Loading backup pcb files

Hi fellow KiCad users. I recently had a corrupted PCB file within a KiCad project. The PCB became scrambled. I have a backup copy on a memory stick but cannot load it into the already open project. Selecting ‘open recent’ only loads the scrambled copy. There must be a way to load a backup pcb file into an already open project, I hope. Help please.

Have a lovely day everyone

Close kicad, open your operating systems file browser, overwrite your damaged project with your backup, open kicad

I would recommend to backup (and properly mark) the damaged project before ovewriting it from the backup source. This is just in case some information would need to be restored from the garbled project in the future.
Note that Kicad automatically creates backup files for your PCBs. These are named “.kicad_pcb-bak" and stored in your project folder.
To use it, just rename it to "
.kicad_pcb” with your file management tool (e.g. Windows EXplorer).

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Thanks for the help guys. Like most things the answer becomes easy when someone smacks you in the face with it. Thinking further and hoping for more help, is it possible to load a PCB file without creating a project? I use 3 different computers for electronic design. I want to take a PCB that has been designed on one computer, save it to a memory stick then look at it on a different computer. Even if I create the same project on all computers I cannot see how to load the PCB from the memory stick. To others these questions may seem obvious but I am having problems.
Cheers Jeff Monegal

For me double click does the trick on both windows and Linux. But to be honest I would always transfer the full project.

See Project and libary setup for sharing and collaboration

If the second computer is in your lab and you only want the pvb because you hand populate the board then ibom might be interesting for you. Interactive Html Bom Plugin for KiCad 5.0

Simplest way to make a project “portable” would be to simply zip the whole project folder with your file manager.
If you attach a date in the filename of the zipped file, you can also use it as a backup. (I prefer ISO_8601 format in ProjectName_YYYY-MM-DD.zip).

You may have problems with your libraries if those are not available from all your systems.
If you only want to view the board on another PC, then I’m almost sure you only need the Project.kicad_pcb file.

You can also .zip your project directly from the KiCad project manager with:

File / Archive Project …
This does not archive “other” files you’ve added to your project directory. I tend to add text files with notes, sometimes datasheets, photo’s, etc.
Choose your won poison.

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I’ve been wondering for a while if there was a easy way to archive up projects. If only I’d looked under File :slight_smile:

There is also an icon in the project manager. It has the text “ZIP” on it. :slight_smile:

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Thanks mate.
This sounds like a great idea. I will be trying it when I get home.

I run a small freelance engineering company., Once the PCB has been designed in our office then manufactured we assemble the prototype in the workshop. Rather than use paper we take a memory stick, onto which is the PCB drawings, over to the workshop computer. From here the assembly guys build the prototype using the PCB file as a guide. Over there they have no need for the entire project. Sometimes the assembly guys are not plugged into the right voltage so the less information available to them usually the less I have to visit them to solve problems.
I myself am still learning KiCad, being a refugee from “Protel for Windows” which I had 25 years experience with.
thanks very much for your help.
Jeff Monegal

In KiCad the F.Fab and B.Fab layers are meant to be used for assembly information.
If you want tight control over the info you send to the assembly guys then you can use:

Pcbnew / File / Plot / Plot format: PDF

… and then only output the layers you want.
The other output formats (DXF, SVG, etc) should also work, so there is not even a need to install KiCad on the assembly floor PC’s.

I would then suggest you take a look at ibom.


I was going to make the same suggestion.

@Jeffmon What we are referring to is a plugin for PCBNew called Interactive BOM, or iBOM for short. When you run the plugin it creates a web page that you can put on a thumb-drive. This web page is dynamic that provides a list of parts (either grouped or individual) and views of the board, selectable between top, bottom, or both. When you hover over each line on the list the parts become highlighted on the board view. Here is a demo to play with so you can see how it all works:

And, here is the project wiki page that has documentation, installation, more demos, and a FAQ:

Hey, wow. I just discovered playing with that demo a feature that I hadn’t noticed before… You can also get a list of the nets and when hovering over a net name the net gets highlighted on the board views. Also clicking on a trace or pad on the board with highlight the trace. Excellent feature for troubleshooting/modification planning.

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Absolutely …20

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