Survey123 Connect error, surveys becoming duplicated unintentionally

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12-12-2019 07:23 AM
KonradHughes
New Contributor II

One of my customers reported opening Survey123 Connect and seeing that his list of surveys had grown to 60+, where it had previously been about 14. Many of these surveys were named identically to the original 14 surveys, so it seems like they had been copied. I'm not able to recreate the problem myself, even logging into his account inside Survey123 Connect or Survey123 online, so it seems like a localized issue. He's still running version 3.3.51 of Connect so I suspect that's the issue. Has anyone heard of this happening before?

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9 Replies
Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Konrad,

It sounds like the folders that contain the surveys in the My Survey Designs folder on that device have been duplicated. To clean these up, the duplicated folders can be deleted from the My Survey Designs folder. I would suggest taking a copy or backing them up before deleting the duplicated surveys just in case.

There was an issue found in the recent 3.7 release of Connect that would allow users to select the survey action menu for a survey in Connect on the gallery page that has not yet been downloaded. Selecting Save as or Delete on from that menu when the survey was not yet downloaded could possibly cause issues as it would try to attempt those actions on a folder and survey that does not exist locally. This has been fixed in a 3.7 hotfix release we will be releasing next week. It is currently available to test on the Early Adopter Community (EAC) in the latest 3.7 RC builds.

Did the user test out the 3.7 beta version or recent 3.7 release version in the past few weeks on that device and use the survey action menu for a survey while testing? If so this could explain what happened.

Regards,

Phil.

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KonradHughes
New Contributor II

We did not find that any of the survey folder in the My Survey Designs folder had been duplicated. My user had been using 3.3.51 when the issue occurred but it persisted after he upgraded to the current 3.7 version.

I had the user manually delete ALL surveys listed in the My Survey Designs folder (I had already backed them up by publishing them to our org). Strangely, when he did this, the Windows notification displayed that he was deleting ~3500 files. This was nowhere near the correct number of files that I counted for the same amount of surveys on my machine in my Survey Designs folder (about 90 files total). With the My Survey Designs folder empty, I had him refresh his Connect homepage, and the number of surveys fell from 155 to about 60. All of the surveys in the Connect window had the same name, so I had him open one of those survey's file location. He opened it and when he returned to the My Survey Designs folder, everything he had just deleted was back again.

I figured there might be nested duplicate folders inside the folder belonging to the only survey that was left in the Connect window, but when he navigated there, there were only the 7 files normally found in a survey design folder, along with the items in the debug and media folders. Nothing out of the ordinary. 

So, without a lot of other options, I had the user continually empty the My Survey Designs folder until there was truly nothing left, and he was able to download his survey designs from the org with no trouble. Now Connect is showing the correct number of surveys without duplicates.

Again, I have no idea what steps were taken before this problem occurred, but when diagnosing it I could not find any duplicated survey folders in My Survey Designs or inside any of the survey subfolders. But things appear to be working normally again.

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Konrad,

Glad you were able to get the users folder back to normal and displaying the correct amount of surveys. It sounds as if the bug found with Connect regarding the menu item for a survey when downloaded may have been the cause. Once all the folders are removed and surveys re-downloaded from the org, everything should be back to normal.

Regards,

Phil.

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Chris_Counsell
Esri Contributor

We are also seeing this in Survey123 Connect 3.6.137.

The folders are not being duplicated, the same survey is being displayed upwards of 100 times. Only one Survey123 folder in file explorer and for the published survey.

Re-install to 3.7.60 unsuccessful in resolving the issue. Updates to graphics drivers unsuccessful. 

Unclear on initial steps before the issue began to occur. Survey was created by another user using 3.5.166. Has been online for several months. I believe the user seeing this issue then attempted to open this survey in Survey123 Connect 3.6.137 and then encountered this unusual behaviour. 

The one other survey owned by this user does not appear to be affected.

If the survey is published and operational, can we just delete it from this installation of Survey123 Connect? Would this be achieved just by deleting the local folder? We are not sure what would happen if we attempt to delete a duplicate and removing all would be tedious.

