Locate File

Each time I open my experiment I get a message that I need to locate a file. However, this file is no longer in the experiment. I would appreciate any suggestions to get rid of this message.

What version of SuperLab 4 are you running? Is it 4.0.5?

Yes it is version 4.0.5. The file is one of many that were originally in the experiment and have been deleted from the stimulus list. Nevertheless this is the only file that is requested when I open the experiment.

I have updated the files in my experiment a second time and now have two files that are requested when I open the experiment. The files are not in my stimulus list so I am not sure why they are listed as missing.

Is there a fix for this issue?

Could you possibly have an obsolete stimulus list, that you aren’t actually using any more but that is still associated with the experiment?

Greg Shenaut

If the old lists are associated with the experiment I am not sure how. I had previous lists associated with the experiment but deleted them. Previous stimulus lists are not in the experiment.

Another curiosity is that since my last post I have deleted some of the old files that I no longer need from my hard drive. These old files are not in my new stimulus list and never have been, they were a part of the old stimulus lists I deleted.

However Superlab now asks me to locate 4 missing files rather than just 2 missing files.

Any solutions?

I mean in the Experiment>Stimulus lists… panel.

I just did the following test: I created a dummy experiment with a stimulus list containing a few pictures, but the experiment itself did not reference the stimulus list, in fact, it used only a single text stimulus (“Hello World”). It ran OK. I saved the experiment and then moved the stimulus items by changing the name of the folder they were in, and started up SL with the dummy experiment. That time, I got the message you are familiar with regarding failure to locate the items in the list (remember, the experiment never actually referred to the stimulus list). Then I went to Experiment>Stimulus lists… and deleted the list and saved the result. When I started the experiment again, the warning message was gone.

As a variation, instead of completely deleting the unused stimulus list, I deleted all of the items from the stimulus list, but kept the empty list. This also eliminated the warning message.

Apparently, if an external media file is contained in any stimulus list in the Experiment>Stimulus lists… panel, then it must be present when SL starts up regardless of whether any event in the experiment actually uses it. I suppose the same thing could happen if there is an unreferenced event that points to a single picture file, but I didn’t test that.

It occurs to me that there is another possibility: if an unreferenced event refers to a stimulus list and the stimulus list is subsequently deleted, but not the event, the list could be retained in the scenario file even though it would no longer be present in Experiment>Stimulus lists…; in this case I suppose it could also trigger one of those warning messages. I didn’t test that either but it might be worth looking into if nothing else pans out.

Here’s one thing you could try. I can tell you how to do it on the Mac, but it should be possible on the PC too. Using a terminal window, go to the folder containing the experiment file (somethingorother.sl4). Then run this command: “strings somethingorother.sl4 | more”. This will list all of the character strings of four letters or more in the scenario file, including the paths of all external stimulus files. What is interesting about this listing is that right before the contents of each stimulus list you should see the name of the list. So, if the name of the list is old-list, you might see something like:


Don’t ask me what the redundancy means, I have no idea why strings are repeated so much in SL scenario files, but perhaps this will help you track down the problem.

Greg Shenaut

Deleting the lists did not work the first time but seemed to work when the same problem occured in a rebuilt version of the experimet. However I have the added headache of recoding all of my stimuli.

Do you still have this problem in SuperLab 4.0.6?