10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2016 2:18 AM by gdurniak

    Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old

    ryanmead83

      So I'm pretty upset, I bought FMServer with 5 users and FM Pro for 5 users a month ago.  FMServer is running on Windows Server 2012 in a data centre no problem.  I have 2 schedules, one backs up the database nightly, the other does it hourly saving it to a Google Drive folder.

       

      This morning I was using the system and then I'd get disconnected from my FMAdvanced client so I'd press reconnect but then it kept saying that I'm editing that current record still so I can't modify it, but that I can send a message to myself asking myself to exit the record.  I waited 2 hours, it still would say I'm editing that record, so I tried to connect to the server via Remote Desktop but it wouldn't respond not even to pings, even though I was using the database all morning.

       

      So I logged into my OVH control panel and forced the system to reboot.  10 minutes later I was able to reconnect to my database, however all the custom fields I added this morning are gone, including TONS of work I did, like I mean 7am to 12pm worth of non stop work, all gone.  I check the Google Drive back up folder and see all the hourly back up folders, but every single one is empty for the past 5 days!  The ones before that are all fine.  The nightly back up was there showing midnight last night which opens but of course is missing all my new work.  I'm not accidentally using a local copy either, I just formatted my laptop the other day and have literally nothing on it.  If I open a back up file it asks if I want to open it locally or the server, so I know the difference between opening a file locally.

       

      So not only does the back up just not work but for some reason it was just saving all my work today to basically no where?  The changes were saving as I kept working with changed records so it's not like I'd type in data and then just think it saved, it 100% was there.  Not sure why a simple reboot would erase 24 hours worth of work but anything else I can try?  I'm literally at the point that I'm ready to just lose $1500 I paid for this and go back to our old solution as I feel that I cannot trust this at all now since I'll never know if my work is actually saving or if I'm just wasting my time.

       

      Quick edit, I checked the logs and it says the last several backups never ran because there was no changes to the file.  That's impossible, how could there be no changes to the file when I was adding and changing records all morning?!

        • 1. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
          jormond

          That is definitely not a normal thing to happen with FMS. The only time I've seen that happen was when something went wrong on the server, and the vendor rolled the server back to a previous snapshot.

           

          Do you see anything in the FMS logs that indicate a problem? What about the server logs? Or the OVH service notifications?

          • 2. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
            CarlSchwarz

            It seems possible, and this is just a theory, that FMS was not able to access the file system for some reason and was not able to write to the drives and the changes were in memory.

            Because you couldn't access the server via Remote Desktop there was definitely a server problem.

             

            Just checking - Is the server set up properly according to the FMS installation guide, virus scanning turned off on the folder etc.?

            Also note that I have found that 'data centre' images of Windows Server can be fairly modified and it is worth asking the vendor if there is something you need to change before installing FMS.

            • 3. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
              CarlSchwarz

              Backing up directly to a "google drive" folder is probably not a good idea.  Backup to a folder that nothing else is using then use a schedule to copy the files to the google drive folder when the FMS backup schedule is not running.  Otherwise you have two separate processes accessing the backup files at once (FMS is trying to backup, Google Drive is trying to read and copy files).

               

              Some other backup options are listed here: Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
                ryanmead83

                Thanks everyone,

                 

                The biggest issue was the empty backup folders, it threw me off because it creates a backup folder even if there's nothing to back up.  So I kept opening all these backup folders only to find them all empty thinking it meant the backup wasn't working, but the logs show nothing has changed, nothing to back up. 

                 

                What just doesn't make sense is that I added fields to the database today, I feel like around lunch time.  Then I have this failure around 3:30pm when rebooting the system, and when checking, the last backup I had was from 2pm but then nothing all the way back to 8am, like not even empty folders being created on Google Drive.  When I opened that backup from 2pm, all those custom fields I added and changed were missing.  It's POSSIBLE that I made all those changes after 2pm but I really feel it was way earlier in the day, plus no backup ran at 3pm which should have since there were changes for sure.  My staff was using the system all day as well so doesn't make sense no backups from 8am to 2pm saying nothing has changed on the system when we were all using it.

