21pm 
I cannot find Folder Options in my control panel. Does this still work on Windows 10?
Hobocannibal Aug 31, 2018 @ 2:25pm 
its "view" and then on the far right, "options" on windows 10.

https://i.imgur.com/PAS1auk.png

ignore control panel.
Last edited by Hobocannibal; Aug 31, 2018 @ 2:28pm
GWManin Nov 18, 2018 @ 12:46pm 
where is userdata_backup?
Griff Dec 8, 2018 @ 11:57am 
Originally posted by GWManin moat.gg:
where is userdata_backup?
I have no idea where this is.
DRLAZYDOLPHIN Apr 25, 2020 @ 3:06am 
youll find it if you type C:\ProgramData\PopCap
Any solution for mac?
Hydrasent1050 Jun 21, 2020 @ 12:10pm 
doesnt work
Matthew Zhu Jul 24, 2020 @ 4:37pm 
Next, navigate to this file path:

C:\ProgramData\Steam\PlantsVsZombies\userdata



Sorry, I'm a idoit. How do you do this?
Last edited by Matthew Zhu; Jul 24, 2020 @ 4:38pm
Coco Oct 13, 2020 @ 6:25am 
My userdata folder is already empty. still doesn't work.
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Date Posted: Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:55pm
Posts: 12