11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 24, 2011 4:26 AM by crtopher

    Damaged files



      Damaged files


      FileMaker Pro



      Operating system version

      Mac OS X

      Description of the issue

      I'm sick of FMP always damaging my files!! I have had to re-write my database twice. After using it for a few months - I keep getting files that won't open and have to be recovered. Over it! Didn't have this problem with Access. What am I to do. I do not have time to keep re-writing the damn thing!

        • 1. Re: Damaged files

          This is not typical behavior for FileMaker systems. We'd need to know more about how you are using your system before we can suggest much more than the obvious--that making frequent backups can often protect you from having to rebuild everything when a file does become damaged.

          Are you sharing this file over the network? If so, exactly how are you doing this?

          Things to keep in mind about Recover:

          1. Recover does not detect all problems
          2. Recover doesn't always fix all problems correctly
          3. Best Practice is to never put a recovered copy back into regular use or development. Instead, replace the damaged file with an undamaged back up copy if this is at all possible. You may have to save a clone of the back up copy and import all data from your recovered copy to get a working copy with the most up to date information possible.
          • 2. Re: Damaged files

            Hi Phil Thanks for responding! Sorry, I was a little cranky the day I posted.

            I'm really a database layman - I taught myself enough Access to write my first database to keep track of my medical work. I moved over to FM about 15 months ago so I could ditch Windows altogether. I have a mac laptop running mac os 10.5.8 and FMPro 11.0v4. I use time machine to for backups so I can revert to previous saved versions of the database, which saved my bacon the other day and I have the file working again and updated. 

            My first FMPro database was running along fine until FilmakerGo came along like a dangly carrot and I was silly enough to take a bite! I didn't realise how crucial it was not to sever the connection between the laptop and mobile databases...too late, it destroyed my database. I wrote it from scratch again vowing to stay clear of FilemakerGo (which wasn't that useful anyway), and was dismayed when suddenly out of the blue the other day I couldn't open my new database (which has been running along fine for several months). Now I don't trust it not to go down anytime or especially if ive just spent ten minutes putting new records in. 

            Should I delete FMP completely, reinstall it and have another go at writing from scratch?


            Cheers, Chris

            • 3. Re: Damaged files

              I use time machine to for backups so I can revert to previous saved versions of the database...

              By any chance are your backups being made of the file while it is still open? That can produce a damaged database file and I've had FileMaker Techs caution that it can even damage the original, though I have trouble imagining how that could be possible.

              Before you consider a re-install, you need to rule out the Timemachine factor I mentioned first, then see if brand new, from scratch database files show this behavior. That will tell you if you have a problem with your file or with something else.

              Please keep in mind that FileMaker files can contain hidden corruption so a file can go bad and crash, come up as damaged, you replace it from your back up, only to be replacing it with that same hidden damage and the cycle repeats. This is one reason to maintain sequential backups so that you have multiple copies of your database stretching back in time. This enables you to use Recover or FMDiff to check out each back up going further back in time until you find a "clean" copy that is unlikely to have such a problem hidden in it.

              If you haven't already done so, you might want to use some utility programs to make sure that your computer, it's hard drive and user accounts are all healthy.

              If all else fails, try trashing preferences before you try a re-install as that's a quicker, simpler fix to try first.


              • 4. Re: Damaged files

                Hi Phil

                Sorry for the long response time. It seems you are right and TimeMachine and FilemakerPro are a no no! I went to a filemaker seminar in Sydney last week and asked David Head himself. I am incredulous however that these two apple products are incompatable! I am further amazed that this is the first time I am hearing about this even though I've read a lot of filemaker material in the last 18 months. I've never, until now, come across a specific warning against using the two products together. Oh well....c'est la vie!

                • 5. Re: Damaged files

                  If you can set this product to selectively back up files, it should work OK. If it only backs up an "image" of the entire hard drive than this is unlikely to work now or in the near future. Back up software is a good option if you set up server to make a local back up and then you use the back up software to make a backup to an external location such as another computer. Since the back up is now making a copy of the back up file, this file is closed and you avoid the issues encountered when trying to back up an open file.

                  • 6. Re: Damaged files

                    This isn't the ultimate solution but here's what I do. Each time a file is closed, it saves a copy at a different location than my "live" FM files. I then set Time Machine to never back up the FM files I use, and it will automatically back up those "static" files FM saves in the other location. Given most of my FM files are opened and closed a few times a day, and that Time Machine backs up every hour, I feel pretty safe. When developing however, you may want to back up more often. A lot can change in an hour!



                    • 7. Re: Damaged files

                      When developing however, you may want to back up more often. A lot can change in an hour!

                      You got that right! I've taken to using some simple scripts to make such backup copies every 15 minutes on files where I'm doing major development work. Since it's automated, I don't have to remember to do it. It's saved my bacon once in a major way when I needed to go back and resurrect a design option I had tried and previously discarded...

                      Saving Sequential Back Ups During Development

                      • 8. Re: Damaged files

                        Thanks Rick and Phil....great advice. Can I clarify...can I use your developers friend B script, Phil, but trigger it when I close the file, to save a separate copy, as per Rick's strategy. If so what is the script step to make this happen on close of the file, and how do I modify your script to get it saved into a particular folder I might make for it.




                        • 9. Re: Damaged files

                          In File Options, you can specify that the "B" script run when the file is closed.

                          To specify a different folder for this backup, you'd include the filepath text in the value assigned to the variable.

                          • 10. Re: Damaged files

                            Sorry to be thick Phil but say I wanted to save it in a folder called "backups" which is in the folder where the original file is....

                            • 11. Re: Damaged files

                              After much mucking around I have modified your script so that the file saves in a subfolder called "backups" (thus saving you a small amount of brain fatigue!):


                              Set Variable [$path; Value:

                               Let ( [ F = Get ( FilePath ); G = Right (F; Length (F) - Position (F;"/";Length (F); - 1)) ] ; 

                              Left ( F; Position ( F ; "/" ; Length (F) ; -1)) & "backup/" & Left (G ;Position (G; "."; Length (G); - 1) - 1) &" " & 

                              Substitute ( Get ( CurrentTimeStamp ) ; ["/" ; "-"] ; [":" ; " "] ) & ".fp7"

                               ) //Let

                               Save a copy as ["$path"] # "copy of current file" option selected


                              Thanks so much Phil & Rick for the good advice! Here's to no more corrupted files (or at least reliable backups if it occurs!)