Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

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SimonAlberta
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 24, 2022 6:17 pm

Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by SimonAlberta »

Hello Everyone, new guy here.

Well, actually I've been an unregistered lurker and sometime leech on here so huge thanks to everyone that posts information, links, add-ons etc., very much appreciated.

Anyway, I'm hoping someone can help with this new issue that has suddenly cropped up after years of smooth running. I assume it is going to hit others in due course as it seems to be a Windows issue rather than Links.

So, I decided to delete all my players and create new ones as a quick way of resetting stats and starting fresh in Career Mode.

I tested the players in Practice Mode and all was well.

Then I tried to use them in Career Mode and all seemed OK until I clicked to start play and an error message popped up saying something like "error saving .PHF file. file may be corrupt".

I have tried and re-tried deleting/creating/cloning players to no avail. I searched my hard drive and sure enough no .PHF files have been created.

After some digging it seems that Windows 10 simply will not recognise the file extension as it is not listed anywhere in the Settings App. I found an old backup .PHF file on an external drive and Right Clicking on it does not offer any way to associate an App with it, it just says Windows can't open it.

I have searched online for a solution and all I am seeing is that it looks like an obsolete format for some kind of image format.

I have searched the Registry and found it's location but I do not know what modification/entry to create to solve this, if even that would work.

Any guidance on how to sort this would be much appreciated.

Regards,

Simon.
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Adelade
Posts: 962
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:24 am

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by Adelade »

Unfortunately, my current Links was just recently installed and I have not played any Career Mode on it yet, so I dont seem to have any PHF file either, and I cant check whether my old Links used to... I started a Career quickly just now as a test, played one shot then closed the round and Links, no PHF file was created, so Im a little confused about that... Armand's file location document seems to say PHF files go directly into the standard Links folder (but it might depend on your system/settings, you can check it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0 ). Anyhow, some thoughts that come to mind:

-Did you name the new players the same identical name(s) as the old deleted players? In that case, there might be some conflict in that regard?

-I could be wrong, but I doubt there is anything abnormal with Windows not knowing how to open .PHF files, there are a lot of files for Links that arent meant to be opened individually, they're just there to exist, for Links to be able to reference them (after Links has already been opened). Obviously something went wrong in your case, but I still doubt its a Windows issue.

-Try just putting your old backup PHF directly into your standard Links folder?

-Do you have the Career Mode fix installed? I would actually be pretty surprised if that one has anything to do with the issue you encounter, but still... feels like it would be silly to not test it, if you dont have it already. Can be found here (it says "Career Mode Update for v1.07"): https://www.linkscountryclub.com/links-2003-v107

-If all else fails, I bet that a full reinstall of Links would solve the issue. I recommend waiting to see if anyone else has any ideas first though, because it might not be necessary to go that far.

-What does it say in the Registry? Do you have a screenshot?
Finished main APCD Projects: Amedal (own design), Nine Bridges (real course). Joint effort: Kauri Cliffs HD. Updates: Whirlpool, Royal Lytham, Royal St George's, Chicago, Chambers Bay
Working on: 2 fictional courses + Austin CC + a couple things...
SimonAlberta
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 24, 2022 6:17 pm

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by SimonAlberta »

Adelade,

Thank you so much for your prompt and thorough response to my querie.

Don't think I am dismissing your ideas but I omitted some other information that might have been apropos;

1. I tried a full re-install of Links from CD plus all patches and Distance Mod, then tested everything and all is 100% except for this one issue of saving/creating PHF files.
2. As I mentioned, my version on Win10 effectively seems to be denying the existence of PHF files as they appear nowhere in the Default Apps section of the Settings app so no ability to associate.
3. Similarly, right clicking on my backup version of an older PHF file offers no options to "open with" etc. Even going through the properties and trying to Take Ownership offers nothing as every option is greyed out.
4. I tried copying this same PHF file back from my external drive into my C drive (actually Links created a folder C:\Users\Documents\Links 2003\Career which I have a backup of) but to no avail. I get an error message saying the file no longer resides in that location (the backup).

It is literally as if Windows, at least on my machine, is saying "nope, don't want anything to do with PHF files".

So then I used a registry optimizer app and it shows PHF as an "Unused Extension", confirming Windows doesn't recognise it. I navigated to the registry entry and it does at least show PHF as valid but with no associations.

I am OK with creating/modifying registry entries but I don't have the knowledge to do so without instructions so I need a ready made registry hack to restore PHF to my system.

By the way, I have reviewed my recent Windows Updates to see if there is anything suspicious that I could uninstall that might cure this problem but nothing obvious stands out. This remains an option but I don't want to disturb things there if I can avoid it.

What I was hoping is that someone would say "yeah, that happened to me too and this is what I did..."

So, again, thank you for your input. I will keep trying things and let everyone know if I find an answer.

Actually, perhaps if I could find another piece of software that uses PHF files and install it perhaps that would cause Win10 to re-register them? Might work!

OK, bye for now.

Simon.
gator
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Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:30 pm

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by gator »

Maybe someone who is using Windows 10/Links career mode can locate the appropriate registry key that shows how PHF files are associated, take screenshot(s), and post them here.

