MATLAB Answers

Save "big" object to file fails

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Vincent on 22 Nov 2011
Answered: Martin Kahn on 1 Jul 2018
I'm working on a project with OOP. There is an object called "database" containing a "big" cell-array (nested with mixed contents).
In this database, I stored some file contents. Until now, as I had about 2000 files in this database, the file could be stored properly with "save" and creates a 20 MB file. But as I added another 1000 files, the saving process stops after some time and produces a rudimentary 1KB .mat-file (no error or anything else).
I tried the "pack" command but then Matlab crashed. Of course I could post the log here if desired. I'm using Windows XP SP3, Matlab v. 7.5.0 (R2007b) and wanted to save the file on several file systems (fat/ntfs).
Is this a common issue? I couldn't find anything similar out there...

Answers (5)

Andrea Gentilini
Andrea Gentilini on 7 May 2012
Try go to File -> Preferences -> General -> MAT-Files -> and click the option MATLAB Verion 7.3 or later. This will allows you to save variables that are in excess of 2 GB.
  1 Comment
Vincent on 10 May 2012
I am sorry Andrea, but this does not help. Just for clearification: Files > 20 MB can be stored as long as they do not contain an object.

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Jan on 22 Nov 2011
If Matlab crahs inside the pack command, you have a serious problem in the memory management. Do you use user-defined Mex functions?
BTW. Athough you can create a database using Matlab, dedicated database programs will do this much better.

Vincent on 22 Nov 2011
No I don't use any user-defined Mex functions until now. I only have two instances of Matlab running at the same time, but I can't imagine that this is a problem...
And yup, I know of Access, SQL and so on. I'd really like to use them but the people around me prefer Matlab ;) Thanks anyway for your hint

Vincent on 24 Nov 2011
Hi there again, I tried to run the same thing on a newer Matlab version (2011b) and got the following error message: Out of Memory error during serialization of subsystem data (or similar)
Does this help anyone finding a solution how I may save my object?
Peter O
Peter O on 30 Nov 2011
Oh, and Pack doesn't crash, but gives the same out of memory error

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Martin Kahn
Martin Kahn on 1 Jul 2018
Hi guys,
Given that this question still gets some views, I just had an issue that sounds very similar (with Matlab 2018a and Windows 10): When trying to save with "save('filename.mat','myFile')" I just got a 1KB file. I don't really know the details of why but this fixed it: "save('filename.mat','myFile','-v7.3')". I guess this is what Andrea suggested? Sorry if it's not helpful...

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