Friday, June 29, 2007

Resurrecting Dreamweaver 8 After a Cache Death

I'd spend way too much time trying to fix a serious problem with Dreamweaver 8, one that had been causing it to permanently crash on my main system. I'd given up on the problem for months and resigned myself to going back to Dreamweaver 2004 MX, but I missed some of the cool improvements in DW 8 (particularly the working in the Background feature).

As I'm currently working on getting out the next issue of TechTrax, I became determined to get DW 8 back working on my system. So I got a bit ruthless. With any luck, this fix will help someone in the future who is experiencing the same problem.

I don't know what caused the problem, but one day I was working away with Dreamweaver 8. I closed it and later attempted to open it, but it tossed up a warning message saying:

The cache will now be re-created because the cache file is missing or damaged, as shown below.

Okay, no problem. I assumed it would just regenerate its cache files and get on with it. NOT! As soon as I clicked the OK button on the above warning...DW 8 disappeared and nothing happened! Huh? What the...???

I tried again and again. Same result. I hunted for answers and asked gurus for help. They told me to go into my ..\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 8\Configuration folder, locate the WinFileCache-######.dat file and delete it. I did. No luck!

After spending hours trying to trick DW into working, by doing everything I could think of, including uninstalling and reinstalling (which rarely helps serious crash problems, because the system files that are usually the big problem don't all actually get deleted in most software uninstalls), I finally had to give up and get on with life.

Today I was determined to give it another shot. I hunted the registry for potential keys to kill. I hunted my system file for anything having to do with Macromedia cache. Now I also had to be careful cos' I was now using DW MX and needed that version to work so I could do my web work.

But then I found a SiteCache folder under the DW 8 folders, ..\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 8\Configuration\SiteCache, and decided to attack that folder. Since DW 8 wasn't starting at all, I figured I couldn't make things much worse at this point.

I went into that folder, leaving the folder itself alone, and deleted everything in it. BINGO!

I crossed my fingers and clicked the DW 8 icon...and it started up! Without the above message warning, it moved right into reconfiguring my cache files and there was the opening screen again! I was thrilled!

So if you're using Dreamweaver and you start getting the above error message and DW won't do what it should and simply crashes/closes on you, first go rip out that WinFileCache file. But if that doesn't do the trick, get bold and tear out everything in the subsequent SiteCache folder.

It worked for me...with luck it'll work for you and save you the hours I wasted trying to get this problem fixed!