problems reading large dcd file

From: Jorge Pikunic (
Date: Fri Jan 06 2006 - 10:45:54 CST


I am having problems reading dcd files from simulations of a fairly
large system (200,000 atoms). The size of each file is about 2.1 GB. I
have tried doing:

1. catdcd: catdcd -num production_1.dcd , and I get:
CatDCD 3.0
read_dcdreader returned -6
Error: could not open file 'production_1.dcd' for reading.

2. vmd: When I try to load the dcd file, after loading the psf file, I
get "unable to load molecule". I get the same result even if I try to
load only one frame.

I have been able to read larger files from different systems (> 5 GB)
with catdcd. Also, I can read smaller dcd files (1.7 GB) from shorter
simulations of the same system. I have checked the NAMD output files,
but there is nothing strange; NAMD wrote to dcd files periodically and
there are no errors reported.

Any ideas of what might be wrong?

Thank you,


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