Linking to a milestone which has an external dependency


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Hi – hope someone can help me with a problem I have using linked projects in MS Project 2003.

I have a Master project with several projects inserted. I have linked a couple projects together at key milestones stages creating external dependencies between them – this all works wonderfully well!
When I send the projects back to their owners – they of course see references to links to other projects which they don’t have – still not a problem though. They merrily update their project tasks and milestones with progress and send it back to myself to be consolidated.
The issue comes when the “sub-project” owner tries to put a dependency on a milestone in their project which already has a predecessor external dependency (and they don’t have the original “donor” MS Project file). They get the below error and are unable to add the new dependency.

‘The file cannot be found’
‘Verify that the file name and path are correct and then try again’

It seems that because MS Project can’t find the file of the originally linked external predecessor it won’t allow any further links form this milestone to any other tasks / milestones (including those within the project itself).

Is there any way round this – I’d rather not supply all the other sub projects.

Many thanks for helping
 
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