Use replace field contents to assign a serial number to your existing records.
- Go to a layout based on your table.
- Select Show All Records
- Put the cursor in your serial number field. (You may need to add the field to your layout in order to do this.)
- Select Replace Field Contents from the Records menu
- Choose the serial number option and also select the option to update the serial number in entry options.
Auto Enter Serial puts the number in that field at the time of record creation. If your 3,000 records already existed then it was too late to use the auto-enter for these records. However, you can use, under the Records menu, Replace Field Contents to put a serialized number in this field after the fact, and will reset the next number in the auto-enter dialog if you so wish. Make backups of your file before attempting this procedure.
I am not clear what you mean by count the actual records, if you want to know how many records are in the current found set, be they all or just a few, look at Get (FoundCount), this function is independent of any ID field. An ID key field's purpose is to provide a unique, never changing identifier of a record that is not tied to any other data in that record.