Unpatched fixtures not taking programming

So I had to put my touring show onto a rig with fewer fixtures.
No problem, just repatching leaving out the extra unneeded ones.
I left the unused fixtures in my groups so that I can continue programming and evolving my show.
Next day back on the full rig I see that the fixtures that had been unpatched the previous day have not accepted all the new programming.
Surely this is wrong? I've never seen it before but do know someone who has. We should be able to do this.