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The access privileges in this file have been damaged or possibly tampered with...

Question asked by DLM on Dec 28, 2010
Latest reply on Feb 16, 2011 by TSGal


The access privileges in this file have been damaged or possibly tampered with...


FileMaker Pro



Operating system version

Mac OS 10.6.5

Description of the issue


Excuse me for a rather detailed explanation of my DB problem but please understand that this is, literally, my whole work at risk here.

Any workable solution, whether given as a free advice or at a professional fee will be IMMENSELY appreciated,

I checked the recovery service at and they charge $500 per file which is fine if my DB is indeed recovered but they state it takes 3-6 weeks which I'm unable to wait as we use this DB on our day-to-day work so as you can imagine I need to have it fixed asap, that means within 12 hours if possible.

So here I go:

I have an iMac with Mac OS 9.2.2 which I use as a general server for storing documents (Word, Excel, pdf, etc) that we all share at the office via Ethernet. We'll call it "Big Mama".

Big Mama also has FM Server 5.5v1 running with about 20 databases, most of them related (i.e., with a defined relationship) to the main DB titled "Main System".

I have been running under this set-up for at least 10 years without any major issues.

I was coping some documents via Ethernet from my computer to Big Mama and at the same time doing a replace on the "Main System" DB, I have FM Pro 5.5v1.

Suddenly the DB closed on my computer and so I decided to stop the copying of the documents and reboot Big Mama.

After it rebooted, FM Server started to make the consistency check as usual on all DBs like when the computer is shut down improperly or the like, however, when it got to the "Main system" DB it said:

"File “Telegroup System” could not be opened: database may be damaged; try opening in FileMaker Pro."

So I quit FM Server and copied all DBs to my computer (an iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo running on OS 10.6.5), I opened all DBs with FM Pro and all are fine with the exception of the "Main System" DB which, when opened, throws this message:

"The access privileges in this file have been damaged or possibly tampered with. Please contact FileMake Technical Support if the problem cannot be resolved."

So, from FM Pro I selected "Recover…" from the file menu and selected the corrupted DB, it performed the recovery process with this final result:

Recovery is complete. During recovery:

15013K bytes were salvaged.
0 whole records were skipped.
3 field values were skipped.
171 lost field definitions were rebuilt.

If you have further problems with this file, call FileMaker Technical Support."

And a "Main System Recovered" file is created.

When I open it it does request me for my password as usual and it accepts it, however:

a) The DB's main layout is completely blank
b) There are no fields,
c) There are no additional layouts (and there were at least 15)
d) No scripts (and there were at least 30)
e) it shows 10,918 records (all blank with no fields) and in reality there should be around 16,000.
f) Most menu options (i.e., File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, etc) are greyed-out

Another point worth mentioning is that it states "15013K bytes were salvaged" but the real size of the file should be around 60MB.

I tried opening the recovered file with TextEdit (a simple text program that comes with the Mac OS) and I can see some of the data of the fields is there… In between chunks of rubbish text but I can see the data is there.

I have a back-up of the original file but it's 3 months old so plenty of data has changed since then (yes, I know, I should back up more often, I will, but I do need help with this now) so I wonder if the back-up file could be used for the structure and field names and the corrupted one to extract the field contents and import them into the 3 month old one?

Also, in case it is needed, I saved this text files from the FM Server folder at Big Mama:

- Server Last Event Log
- Server Event Log
- Server Excess Event Log

I found this potentially useful lines on the "Server Last Event Log" file:

12/28/10     20:20:01     FileMaker Server     Error          File “Main System” read error on block 19851. (-39)
12/28/10     20:21:20     FileMaker Server     Error          Closing file “Main System” due to serious error. (10198)
12/28/10     20:21:20     FileMaker Server     Error          File “Main System” could not be opened: database may be damaged; try opening in FileMaker Pro.

And these ones on the "Server Event Log" file:

12/28/10     20:24:13     FileMaker Server     Error          File “Main System” could not be opened: database version incompatible; try opening in FileMaker Pro.