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FIX: Save Game Problems

posted by DarkSoroush on - last edited - Viewed by 32.8K users
Hi there,

At last I found the problem of the game. (Once again, shame telltale! I was one of your fans)

The problem of game is position of stat file (as lot of people mentioned before in different threads.) Not just changing in place of stat file but also having two different place to save stats at same time.

Lot of people found that there is a "prefs.prop" in "Pack\default" directory at game installation directory. Some others found one in "steamapps". Some people found that there is one in "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead" (Where it should be actually) and some even found same folder and files in "Public Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead".

I am going to speak about my version of game now (Steam Version Updated with all four episodes),

It seems that in my computer, game use two "prefs.prop" file. One on "Pack\default" and one in "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead" next to save games.
We must know that the game don't use save games as a way to find out where we are in game. Saving slots and even stats are in "prefs.prop" not in save-games.
So all of our problems such as not knowing save games and not moving decisions between episodes,etc are problems of "prefs.prop" file, not save games.

The problem of game is that it save and read "prefs.prop" in different locations (In my case two place. And i think it must be same for most of peoples). So when it saves "prefs.prop" to one place and later want to read it from another place it read older one. or even worse, if cant read other one because there isn't one (In some particular situations it will make game to show black screen. Otherwise it will create missing file or try other one.).

Here is what game do:
"Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead"
Update when: Saving game (checkpoints)
Read when: Moving decisions to new episode
In other word: Read and write by in-game code

Update when: Opening game menu + Ending an episode + Saving options + Closing game
Read when: by menu, from when you open your game to when want to select your save slot and so on until opening of actual game
In other word: Read and write by game menu
If not available: If file was not already there, then it will use "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead" one. But when game create it for first time then game will use it as first option. This is why we don't have any problem until end of episode one.
What to do in different situations:
According to above description we can guess what to do when a problem occurred. Check below:

S1: No save slot shown (all empty).
A: It happen when you update your game. It seems that it is because of removing "prefs.prop" file from "Pack\default" by setup process. So what you need to do is to copy "prefs.prop" from "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead" to "Pack\default".

S2: Save slot seems outdated but works.
A: It is outdated because your process in game saved in "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead" version of "prefs.prop" but menu read it from "Pack\default" (which is saved at ending of your last episode), and of course it works even with that situation because when you click continue it will try to read "prefs.prop" from "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead". So what you should to do is to copy "prefs.prop" from "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead" to "Pack\default" folder.

S3: I started new episode before closing game but now it is not available in menu and i cant select to continue!!
A: situation is same as above problem but in other order. You must do same thing. Copy "prefs.prop" from "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead" to "Pack\default" folder.

S4: Ok I am done with this episode but my decisions wont move to new episode!
A: This is different situation. As i said when you end an episode it will update "prefs.prop" file in "Pack\default", but when it want to read your decisions it read "prefs.prop" file in "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead". So solution is to copy "prefs.prop" from "Pack\default" to "Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead".

In other word:
Keep "prefs.prop" files sync. When you see a problem with your save-games, try to check and see if they are all sync. Always copy BIGGER file to other locations. Latest file sometimes has more recent modification date and always must be slightly larger in size too. Just copy and replace smaller versions of "prefs.prop".

Not always this folders:
I know that some times stat file may go to "Public Documents" or "steamapps" folder. This is not a big deal. Just sync them no matter where they are. Always replace old ones with new one and you are done.

All information posted here is correct for MAC too but folders are diffrent. You must check this two folder: (Replace YOURNAME with your username.)

/Users/YOURNAME/Library/Application Support/Telltale Games/TheWalkingDead/prefs.prop

/Users/YOURNAME/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/the walking dead/

If you use NTFS as filesystem format for your hard partitions then you can run this line of commends in CMD:

Note: If you didn't installed steam in same drive as windows you must change "%PROGRAMFILES%" to "YOURSTEAMDRIVE:\Program Files" and "%PROGRAMFILES(x86)%" to "YOURSTEAMDRIVE:\Program Files (x86)" in below commends.
Note 2: You better take a backup from your save-games at Public Documents and "prefs.prop" at both steamapps folder and Pack\default folder.
Note 3: This commends will not solve your old problems (they may solve but there is no guarantee. Use it when you solved all your problems and everything is correct. Then it can prevent any other problem.) But if you use them correctly they sure prevent any problem in future.

1. FIX your game using older parts. DONT USE THIS PART IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM YET.
2. Go to "%PROGRAMFILES%\Steam\steamapps\common\the walking dead\Pack\default" and remove "prefs.prop" if any.
3. Go to "%PROGRAMFILES%\Steam\steamapps" and remove "prefs.prop" if any.
4. Go to "%public%\Documents" and create "Telltale Games" directory if there wasn't any. If it was there, Then empty it. (Move contents to someplace safe)
4. Go to "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\" and move "GameData" to someplace safe if there was any.
5. Now press WinKey+R and type CMD.
6. Use below commends and type them in CMD window.

Win Vista/7/8 32 Bit:
mklink "%PROGRAMFILES%\Steam\steamapps\common\the walking dead\Pack\default\prefs.prop" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead\prefs.prop"

mklink "%PROGRAMFILES%\Steam\steamapps\prefs.prop" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead\prefs.prop"

mklink /D "%public%\Documents\Telltale Games\the walking dead" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead"

mklink /D "%public%\Documents\Telltale Games\GameData" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead"

mklink /D "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\GameData" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead"
Win Vista/7/8 64 Bit:
mklink "%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Steam\steamapps\common\the walking dead\Pack\default\prefs.prop" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead\prefs.prop"

mklink "%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Steam\steamapps\prefs.prop" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead\prefs.prop"

mklink /D "%public%\Documents\Telltale Games\the walking dead" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead"

mklink /D "%public%\Documents\Telltale Games\GameData" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead"

mklink /D "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\GameData" "%UserProfile%\Documents\Telltale Games\The Walking Dead"
This will solve your problem. You don't need to do any thing. Just play and Windows will force game to save pref.prop in same place always.

