1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2017 8:19 AM by TSGal

    FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??


      Not sure what's going on here, but it seems like FileMaker Server 15.0.3 might be corrupting one of our FileMaker files further & further?? Yet the strange thing is that FileMaker Pro's Recovery command (along with FMDiff) insists that the file is completely fine, that there is no damage at all in the file, that everything is 100% fine with the file, and that the file is perfectly safe to use.


      However, this is clearly not the case, because the file seems to be falling apart before our very eyes, and keeps getting worse every day.


      And, worst of all, if we do attempt recovery on the file, the recovered file then becomes unusable... even though FileMaker Pro still insists (after the recovery) that there are absolutely no problems found during recovery and that the file is completely safe to use. FMDiff also insists that the file is fine, but it is not -- it seems to be damaged and perhaps it was even damaged by FMS 15.0.3?? Not sure.


      This is the same exact file where FileMaker Server 15.0.3 changed all the fonts on all 300 layouts in our file. After that happened, we switched from a Mac server to a Windows 2012 R2 Server, also running FileMaker Server 15.0.3.


      So yesterday, FileMaker Server 15.0.3 was hosting our file just fine, and suddenly, out of the blue, one of the records suddenly showed question marks for all 215 fields for that particular record. A user was simply looking at this record on her screen, and the record changed to 215 question marks (i.e. one question mark per field) right before her very eyes.


      The Data Viewer shows us that this record still has an internal FileMaker RecordID if we type in Get(RecordID) in the Data Viewer, but the Data Viewer shows that all the fields have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in them (just a blank/empty value for all fields). The ONLY DATA that this record has is the internal FileMaker RecordID.


      So that's pretty bad so far. But sadly, it gets worse.


      1. If we run "Check Consistency" on the file, FileMaker Pro reports no problems whatsoever with the file.


      2. If we save a compressed copy of the file, the same problem exists in the compressed copy of the file. The corrupt record still has 215 question marks for that particular record.


      3. If we run the "Recover" command on the file, FileMaker Pro completely rebuilds the file from scratch and reports no problems found. However, after the recovery, the file is unusable.


      If we run the "Recover" command on the file, this is what happens:


      a) After the recovery, FileMaker reports that no problems were found and that the file is totally safe to use.

      b) However, after the recovery, the corrupt record is completely missing. The corrupt record is completely gone after the recover.

      c) Also, after the recovery, certain layouts are now damaged. We can no longer go into certain layouts in the file. If we go into certain layouts, FileMaker freezes up with the spinning beachball... and then unexpectedly quits. Even stranger is that these damaged layouts are from COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TABLES than the table where the corrupt record lived! So these corrupt layouts cannot be entered, and these corrupt layouts are from different tables than the corrupt record.


      Not really sure what to do at this point.




        • 1. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

          Hi Scott,


          How are the cache settings on FMS? - try with very small cache - also remove all temp files on users machines.

          try maintenance tools or create new user accounts ..

          • 2. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

            TSGal, can I send you a copy of this file? The file is clearly damaged in multiple & obvious ways, but FileMaker Pro keeps reporting that the file is totally fine and that there is no damage in the file.

            • 3. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??



              Keep in mind that Recover is not a cure-all.  FileMaker will do its best to fix a damaged file.  However, feel free to send in a copy/clone of your solution and I'll look it over.  I have sent you a private message with instructions where to send the file.



              FileMaker, Inc.

              • 4. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                True, but that's not the issue I'm having. FileMaker is reporting that the file is 100% fine, even though the file is definitely damaged. Then, upon running recovery, FileMaker Pro FURTHER DAMAGES the file yet still reports that the file is 100% fine and safe to use. So this is proving 3 things to us:

                #1. FileMaker Pro not have the ability to recognize a damaged file, and

                #2. Upon recovery, FileMaker Pro further damages files... yet still reports the file as being 100% fine.

                #3. Plus, we still don't know how the file got damaged... it was being hosted by FileMaker Server 15 while the file went from undamaged to damaged Before our eyes.

                i will send you the file... thanks.

                • 5. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                  The file that we had the font substitution issue on is also getting corrupted. A short while after the font substitution I added a new table occurrence (not a new table) with one relationship and when I clicked "OK" to save the changes, I got the spinning wheel during the "Rebuilding Dependencies" portion of the dialogue box and had to force quit FMP. When I tried to log back in to the file, I couldn't. I was able to see the remote file, and enter my log in credentials, but just got the spinning wheel of death and had to force quit. I tried a few times to no avail. I checked FM Server and could see my user logged in the number of times I had tried to log in. Other users were able to work with the file just fine, but when they logged out they were not able to log back in, just like I had trouble with. Additionally, I noticed a server side script (initiated by "perform script on server") listed in the Client portal in FMS that apparently also got hung up like all of the other users. Rebooting the server fixed that problem, but a Recovery on the file said it was now damaged. A recovery on a backup of the file prior to the problem said the file was OK.


                  We took the backup copy that was clean (again, Recovery said it was OK) and imported the records from the damaged file and have been using that since (about a week now). Things have been ok until yesterday when I attempted to add a table (and a couple relationships). This was the first time since the previous corruption that I had tried to modify the relationship diagram. Again, the file got hung up during "Rebuilding Dependencies" and I had to force quit. All users experienced the same file access problem as before. Again, rebooting the server resolved that problem, but a recovery on the file shows it is damaged again. Recovery on the backup file prior to the hang up said the file was OK.


                  I took a backup of the corrupted file, opened it locally, and tried to modify the relationship diagram (new table and new relationships), and the file updated just fine. So, last night with all of the users off of the live/hosted file, I made the same changes to the backend and the file updated just fine (only took a few seconds).