Although, I’m not sure that the lack of association would prevent file manager from allowing them to be saved, copy/pasted, etc.
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Adelade
Posts: 962
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:24 am

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by Adelade »

When you reinstalled, did you paste any backed-up files into that newly installed Links before testing if it worked? Like player files or stuff like that.

Also, did you remove all previous Links files before the reinstall? As in, not just those in the standard Links folder? Im thinking specifically of any Player and Career related files in for example C:\ProgramData\Links 2003\Players , C:\Users\[username]\Documents\Links 2003\Career , plus the VirtualStore if you have one (C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore).

You mention that you put the backup PHF file in C:\Users\Documents\Links 2003\Career , however, based on Armand's file locations document, I dont think that is the correct path. Did you try pasting the PHF file directly into your standard Links folder (and then restarting Links afterwards)?

Im still thinking there is nothing wrong with PHF files not appearing in Default Apps, and that there is no need to associate the filetype with anything, but I know I could be wrong so I guess I'll just leave it at that.
Finished main APCD Projects: Amedal (own design), Nine Bridges (real course). Joint effort: Kauri Cliffs HD. Updates: Whirlpool, Royal Lytham, Royal St George's, Chicago, Chambers Bay
Working on: 2 fictional courses + Austin CC + a couple things...
SimonAlberta
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 24, 2022 6:17 pm

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by SimonAlberta »

Adelade,
Appreciate your continued support.

Answering your questions;

When I re-installed I tested it 'clean' then re-installed my various add-ons and tested again. All perfect except this one issue.

When I removed Links, yes, it was a 100 % complete removal using Revo Uninstaller plus a further manual check by me.

Regarding C:\Users\myname\Documents\Links 2003\Career, I didn't decide on that, it was where Links has always put things on my machine and it has been part of my backup routine for years. It puts 4 folders there; Career, Recorded Players, Saved Games and Saved Shots.

Respectfully, I disagree that the fact that Windows is not recognising PHF files is not a problem but, with that said, I am no expert and could equally be wrong. It is just that there seems to be several pieces of evidence pointing that way. (In fact I have a vague recollection of something similar happening to another program a year or two ago but in that case a re-install solved the problem).

By the way, PHF files are a type of Font file rather than an image as I stated above. I found a piece of software that supposedly can open them but it really couldn't. Well, of course, there is no point opening the file anyway, but it did achieve one thing...PHF files are now listed in the Windows Settings App and I can set a default app for them. Unfortunately no way to make that Links, only a couple of image handling apps. At least now PHF files are sort of "live" again on my machine. The fact that it hasn't solved the problem may of course mean I am on the wrong track.

Nonetheless, I could be wrong, but I think if I knew how to create the entry I could solve this via the registry. Gator's suggestion above (Thank You!) sounds promising. If anyone has the time to try that I would be very grateful.

Thanks again.

Simon.
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Adelade
Posts: 962
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:24 am

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by Adelade »

Yes, it is possible something might be wrong with the registry, Im not denying that specific part. It is fine to disagree, and I appreciate that you answered :smile: However, it still doesnt sound like you tried what I suggested twice, with putting the PHF file directly into the Links folder. I have the four folders that you mentioned in the same location that you specify too, but that doesnt necessarily mean PHF files are supposed to go there, no? I dont know your full setup, so I cant try Armand's file location for your specific settings, but I did click around on a few different settings, and they all pointed towards PHF files going directly into the Links folder (or the Links folder within VirtualStore) rather than the Career folder in Documents. I may be wasting your time if it doesnt work, and Im sorry if so, but if it had been me I definitey would have tested it.

Er... I just doublechecked it again on Armand's document, and weirdly enough, it seems to say PHF files go into the Links folder when displaying for all files, but the Career folder within Documents when viewing for only PHF files. Uhhhhh.... That makes it seem like the notion of PHF files going into the Links folder indeed might just be incorrect after all, but well, I'll let you decide whether you think its still worth testing or not. I have no other ideas than those I already posted so hopefully you'll find someone who play Career Mode and can get the screenshot you need.
Finished main APCD Projects: Amedal (own design), Nine Bridges (real course). Joint effort: Kauri Cliffs HD. Updates: Whirlpool, Royal Lytham, Royal St George's, Chicago, Chambers Bay
Working on: 2 fictional courses + Austin CC + a couple things...
SimonAlberta
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 24, 2022 6:17 pm

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by SimonAlberta »

Adelade.

Thanks yet again for your continued interest.

With regard to trying to copy my backup PHF file back into Links, I mentioned that I tried that and Windows flashed up an error message something like "the file is no longer in that location" which is BS because how can I be looking at it and copying it?

As I said, my version of Windows just seems to not want to handle PHF files at all which is why I think I need a registry fix.

I am toying with doing a full Windows reinstall but I really don't have time for that right now and I would be mad as hell if I went through all that and it still didn't solve the issue.

So, for now I will keep thinking/trying things as well as hoping someone here might offer a solution.

Take care and have a good weekend...lots of good sport on if you are into that.
morvio100
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:02 am

Re: Win10 Suddenly Causing Career Mode To Fail

Post by morvio100 »

Avoid the Windows re-install SimonAlberta...keep digging...a re-install wont solve anything....
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