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Why Am I Getting “Open Block” Errors from My Photo Program?

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My operating system is Windows Vista. The problem software is Picasa. I’ve used it for a long time without problems. Now, I’m getting several error messages when I open it. They all begin with “”CBlockFile::Open Block err=10″” They are as follows (various list of filenames that are associated with this error). I’ve taken off the software and I’ve reapplied it several times. I’ve had many conversations with Picasa; they’ve tried to help me but with no success. Any suggestions?

I could be wrong, but I suspect your hard disk either has or is developing a problem.

In this case, make sure you’re backed up! You don’t want to lose those pictures!

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What the messages mean

The whole “CBlockFile::Open Block” thing sounds like the program’s disk-reading code has a problem. It’s trying to read something from the disk (that’s the Open Block part) and failing (that’s the error you’re seeing).

Now, I’m not sure what Google (the team behind Picasa) said, but ultimately, I’m concerned. If this is a hard disk issue, it’s actually good that the problem didn’t go away, so you’re not fooled into thinking it was fixed.

Open Hard DiskBack up now!

As I said, back up the folder and make sure you store those pictures somewhere safe. Then I’d follow the steps in my article, “How Do I Fix Errors on My Hard Disk?”

That article tells you to run ChkDsk a couple of times with different switches, so there are multiple levels of aggressive file-checking and disk repair. Then run another tool or two, depending on how much you want to invest in recovering this hard disk.

If ChkDsk reports unrecoverable errors, then you’re going to want to do something like run Spin Rite (which will cost you some money) or get a replacement hard drive (which will also cost you some money).

Now, I may be wrong, but that’s what this error message feels like to me.  I’ve encountered this kind of cryptic message before in low-level disk reading software.1

The important thing to take away here is to back up now!

Footnotes & references

1: Heck, in all honesty I’ve probably written error messages that sound like that. I apologize. 🙂

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