4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2008 2:50 AM by RobW

    Filemaker v9 consistency check



      Filemaker v9 consistency check


      Since upgrading to Filemaker v9 we are seeing many "File Damaged" errors that we did not have before with versions 7 and 8.5.  I have heard that the consistency check on opening was removed from versions 6, 7, and 8 / 8.5 but was reinstated in version 9.  Is this true?  I have seen nothing "official" from Filemaker on this subject & would like to confirm what I am hearing elsewhere.  The solution (open in previous version & save compacted copy) is proving difficult in our case.  These databases are running on offshore supply vessels that are frequently away from port for long periods and the users are locked out of the File menu commands that would allow them to perform a Save As...  These files will open without this error in the older versions of Filemaker.  If this is going to be a continuing problem, we will have to find some way to deal with it!

      Thanks, Rob

        • 1. Re: Filemaker v9 consistency check

          Hi RobW,


          Thanks for posting!  It is true that FileMaker Pro/Advanced 9 includes a consistency check previously only seen in FileMaker Server.  We have a great Knowledge Base article (KB ID 6509) outlining the possible steps to take if your file is not passing the consistency check.


          I've added the contents of the article below for your convenience. 



          FileMaker, Inc.


          FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced include a file consistency check which is the same as the one performed in FileMaker Server.

          If a FileMaker Pro file is closed improperly, a consistency check is performed the next time the file is opened. In addition, the consistency check will run on each file that has not previously had a check performed on it.

          FileMaker’s consistency check is a process run on each individual file upon opening.  The process consists of the following steps:

          1. Scanning for bad blocks that point outside the file or don't point to other valid blocks.
            1. This process will run through the entire file or until the user clicks on cancel.
          2. Cleans up free blocks.
            1. This  is done normally when closing a file, but it may not have been completed if the file was improperly closed or the computer crashed.

          Consistency checks should take a similar amount of time each time they are performed. Theconsistency tests may take longer if major alterations to the database have taken place, such as adding or deleting a lot of records, or if you do the consistency check on a different machine.

          What do you do if your file fails the consistency check?

          To open a database that failed the Consistency Check, you must first repair the database with the Save a Copy As/Compacted Copy command in your previous version of FileMaker Pro or use the Recover command in FileMaker Pro 9 or FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced.   

          Options for repairing files if problems are found: 

          Option A 
          In your previous version of FileMaker Pro, choose File menu > Save A Copy As > Compacted copy (smaller) - the easiest and most effective fix for many cases. This process will copy all of the data and rebuild the tree structure of the database.

          Option B-1 
          In FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Pro Advanced, Choose File menu > Recover and select the damaged file, and click Open - Recover is the next best option for less complicated solutions. Recover will fix many problems, however it can occasionally remove some damaged records/objects if necessary to get the file back in working order.

          Option B-2 
          In your previous version of FileMaker Pro, choose File menu > Save A Copy As > Clone (no records) & Re-Import data from the damaged file (export the data from the recovered file or from the damaged file in previous version)- This process takes a bit longer to perform, but will reliably handle most cases and is particularly useful for more complex solutions. You can use a clean backup to clone your schema and re-import all current data from the damaged file into the new database.

          Option C 
          Contact FileMaker Technical Support (1800 325 2747) - for very difficult cases in which the above options are unable to repair your file, you should contact FileMaker Technical Support for further assistance.

          How do files get damaged? 

          Any time a file is closed improperly you run the risk of introducing errors in the file. This is true of ANY database. Many of these errors are benign, but they have been sometimes linked to stability problems, and thus need to be removed before using a file. 

          • 2. Re: Filemaker v9 consistency check
               Thanks for the quick reply!  I've seen that Knowledge Base Article & if we continue to have problems I guess we'll have to make some kind of mod to the existing database to handle a repair "in the field".  What I was looking for was some confirmation that this consistency check was NOT being performed in the older versions (7, 8, 8.5) which would explain why the same files that are showing the "FIle Damaged" error now were opening with no problem in the old versions (and will STILL open in the old versions!).  BTW, forgot to mention that I'm talking about FMP client software not Server (sorry, my bad!).
            • 3. Re: Filemaker v9 consistency check



              There is a consistency check feature in FileMaker Pro 7, 8, 8.5 but it would only run upon the re-launch of an improperly closed file.  In FileMaker Pro 9, a database file does not need to be improperly closed for the consistency check to run.


              It will additionally run during the launch of a file if a consistency check had never been run for that database file.  This is why your database will function properly in previous versions ( there is no consistency check during launch in addition to the database never having had a consistency check), but will give the 'File Damaged' message in Pro 9.


              This type of consistency check model is the same found in FileMaker Server.


              Hope this helps; let me know if you need any further clarification!



              FileMaker, Inc. 

              • 4. Re: Filemaker v9 consistency check

                This is the info I was looking for, thanks!  Kind of explains what was going on....

                Appreciate your help.  We'll see what we can come up with for a solution to the problems we're having in the field here.

                Take care, Rob