Unlike current versions, some older versions of FileMaker have an upper limit as to how large the file can become. I forget what the limit is for 5.5 but 2GB comes to mind and you have a file nearing that size limit.
The database works great and filemaker is sound but....
I'm afraid you've contradicted yourself there. If it was working great you wouldn't get a freeze like this. It's possible that one of these files is damaged. You may want to try recovering some of these files and seeing if the recovered copies exhibit the same behavior. Generally it's best practice to replace such files with undamaged backups should you determine that the file is damaged, but you may find it difficult to find a backup that isn't also damaged.
The company dont want to upgrade .. which is a pity !!
It may be much more severe than a "pity". Windows XP is pretty much the only operating system available that can run 5.5 as far as I know. The company could easily find itself in a situation in the not too distant future when some hardware has to be replaced and the only OS version they can install on it will not run software this old. Then they will be forced to either abandon the database or convert their system under termendous time pressure. They already would have to make a two stage conversion, first to .fp7 format via FileMaker 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11 and then from there to .fmp12 format. That big a jump in versions and changes in file format pretty much guarantee that the converted files will not function correctly without additional design changes made.
I'm not quite sure what to do now to be honest !!
I know there is a serious software change from 5.5 to 7,8,9,10 & 11 but I didnt realise there was another jump to 12 .. does a database in 11 not just converto to 12 ?
If I can talk them into upgrading, what way should I go about moving up the versions ?
Thanks again & Regards
Versions 7 through 11 use the same file format. Thus, there are two file conversion steps to get from FMP 5.5 to FMP 12.
You would open the files with a copy of FileMaker 11, it's still possible to download a copy of the free 30 day trial of FileMaker 11 and then you would open the converted files with FileMaker 12 to convert them into the file format for FIleMaker 12.
There have been many changes to FileMaker between 5.5 and 12. You will need to invest a significant amount of time in testing the converted files to uncover issues and then in making the needed design changes to get things fully functional again. Then you can get started exploring all the new options not available in 5.5. Both file Conversions create new copies of the converted files leaving the originals unchanged so you can convert and test your files to evaluate how many changes will need to be made to get the converted files 100% functional again. FileMaker Advanced, while more expensive, offers enhanced options--including a script debuger and a database design report that can be very helpful in tracking down and fixing problems in your database.
Here's the down load link for FileMaker 11 30 day free trial: http://info.filemaker.com/Us_en_FileMaker_Pro_11_Trial.html
You can find the down load link for the 30 day free trial for FileMaker 12 on FileMaker's product info pages here.
And you'll likely find reading these knowledgebase articles on file conversion useful:
Thanks PhilModJunk .... I think I'll be taking your advice on this and start converting !!
Thanks again, you've been very helpfull !!