                 

                I'm super worried now using it that at any time I could log in only to find nothing has been saving again for hours.

                • 5. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
                  Vaughan

                  ryanmead83 wrote:

                   

                  So I logged into my OVH control panel and forced the system to reboot.

                   

                  Always use the FM Server admin console to close the databases, then stop database hosting BEFORE restarting the computer. It can take several minutes for FMS to write the caches out to disk so prepare to wait. Just shutting down the computer gives FMS something like 30 seconds to clean itself up before the system ends the service regardless of whether it's done or not.

                   

                  Second vote for NOT scheduling FMS backups to external volumes. The backups are your main defence against solving problems. Only existing backups should be backed-up to remote volumes using OS-level scripts.

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
                    ryanmead83

                    Hi there, I would have but I couldn't connect to FMServer it wouldn't respond.  Accessing the admin console wouldn't do anything and remote desktop would just say timed out connecting, so had no choice but to do a hard reboot.  Still unclear though why doing that would erase at least 3-4 hours worth of work and customization's, like I added about 5 new fields and then added data to them all morning.  Where exactly did they all go?  It just erased the most recent database file and replaced it with some old backup?  At the moment I'm considering moving back to Salesforce even though it was more expensive and less customization, just because I can't honestly run my business not knowing if FMServer is going to just crap out again and erase hours of work at any given moment.

                     

                    I'm not scheduling backups to an external volume, it's in the normal filemaker database sub folder where the backups are by default.  What's the minimum backup interval I can use in general?  My DB is about 39MB in size so not huge, and I notice that it of course only runs a backup if something has changed, so is there any issue with doing backups every 15 minutes even?

                    • 7. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
                      wimdecorte

                      ryanmead83 wrote:

                       

                      I'm not scheduling backups to an external volume, it's in the normal filemaker database sub folder where the backups are by default.

                       

                      Those would never be empty like you are describing and they can never be google drive folders; so something is off in your backup setup.  I would strongly suggest that you have it reviewed with a local FMS-savvy developer...

                       

                      The minimum backup interval depends on the size of your solution, how often the data changes, the design of your solution and the quality and nature of your hardware.  Too many variables for a simple answer.

                       

                      Ask yourself two questions:

                      - restore point: how much data are you willing to lose?  That will dictate how often you need to do backups and how (regular backup schedules supplemented by FMS' progressive backups)

                      - restore time: how long can you wait to be back up and running?  How long can the business folks survive with pen and paper before they hurt?  That will dictate what kind of processes you need to find / retrieve / restore a backup.  Perhaps use the Primary/Standby feature of FMS

                       

                      The answers to these two question will guide your backup strategy and the amount of time and money you need to spend on it.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
                        CarlSchwarz

                        wimdecorte wrote:

                         

                        and they can never be google drive folders

                        I want to re-iterate this because it is important. Never let another application, even the "Windows" ones like Windows Defender use a same folder that FileMaker is using at the same time.

                        The Windows file system may not have handled it well and that could even be what caused Windows Server to stop working properly.

                         

                        A Google Drive folder has the google drive application/service continually monitoring and changing the folder, don't backup to it!

                        • 9. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
                          azez

                          What i know, FMS it self cannot do the external backup. But you can scheduling using System-level script.

                          Im just use powershell and run via .bat file. to backup db to my cloud.

                          External backup is mandatory now since ransomeware spreading very fast.

                          • 10. Re: Rebooted FMServer and my database is now days old
                            gdurniak

                            Which Version of FileMaker ?

                             

                            This has been reported here a few times,  e.g.  https://community.filemaker.com/message/53011

                             

                            The Server seems to stop writing to disk

                             

                            greg

                             

                            > for some reason it was just saving all my work today to basically no where ?