Recovering a Corrupted VMF

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Due to how Hammer Hammer works, it is possible to corrupt a VMF file very easily. When this happens, you are unable to compile it, or even open it in Hammer. This often happens when you accidentally insert quotation marks into a text field, a mistake incredibly common and easy to make, or can happen when saving a map at a precise time. This article will cover how to recover a VMF that has been corrupted.

Fixing misplaced quotation marks

By far the easiest way to corrupt a VMF, placing quotation marks in any text box will cause Hammer to get incredibly confused, as it reads those quotation marks as the end of a field, and then reads the characters following those marks as commands or parameters, and when it does not recognize those characters, Hammer crashes. This prevents the VMF from being opened in Hammer, and must be solved by manually removing the quotation marks via a text editor. The first step is locating the problem. Attempt to open your map and take a screenshot of the error. Hammer will tell you what line the issue is. Next, preferably using Notepad++ Notepad++ or Visual Studio Code Visual Studio Code, open your VMF file in any text editor. Navigate to the line indicated in the error message, find the invalid quotation marks, then delete and save for VMF file. If you did this correctly, this should have fixed the issue and your VMF should be editable again in Hammer.