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Cannot open MassLynx raw data files after performing a roll-back to a system restore point - WKB10059

Article number: 10059


  • PC had a problem so rolled back the Operating System to an earlier system restore point.
  • Cannot open MassLynx raw data files (Chromatogram, spectrum, and so on) created before the roll-back.
  • PC has been corrupted / damaged by an external event such as a power outage
  • PC was repaired using System Restore and a back up of the PC created using System Restore
  • After restoring the PC
    • MassLynx instrument control works OK
    • Newly acquired data files can be opened,
    • Data files recovered from the system restore back up can't be opened.
    • Opening the restored data files  in the chromatogram or Spectrum windows just gives a blank window


  • Windows 7 and XP
  • MassLynx 4.1, 4.2


When performing a Windows System Restore a restore point is selected prior to the suspected system change and the System Restore wizard reverses all changes to the operating system or installed programs that have occurred since that time. This causes problems with restored MassLynx data files.

Every MassLynx .raw folder contains files with the extension .inf, (e.g. _functns.inf, _extern.inf). These files contain information about the data, and without them MassLynx cannot open the data file. However, Windows also uses the .inf extension for files that contain device information or scripts to control hardware operations. A System Restore looks for all *.inf files that have been created or modified after the restore point and removes them, but it does not disinguish between MassLynx .inf files and Windows .inf files. This means .inf files are removed by the System Restore from the .raw folders. As a result MassLynx cannot then view the data, nor will you be able to view any information in the Experiment field other than the file path of the folder.


  1. Before proceeding with a System Restore 
    1. Back up all MassLynx data to a location not affected by the system restore (i.e. not the C:/ drive)
    2. Use System Restore to recover the system / make cahnges to the system
    3. Copy the MassLynx data back to it's original location.
  2. If that is not possible, or if you've only found this article after running System Restore and then having problems with MassLynx data files, you can recover the data.
    1. Acquire a dummy data file using the same methods used on the data in question.
    2. Copy all the .inf files from the dummy data files and paste them into the raw folder where they were deleted.
    3. Open the data files in MassLynx.


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