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Why am I getting an "Error Reading User File: File Too Short" message when starting Plants vs. Zombies?

This error is often related to a problem with the Plants vs. Zombies user files, such as your player profile and saved game information.

 It may have occurred because the game did not have a chance to close properly, causing the user files to become corrupt.

 To fix this error, the corrupt files have to be removed. This will allow the game to start normally and create new user files.

 The process for removing these files varies depending on your version of Windows.

 Please scroll down and find the guidelines for your operating system below:

 


Windows XP Users

 

If you're using Windows XP, simply uninstalling and reinstalling the game will delete the user files.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  4. Select Plants vs. Zombies from the list and click the Change/Remove button.
  5. To reinstall the game, login into your account and then go to your Purchase History and click on the 'Download' icon next to Plants vs. Zombies.

 


Windows 7 / Vista Users

 

Uninstalling and reinstalling the game will not remove the user files if you are using Windows 7 or Vista. To remove the user file, it is necessary to manually locate and delete the files.

 

Finding and deleting your Plants vs. Zombies user files

 

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. At the bottom of the Start menu, type Folder Options into the Start Search box and press the Enter key.
  3. Click on the View tab and check Show hidden files and folders.

  4. Now, return to the Start menu and select Computer then Local Disk (C:).
  5. Open the ProgramData folder.

    Please note: This folder's icon should appear faded, indicating that it is a hidden folder. If you don't see the ProgramData folder, please make sure the option to Show hidden files and folders is enabled as described in steps 1 - 3.

  6. From the ProgramData folder, open the iWin folder, then the PlantsVsZombies folder.
  7. From the PlantsVsZombies folder, right click on the userdata folder and select Delete. If prompted, select Yes to confirm the deletion.

 

After following these steps and deleting the userdata folder, try launching the game again. Once the game has loaded, it should prompt you to create a new user and allow you to play.

 


Windows 8/8.1

 

Uninstalling and reinstalling the game will not remove the user files if you are using Windows 8 or 8.1. To remove the user file, it is necessary to manually locate and delete the files.

 

  1. Press the Home and x buttons on your keyboard, or hover over the bottom left corner of the screen and right-click.
  2. In the menu that appears, select File Explorer.
  3. At the top of the window, select the View
  4. Check the box for Hidden Items.
  5. Open the ProgramData

    Please note: This folder’s icon should appear faded, indicating that it is a hidden folder. If you don’t see the ProgramData folder, please make sure the option Show hidden files and folders is enabled as described in steps 1 – 3.

  6. From the Program Data folder, open the iWin folder, then the PlantsVsZombies
  7. From the PlantsVsZombies folder, right click on the userdata folder and select Delete. If prompted select Yes to confirm the deletion.

 


Windows 10

 

Uninstalling and reinstalling the game will not remove the user files if you are using Windows 10. To remove the user file, it is necessary to manually locate and delete the files.

 

  1. Open the Start
  2. Select File Explorer.
  3. At the top of the window, select the View
  4. Check the box for Hidden Items.
  5. Open the ProgramData

    Please note: This folder’s icon should appear faded, indicating that it is a hidden folder. If you don’t see the ProgramData folder, please make sure the option Show hidden files and folders is enabled as described in steps 1 – 3.

  6. From the Program Data folder, open the iWin folder, then the PlantsVsZombies
  7. From the PlantsVsZombies folder, right click on the userdata folder and select Delete. If prompted select Yes to confirm the deletion.
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