Cheers,

Chris

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Chris,

Sounds like the same issue has occurred related to the menu items when a survey is not yet downloaded locally. This has been resolved in latest builds that will be available to download this week.

The best way to clean this up is to delete the folders in the "My Survey Designs" folders,this will remove the local copy of the survey designs, and not affect the published survey in the org. Do not attempt to delete the survey from within Connect (via the menu item) as this will remove the survey locally and from the org.

Regards,

Phil.

KYTCGIS
New Contributor II

Hi Phillip, 

We have run into the same issue - I tried making a copy of an existing survey and in that process Survey123 Connect froze.  A few minutes passed and I forced the program to close.  At this point I noticed we had hundreds of surveys as opposed to the 10 ish we had before - it duplicated every single survey which was on the computer. 

I have spent over an hour attempting to delete all of the folders unsuccessfully (while it only duplicated the surveys a few hundred times, it created thousands of extra folders all within the main folder for the "new" survey).  I've continuously been trying to permanently delete the main folder but file explorer crashes and I'm not sure if it is actually deleting any of the folders.  Our organization has file path limits and I believe that is an issue because thousands of folders were created. I have restarted my computer, installed the newest version of Survey123 Connect, created new surveys without the duplication, and had zero success on deleting the folders.  Any advice?

Thank you, 

Emily

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Emily,

What version of Survey123 Connect were you using when the issue occurred? Was it 3.6? What version are you using now?

Have you asked your IT dept to help in deleting those folders and files, they should be able to do it using some file tools versus just trying to delete via Windows Explorer. Also, I would suggest trying to delete the entire My Survey Designs folder and do a permanent delete, not send to Recycle Bin.

Ensure you have all your surveys published to AGO or Portal, so that you can re-download them. If you have made any changes locally to xlsx files in those folders before the issue occurred, make sure you back up them first before deleting.

Regards,

Phil.

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KYTCGIS
New Contributor II

Hi Phillip, 

I was on a version 3.6.??? and am now on version 3.7.62.  I have attempted to delete the following permanently (the file paths were too long for the recycling bin):

  • original survey folder created in the My Survey Designs location (which contains hundreds / maybe more subfolders all repeating the same naming convention)
  • the My Survey Designs folder
  • the ArcGIS folder

All of the attempts above failed - file explorer would attempt to permanently delete the files, it would read anywhere between 2000 and 1300 items in the folder, and it would then crash.  I would try to delete it again, it would display either a higher or lower item count (that part was never consistent), and then it would fail again.  

I contacted our IT department and they remoted into my computer to take a look and attempt to get rid of the files.  We were not successful.  We were able to rename the main ArcGIS folder to ArcGISOld and create a new ArcGIS folder.  When I opened Survey123 Connect and made a test survey, it redid the folders within the new ArcGIS folder without a problem and I no longer have duplicate surveys appearing within Connect.  A slight win. 

That being said, I still have the ArcGISOld folder which contains the hundreds / thousands of extra folders.  The only way our IT department can get rid of those is if they create a new profile for me on the computer, we transfer everything but the old ArcGIS folder, and then they blow away my old computer profile.  I told them I would check with Esri first before we start messing with my profile and potentially loose / corrupt data. 

I've attached a screenshot below showing how the duplicate folders were created.  I think somewhere down the path there are folders containing more than just the next empty folder because in Connect, there were hundreds of surveys instead of the 10 or so I had before attempting to make a copy. That being said, I have clicked into the next folder for quite a while and never found the end of the path or more than a folder as contents.

We'd really appreciate any help or guidance we can get on this - please let me know if there is anything else we can do.  Thank you!

Emily

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Philip-Wilson
Esri Notable Contributor

Hi Emily,

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any other way to delete these folders if you are unable to delete them via Windows Explorer or any other tools your IT dept tried. 

Creating a new user profile was one of my next suggestions, however this will affect all user data, applications and files/folders that are under your current user profile folder, so please ensure you have a backup and proceed with caution.

There is nothing more from Survey123 Connect we can do resolve this issue, as once the folders are created due to the bug in 3.6, which was fixed in 3.7, the only way to remove the folders is via Windows, not Survey123 Connect.

Regards,

Phil.

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