Tell me about any miss-information or new investigation results. :D
Hope this one solve your saving problems.

P.S: It seems that "corrupt file", "black screen" and other problems are not related to location of "prefs.prop" but to validation (and integrity) of data saved in it and save-games. I don't know how to fix them but always try to keep a copy from your save game via ingame menu (Play on slot 1 for example and copy to slot 2 after finishing an episode each time). I can confirm that a problem in one slot wont effect other slots until whole "prefs.prop" become corrupt which is unlikely.

P.S2: You better keep a backup of "prefs.prop" every time you change it.
65 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • So far it works. I have to replay the whole game but episode 3 saves for me now. :) But I'm hoping that it doesn't do this again. Last time the problem didn't start happening until episode 3 so I don't think that I can be sure yet.
  • DjNDB;755567 said:
    The problem there is, that the prefs.prop should only be in the savegame folder, but on some systems under some circumstances gets generated in the install folder.

    If anyone finds out what exactly leads to it being generated in the install folder on some systems, that would be very useful information.
    Actually DjNDB, this is not acceptable. I don't have access to their source code so how can I tell them where is the problem!? Do you want me to create a sandbox for their game and correct all file read and writes using hooks!? Or you want us to tell them where is the problem from assembly code? If they cant fix their game they can give us their source code so we can fix it.
    And at other hand it is not even our responsibility. Why we must search for problem of their game?! They must fix it. Not us. I want to know how much time they put to fix this problem already?!

    I mean it is not hard to search for all read and writes of configuration file and debug it. I think they don't have the time for respecting customers.
    segafanatic;755455 said:
    Telltale recommended deleting the prefs.prop from the pack\default location as a fix for this. It shouldn't be that a random person understand their stuffed up save system better than the actual company.

    Going to try and replay the last section in order to try and regenerate that file, but knowing my luck it wont work as I've already spent at least an hour replaying that last bit trying to get it to work (thanks for not letting us skip anything at all, including the spoiler 'next time' trailers and the credits.)
    Yes they told it one time and never again. Do you think if it was their problem they couldn't fix it?! This problem is there even from EP2 and we are now using EP5 and they don't even know where is the problem yet.

    And just for information. I am a C++, C#, VB.Net, PHP, Asp.Net, etc developer and unlike you I can find out how a program works with a simple app named "Process Monitor". ;)

    And, I just tried to help. Nothing more. So if you can't accept that just leave this topic.
  • User Avatar Image
    DjNDB Moderator
    I am not saying a customer should have to do anything.
    It's just weird, that it only happens on some systems. I have run TWD so far on Windows 7, XP and Windows 8, and haven't seen a second prefs.prop being created myself. Therefore it would be interesting to know if there's anything the affected have, that makes it repeatable.
    I would love to dig through the source code, if i had the opportunity, but that's not how it is. Therefore all someone who wants to help other users can do is trying to mitigate the problem by finding workarounds like you did, or reporting anything that can help track down the problem to [email][/email]

    Like you, I am just trying to help others, using the resources that are available to me. I appreciate that you are here to help.

    Honestly mate i couldnt thank you enough :)

    big hugs respect n cudos to u bruv thanks :)

  • Hey, thanks for the post. Will this fix the black screen issue? I have completed episode one and I let it finish and roll through all the credits, but every time I try open my game and play episode two, the screen just goes black. Matt P from the support team said to rewind to a place where it would load and I should have the problem any more, so I have played the last chapter of episode one about 5 times, and still, episode 2 won't load. Help! This is so frustrating.
  • I got a new laptop, and I tried to move my saves from my old computer to my new documents folder. But when I start up the game it does not see the saves. I tried to find the Pack/default folder but I couldn't find it.

  • Just have to say that this method completely solved my maddening problems with my saved game. I was depressed that I was going to have to lose all my work and just do a random play for hte 400 days dlc, but this is a life saver. Too bad it is kinda buried in the forums. Should definitely be a sticky topic.

  • User Avatar Image
    DjNDB Moderator

    While there is good information in this thread, some of it can even cause more problems. Most of it was not known at the time it was posted, but I have gathered a bunch of experience fixing savegames now. If anyone has savegames issues, i suggest creating a new thread, and including the support tool information.

    Having prefs.prop files in multiple places will result in inconsistent savegames. Therefore every suggestion to copy the prefs.prop from one place to another where the game could find it is dangerous. Having any prefs.prop in the install folder will break the ability of playing consistent playthroughs on multiple Windows user accounts.

    Also the links to "%public%\Documents\" are not needed normally. That folder is only used when the game runs in compatibility mode for win95 or win98/me. Using that workaround would result in having the same savegame folder on multiple Windows user accounts.

    Since I don't expect users to understand all the potential problems they can run into, I am sinking this thread. It's better to look at every savegame issue individually and decide what's the best way to recover the progress.

  • I downloaded both seasons of the walking dead for the PS4 and when I try to start season 2 it tells me that it cannot find any saved data on my system. I've tried uploading my saved files to my online storage, saving the save files on a USB stick and connecting it to see if it finds it that way, copying my saves into other slots to see if that works and creating entirely new saves, none of which have worked. Please send solution.w

  • Ok, for those who have the save file and the .prop in the right folder. check the name of the folder of your season one save file. it should be named exactly "The walking Dead" (without the quotation marks). this will make it move above the season two save folder. and in my case, it works! :D

This discussion has been closed.