1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 23, 2009 12:35 PM by TSGal

    odd characters



      odd characters

      Description of the issue

      After typing large amounts of text into a single field users occasionally later find strange characters embedded in their text such as Chinese Characters and little boxes instead of text.  The text is free typed and not copy/pasted nor imported.We have a very large database (over 7.7 million records in 95 tables; one table has about 2 million records, and 3 others have over a million each).  There are several hundred users (with peak about 180 concurrent).  We frequently save as compacted and have run recover on backup copies to verify that there is no obvious corruption.The users log in via Remote Desktop Connection and we have two terminal servers running Windows Server 2008.  The login script connects via Filemaker Pro 8.5 clients on the terminal servers to a dedicated  Filemaker Server (which is on a Windows Server 2003 R2 box) which runs Filemaker Server 8 Advanced.  User’s are automatically disconnected when idle for a long period of time.  We also have a development terminal server, where we use Filemaker Pro 10 Advanced.  We have made some major modifications to the file using both 9 & 10, but the file is still hosted in 8.The common factor in the records that appear with strange characters is that they have very long text entries in one particular field.   The field uses a standard font, Ariel 12.  If we try to change the font on the odd characters,  Filemaker delivers an error message: "The selection contains some character-set-specific characters, incompatible with the chosen font, and will not be changed to that font."  However, the characters entered do not appear to be "illegal" upon input.  The users report that the note is good the first time they work on it and it is only when they go back later that the odd characters have appeared.  It appears that a section of the note morphs into illegal characters. If the user deletes the characters, they lose big chunks of their note.   The other odd thing is that occasionally the changes to this weird character set will sometimes change back to valid characters.Although the odd characters appear to originate in the one field, the odd characters can be passed to a different table & field during a compilation step for e-signing notes.  There are other fields that contain longer text blocks data, however the problem field is one that users are likely to work in for the longest period of time.

        • 1. Re: odd characters



          Thank you for your post, and I apologize for the late reply.


          It is difficult to determine what could be the cause since the problem is inconsistent.  As you said, "The other odd thing is that occasionally the changes to this weird character set will sometimes change back to valid characters."  This can be caused by a corrupt fonts, or memory when fonts are being accessed.  However, since this is happening to more than one individual, that is ruled out.  Still, if you cannot change the font on that field (or fields), there may be corruption in the field itself.  Try creating a new field, and then replace the contents of the field with the information from the old field.  See if this makes a difference.


          The Recover command will do its best to fix a corrupt file, but it is not a cure-all, and it should only be used when a file is corrupt.  The best solution is to keep a backup of the file that did not exhibit the current problems, as Recover may not fix that issue.


          Please let me know if you continue to have problems.



          FileMaker, Inc.