Fix Illustrator File Unknown Error Occurred: PDF2DTP or File Recovery

How to Fix Illustrator File Not Opening:
An unknown error has occurred

Adobe Illustrator Unknown Error Occurred

unknown error occurred, cannot open Illustrator file

Has your hard drive died and now your Adobe Illustrator artwork files are not opening anymore? When you try to open your .ai Illustrator designs do you get the message, “An unknown error has occurred“? Watch this video on how Markzware‘s DTP Bad File Recovery Service can help or see how you can do it yourself with Markzware PDF2DTP for InDesign, which can also often recover and convert Illustrator files!

Illustrator File Not Opening. An unknown error has occurred: A Solution

How to Fix Illustrator File with Markzware PDF2DTP (Convert PDF to InDesign)

Okay, so this is pretty neat, how to fix Illustrator file. Many of you know us for our bad file recovery service here at Markzware, where we can fix your bad InDesign or QuarkXPress file. Now, and here’s a little form, where you can get more information on that, which is naturally very useful if you have a corrupt InDesign or QuarkXPress type of file, but what we can also often recover are PDFs and Adobe Illustrator native .ai files, and that’s what I’m going to show you today: how that works. With the customer’s file, we had permission to show this. So, pretty neat. Let’s go check it out.

Okay, so let’s launch Adobe Illustrator here, CS5 in this case, but doesn’t really matter. Alright, so here’s the Illustrator file in question. In any event, if you try to open the file in Illustrator, just double-click it, you see Illustrator strives to open it here, and you get “An unknown error has occurred” and they’re not openable.

Now, it should be mentioned this customer sent in a block of bad files: Illustrator, InDesign and other DTP print formats. They had a whole hard drive go bad. They used some recovery software, but recovery software often damages or, let’s say, doesn’t fully recover InDesign and Illustrator type files. It works fine with standard type files in a lot of cases, but seems to have problems with InDesign and, in this case, Illustrator. So, they couldn’t use all of their files, and we fixed all of their InDesign files, and they had a couple of Illustrator files, and now we’ll show you how we can fix this “An unknown error has occurred” problem and get this content recovered, how to fix Illustrator file!

Let’s show you that now, and for that, we’re going to actually jump into InDesign, part of Creative Suite, and a very important third-party extension from Markzware, PDF2DTP, our new PDF to InDesign or Illustrator to InDesign conversion tool. We’ll show you how that can help in this case, believe it or not.

Convert PDF File to InDesign or QuarkXPress
Markzware PDF2DTP for Adobe InDesign Menu
PDF2DTP in the Markzware Menu

And now, we’ll go into InDesign CS5, in this case. Open up that tool. Here we are in InDesign and, up in InDesign, you have the Markzware menu item, where you have many of our various conversion tools: Quark to InDesign, Publisher to InDesign, and our brand new PDF to InDesign, which is really, really incredible and selling really well, and for good reason, because it converts PDFs with great accuracy, all matters considered, you know, with tables, everything, styles, in most cases, right back into InDesign. It doesn’t matter where the PDF was originated from. It’ll bring it into InDesign, so, really cool.

In any event, we can also use this tool and not only convert PDF files, but also many Illustrator files. That’s because Illustrator files are, in effect, you know, wrapped up as a PDF file. If you save out an Illustrator file, there’s a certain setting, Save PDF Compatibility, that’s checked on by default. So, most people are saving native Illustrator files with the ability to be PDF compatible, and with that little, you know, nugget of data, can Markzware’s PDF2DTP also convert Illustrator files.

So, this is a bad Illustrator file. We can also convert corrupt Illustrator files, as you’ll see here. So, this is a much better sign than what we saw in Illustrator. We’re now seeing three of six pages converted, and the “” file is importing right up into InDesign, natively, via PDF2DTP for InDesign.

Now, look at that. A “Find Font” warning, and there we have a completely recovered set of content from Adobe Illustrator now right up in InDesign. Okay, so, what can we do now? And I have permission to use this customer’s file. Thank you very much. What can we do now to get this file, so, if we want it back, in Illustrator? Well, you could copy, paste, but you can also just go File > Export > PDF. And remember now, by the way, PDF2DTP also extracts all the images, which is quite cool, all the graphics. If we had the fonts loaded, this would be obviously better. Then, we hit Save and the Export, the PDF file with missing fonts, but okay, you get the idea. Now, let’s go see how that works. Now, we go into Illustrator here, File > Open, and I can choose that PDF we just created, and now, you see we have the file, right back into Adobe Illustrator, ready to be used.

So that’s how you can, with Markzware‘s bad file recovery service, also recover and fix Adobe Illustrator files; .ai files are recoverable with this Markzware service, which, as you saw, you can do yourself, if you have InDesign, which most people do, with our PDF2DTP plugin for InDesign CS6, CS5.5, or CS5, a great new way to not only convert PDFs, but also Illustrator files right into InDesign, but also even corrupted Illustrator, or even sometimes corrupted PDF files, can be fixed with this new conversion technology from Markzware. Now, thank you. This has been David Dilling from Markzware, wishing a fantastic day, and if you have any questions, please feel free to call us or email us at

An unknown error has occurred” got you down? Contact Markzware for the potential solution for your corrupt Adobe Illustrator designs!

How to Fix Illustrator File!

Title: Fix Illustrator File Unknown Error Occurred: PDF2DTP or File Recovery
Published on: February 22, 2013
David Dilling

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