A value list change will not change the data in fields of existing records. But it may create that illusion with certain value list formats--such as check boxes or radio buttons.
Enter layout mode, Select the field and make a copy of it (ctrl-D in windows will make duplicate copy, you can also hold down ctrl and drag it, On macs use Option instead of ctrl.)
Use the inspector to return the field to the default Edit Box format.
Now return to Browse mode and you should see all data currently entered in this field. (Data entered by clicking multiple check boxes will be listed in the order that the user clicked the check boxes with returns separating each value, so you may not be able to see all of the selected values unless your field is as tall enough to show them all.)
It appears the data is gone.
I have recreated the filed as you suggested and the values don't come back. They are gone. There are only about 75 records or so, not not going to be horrible to recreate, but this is a bit concerning. I wouldn't think that changing the value list type from a lookup to a list would function in that fashion.
I did not suggest recreating the field, but rather duplicating the field object on your layout and changing the format. Simply changing value lists does not change the data in the fields so if the data is gone, it wasn't simply due to the value list change.
I didn't "Recreate the field" just it's existence on the layout.
I don't know what happened, there were no triggers or anything on that field and no auto calculations. It was just a value list set to a "From Field" to "Custom Values" now they are gone. I'll have to poke it a bit. I'm with you on thinking that all things being equal, it shouldn't erase that data.
But as I have found out many times, when it comes to this database, all things are NOT equal. Like right now, I can't seem to get a global container field to retain a file in it. If you close the database, the file is gone. This database has issues.
I can't seem to get a global container field to retain a file in it. If you close the database, the file is gone. This database has issues.
If you are hosting the file over a network and connecting to the database as a client of the hosted database, this is normal behavior for any field with global storage specified.
See this Knowledge Base article: http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3604/kw/global