                  So I am trying to figure out why the file got hung up initially. Could it be an issue with a certain process running, say the server side scripts, when I am attempting to modify the database? If so, the fact that the file is now failing would be highly coincidental because I've been making changes to the this file with 60+ users connected for a couple years now and have never had this issue. The font substitution issue happened with FMS 15.0.2, while this issue has only happened after upgrading to the current version of 15.0.3.


                  I know some would say it's not a best practice to make database schema changes to a live file, but it's not really practical for this particular database . . . at least not at this point in the file's life. But, I suppose if it is going to fail each time we try to modify the schema we really don't have another choice.

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                    It is my personal belief that there is a terrible bug in FileMaker Server 15 that corrupts FileMaker Pro files that are hosted with it.


                    For the time being, I have advised all of my clients to go back to hosting with FileMaker Server 14 for now, as I do not believe that FileMaker Server 15 can be trusted.


                    I have seen this FileMaker Server corruption happen with my very own eyes:

                    - We will be working on a FileMaker file which is hosted with FileMaker Server 15

                    - Nobody is making any schema changes to it at all.

                    - Nobody is doing anything to the server at all.

                    - And then, out of nowhere, the file starts getting damaged before our very eyes. Records start disappearing, layouts get damaged, fonts get completely stripped from the file.


                    I believe that FileMaker Server's automated backups are the culprit. These corruption issues always seem to happen shortly after an automated backup takes place.


                    These are dangerous times to be a FileMaker developer.

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                      p.s. TSGal, I emailed you my corrupt file a week or so ago... did you receive my file okay? And, were the FileMaker Inc. engineers able to discover anything about my file? The file was totally fine until FileMaker Server corrupted it. But what's really crazy about this issue is that FileMaker's Recovery Tool always reports ZERO DAMAGE IN THE FILE, even though the file is now damaged in at least 3 different places.




                      • 8. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??



                        And after all of those crazy things occur in the file, does recovery still show it's OK, or does it come back damaged?

                        • 9. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                          FileMaker's recovery process does 2 extremely bad things:


                          1. The recovery process damages the file so much that the file can no longer be used at all. In other words, the file started off a little bit damaged but still usable (a few missing records; missing fonts), but after recovery, the file is no longer usable at all. The layouts will no longer load and they cause FileMaker to unexpectedly quit.


                          2. The recovery process reports that the file is 100% fine, no problems were found, the file is safe to use, and everything is fine. All incorrect information.



                          • 10. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??


                            - Do you get the same results if you recover using a different version of FMPA, say v14?

                            - Does the file start to go crazy if just opened locally (no sharing), or only when on FMS?

                            - Is the file that goes crazy the recovered file? Or has it been recovered but you don't use the recovered file, you use the initial file, right? I haven't run recovery on the actual file we use on FMS... instead, I backup the file then recover the backup only.

                            • 11. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                              I don't know what you mean by the "file that goes crazy".


                              We had a file that was working just fine. Original file. No problems.


                              FMS damaged this file in multiple different ways, while FMS 15 was actively hosting the file.


                              Even though it was damaged by FMS, the file is still usable and FMP reports that the file ISN'T damaged. So we kept using the damaged file, because we thought the file was safe to use, because FMP reported that the file was fine. FMP told us that the file is "safe to use".


                              However, FMS continues to damage the file further every day... but FMP still reports that the file ISN'T damaged. So we kept using the damaged file.


                              It is actually a usable file (except for the parts which are damaged), so we kept using the file and decided to do a recovery.


                              After recovery, the file no longer works at all. The file is completely unusable. Totally non-working file. It forces FileMaker to unexpectedly quit. Nothing is usable in the file. Completely damaged beyond repair. Completely unusable file altogether.


                              HOWEVER, FMP still reports that the file is "safe to use" and that "no problems were found".


                              So FileMaker Pro seemingly has NO ABILITY to EVEN RECOGNIZE a damaged file. The file is completely unusable in any way whatsoever... yet FileMaker Pro keeps saying that the file is "safe to use", "no problems were found", everything is 100% fine.


                              Same results, no matter which version of FileMaker recovers the file. So then, we are forced to go back to the latest backup copy of the file, which is the previously-damaged file that FMP told us was fine. But now we know that FMP was lying.


                              After the file is damaged, no matter which way it is opened (locally or hosted), the damage remains.

                              • 12. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                                Please see my original post at the top of this thread for full details on this issue.

                                • 13. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??



                                  My apologies for the late reply.  I have been out of the office and working limited hours.


                                  I have just downloaded your file.  You can remove it from your public server.


                                  I have sent the file to Development and Testing for review.  When I receive any feedback, I will let you know.


                                  On a side note, there has been an issue reported with FileMaker Pro 14 and FileMaker Pro 15 where the first record in a found set displays question marks in all fields.  Do you know if this was the case with your client?



                                  FileMaker, Inc.

                                  • 14. Re: FileMaker Server might be corrupting our file??

                                    Thanks so much, TSGal. Welcome back from your vacation!


                                    That was not the case with our client -- the first record in a found set does NOT display question marks. It was just the one corrupt record that was displaying question marks.


                                    As I mentioned above, my main concerns are these 3 things:


                                    1. The file is clearly damaged, but FileMaker Pro's Recovery tool reports back to us that the file is fine.

                                    2.  After Recovery, the file is completely unusable & completely damaged beyond repair. So the Recovery tool actually damages the file further.

                                    3. After Recovery, FileMaker Pro STILL reports to us that the file is fine.




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