Graveyard.sav is a viral infection to the Borderlands 2 save files which can result in Permadeath
From a post in the Gearbox forums:
The graveyard.sav glitch that has been hitting so many players has turned out to be a "viral" infection of sorts that is passed across players.
- 1 What is graveyard.sav? What does this have to do with me?
- 2 What?! How did I get this?
- 3 But I don't play with randoms! I play with my friends only
- 4 How can I get my character back?
- 5 So how can I prevent this, or save my character if it gets effected later?
- 6 If you get hit by this and recognize it (free roam camera, no respawning, etc), you can salvage your save.
- 7 Can you explain what to look for a little better?
- 8 How to recover from Graveyard.sav infection.
What is graveyard.sav? What does this have to do with me?
When you get hit by the glitch that turns your save into graveyard.sav, upon entering FFYL and then subsequently dying for whatever reason, you will never respawn. You die and go into a free roam camera. If you try to load another character, dashboard, restart your xbox, etc, your save data is completely gone and there is no hope of recovering it at that point, as it is renamed graveyard.sav and is missing the majority of the data it once had.
What?! How did I get this?
The glitch apparently passes from an infected player to all other players in the game with said infected player. At this point, it's a terrible chain, and chances are it passed to you through some randoms.
But I don't play with randoms! I play with my friends only
Do your friends play with randoms? Have any of you ever had somebody come into a game and trade you anything? It's easy to spread, unfortunately.
How can I get my character back?
Once your save file has turned into graveyard.sav, you cannot get your character back. Too much data has been lost at that point, and it is far beyond salvageable.
So how can I prevent this, or save my character if it gets effected later?
If you want to prevent this, you have to make sure you're not playing with randoms, and that everybody you play with isn't playing with randoms, AND that it isn't currently affecting anybody in your group. Along with that, MAKE FREQUENT BACKUPS, and if you are on 360, do not backup to the Cloud, as it will sync with your HD saves and your backups will be overwritten, apparently. Memory card or USB drive is best.
If you get hit by this and recognize it (free roam camera, no respawning, etc), you can salvage your save.
1.] Quit (it'll tell you you cant save, thats fine, hit quit without saving)
2.] At main menu, hit Continue
3.] Load up, hit start, hit Save and Quit
If you salvage your save in this way, and then continue to play, the next time you die, it will happen again, and you must repeat the steps above. I highly recommend following the above steps and then NOT TOUCHING THE SAVE after that. It's a logical assumption that due to how this is done, Gearbox will likely be able to remove the "infection" from any affected files with a patch once they get it out.
Can you explain what to look for a little better?
Your save data will turn into this if you are beyond help, but at least you will know what happened to you.
If you don't quite grasp what I mean with the free roam camera, etc, watch the video below. It shows you what the no-respawn death looks like, what to look for in your storage device if you think you were hit with this (but at that point, you cannot be helped), etc:
A couple of other notes... 1.] The infected player does not have to be the host in order to infect other players in the game.
2.] Gearbox has already stated that they are aware of the issue in other related threads, and I've sent in a ticket with specific details because well, that couldn't hurt.
3.] I wish I was making this up, but I couldn't make this up if I tried! This has been tested with several players, with chaining the infection, having the infection hit multiple players at once in one game, etc. This is in fact a very real threat at the moment, and if you don't take the precautions I listed above, it is possible you will be hit with it yourself.
How to recover from Graveyard.sav infection.
(Credits go to user Vermea on Reddit)
Warning: This requires the use of save file editing tools. Use at your own risk.
I have already lost a level 45 Zer0 to this issue and I ALMOST lost a level 32 Gaige to it but I was able to recover and fix the problem because of the research that I have done. I'll go ahead and give a tl;dr of the issue and a quick and dirty rundown on how to fix your save file (assuming it hasn't already been converted to Graveyard.sav).
Regardless of the origins of the game breaking bug, it's relatively quick and easy to fix assuming you know what you're looking for and what to do.
Basically you'll know if you're affected if you end your Fight For Your Life mode without getting a kill and instead of respawning at the most recent New-U station the camera will pan above your character and you'll be able to look around freely. Your only options are to hit X to give up or hit Start and Quit. In both situations your game will kick you out to the title screen and your character will not be saved. It's at this point that your save file is effectively in the "Graveyard.sav" state. If you turn off your console, go to the dashboard, load another character, or anything other than select Continue your character will be lost. It's at this point you need to Select continue and immediately hit Start and select Quit in order to save your character and keep it playable.
At this point your character is affected by the bug and every time you die you'll have to repeat the above steps or lose your character. You can retire that character if you want and wait for Gearbox to patch it and hopefully fix the issue or you can fix it yourself.
Now before I go on I should mention that this method does involve the use of a save editor. It DOES have the capability to edit everything about your character but it is in no way required. All you'll be doing is unchecking a single box and importing your character back into your save data.
So firstly you'll need some sort of USB memory device. A flash drive, external HDD, cell phone, whatever. You'll need to plug it into your Xbox and format it to act as a memory device for the Xbox360. This can be done in the Settings>Storage section. After you have this situated, copy your character save over to your thumb drive (or whatever). Now plug that bad boy into your computer.
You'll need a combination of two programs for these next steps. I'm not going to provide download links but a quick Google search can bring up the programs you need. Remember: always virus scan the files you download especially when dealing with save file editors and other seedy projects. The two programs I used (I'm sure there are others) are "Modio" to extract the save files from your flash drive and "Gibbed's Borderlands 2 Save Editor" to actually edit the save file to fix it.
In Modio you can either select "Explore a Device" or "Open from a device"(http://imgur.com/AK4ma ). It's generally easier to just explore the device and open the save file from there. Just browse your way down the trees until you find your save file and extract it.(http://i.imgur.com/RmbKA.png ). Once you have the Save0001.sav (or something similar) extracted, slect "Open a save" in Modio and select the "File Contents" tab at the top of the new window.(http://i.imgur.com/A5i07.png ). Right click the SaveGame.sav file and extract it. This will be the file you edit with your save game editor.
Once you have the GameSave.sav extracted, open it with Gibbed's editor. This part is easy. Simply go to the far right tab labeled "Raw" and scroll down until you see a field on the left titled "IsBadassModSaveGame". If your affected by this bug, you'll see a check mark in the box directly to the right of the text. (http://i.imgur.com/yoGKs.png ) I can only assume this is a remnant of some sort of hardcore mode that never made it into the final game. So uncheck it to become softcore (read: normal) again. Click on save at the top and it's time to import your save back into your save file.
Go back to the second Modio window you opened that allowed you to extract the GameSave.sav file. Back under the "File Contents" tab right click on the GameSave.sav and select "Replace File" and choose your newly edited GameSave.sav file. (http://i.imgur.com/03oZM.png ) Once done here, go back to your Explore window for your thumb drive and you'll want to right click your Save0001.sav (or whatever) file and select "Insert File" and choose your edited Save0001.sav file and choose "Yes" when asked if you want to replace the existing one. (http://i.imgur.com/0Cdl5.png )
From this point you just need to plug your thumb drive back into your xbox and copy your save data back over. Load up your newly edited character (you can load it directly from the thumb drive to test it out first if you want to) and go into Fight For Your Life and die. All should be well.
This turned out to be much longer than expected. I'm not entirely sure if everything makes sense. I tried to be as clear as possible and provide pictures whenever I could. If you have any questions please feel free to reply or leave me a PM. I hope this helps at least one person save their character!