7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 21, 2014 3:00 PM by BruceHerbach

    I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What

    txmichael

      We have a very active development environment which has allowed our company to make great strides in a short period of time.

       

      Unfortunately, we have had a few lockups and crashes over the years, and they may be catching up to us. The FM Server (11.0.2.2?? Advanced) has dumped its core (so to speak) twice this week. It was there, and then it wasn't.

       

      I realize the Recover Process tells you not to rely on the recovered file, but it is just not possible to get back to an old backup all the time.

       

      What can I do to determine if the problem is with by DB file(s), and is there a utility that essentially creates a new set of data tables, layouts and scripts from a recovered database which I can use to generate a clone-like import target?

       

      Thanks for any help

       

      Michael Scott

      Michael J. Scott, PC

      Dallas, TX

        • 1. Re: I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What
          taylorsharpe

          FileMaker will never guarantee a recovery because no one ever can.  There are a few consultants who specialize in it.  One thing that helped when FM 11 came out was making clones in the backups so you could go back to a clean clone and reimport things.  However, I agree that in the real word, sometimes it is best to work with a recovered file and with all the legal caveats said, very few recovered FileMaker files have not worked just fine for me.  I set up my clients usually to back up at least twice a day and if the data is critical, more often.  Also, I like the 360 Works SafetyNet to back up to the Amazon cloud once a week and it is fairly cheap if you have the bandwidth. 

           

          My suggestion is that you just use the recovered version and watch for problems.  Obviously things like indexes get messed up, but the recovery fixes them.  To be honest with you, the thing that recovery has given me the hardest time are recovering layouts.  I have had quite a few bad layouts that just behaved weird.  So I rebuilt those one or two troublesome layouts and the rest is usually good.  But to me, layouts are not as important as the underlying data and I'm never all that worried if I have a bad layout because I don't find it hard to recreate a layout.  Weird behaviors in a bad layout include objects you can't delete or unlock or the fonts render incorrectly.  Sometimes complex layouts with lots of portals can get screwed up too.  But those really are the exceptions from my experience. 

           

          If you have to absolutely have to have a very database... create a new one and one by one, copy the fields over.  Then copy the layouts over.  Then copy the scripts over.  Then again copy the layouts since they would be missing script buttons at that point.  True you can be copying errors, but when I have done this, it has always been rock solid. 

           

          And of course what I recommend is a very stable server with few or no other services running on a RAID... and NO applications running!  My preference right now for cheap is a Mac Mini with a Pegaus Thunderbolt RAID 10.  Pretty fast and cheap!  If you need enterprise level rackmounted stuff, then a Windows 2008 server with all all redundant parts (e.g., power supply, ethernets, etc.) is the way to go.  And always follow FileMaker's advice to not let ANYTHING touch a life FileMaker database including backup programs or anti-virus programs.  I promise you those can corrupt a FileMaker database easily. 

           

          Taylor Sharpe

          Taylor Made Services

          www.TaylorMadeServices

          Dallas, TX

          • 2. Re: I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What
            gdurniak

            FWIW, I have collected Recover info here:

             

            http://www.fileshoppe.com/recover.htm

             

            Unfortunately, there is no Verification Utility,  or utility to build a new file from it's metadata ( which would be interesting )

             

            I have used Recovered files,  and also files with "problems"

             

            greg

             

            > What can I do to determine if the problem is with by DB file(s), and is there a utility that essentially creates a new set of data tables, layouts and scripts from a recovered database which I can use to generate a clone-like import target?

            • 3. Re: I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What
              Mike_Mitchell

              One of those consultants is Winfried Huslik (http://fmdiff.com). Sort of the "guru" of file corruption.

              • 4. Re: I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What
                Stephen Huston

                In addition to Taylor's cautions, I have seen recovered files have problems with some scripts in the recovered file no longer behaving properly. In a couple of cases where recovered files were the only available files by the time I was brought it to help, we simply had to rebuild a few scripts which no longer worked, and deal with a few layout glitches.

                 

                With luck that's the worst you will encounter I recommend a server script to save a clone daily or weekly, depending on the amount of structural mods you do regularly, so you won't run into this again.

                 

                Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. — C.S. Lewis

                • 5. Re: I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What
                  wimdecorte

                  Stephen Huston wrote:

                   

                   

                   

                  Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. — C.S. Lewis

                   

                  Or put another way:

                   

                  "Experience is the worst teacher: it will give you the test first, then the lesson."

                   

                  Which is why Best Practices exist: they encapsulate the experiences from many developers over many years and many types of solutions and developments.

                  • 6. Re: I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What
                    gdurniak

                    Did your file have "problems" ?  what did the Recover Log say ?

                     

                    e.g.  any Log items marked as "Changed" ?

                     

                    greg

                     

                    > I realize the Recover Process tells you not to rely on the recovered file

                    • 7. Re: I am running with a Recovered Database -- Now What
                      BruceHerbach

                      One thing you should know,  the recover process doesn't change the original file,  instead it builds a copy with the corrupted items modified or removed.  If you can remove the corrupted items from the original file you may be able to use the original file. 

                       

                      This can be an iterative process.  Start with a copy of the file and run it through the recover process.  Review the log file and find the items that have changed.  If they are fields, layout objects or something else that you can delete.  Delete them and create a new version of the item.  You may have to update formulas, or scripts when you do this. 

                       

                      Close the updated database,  make a copy and run recover on the copy.  Review the log again.

                       

                      If you go through this enough times so that a copy of the original database can be run through the recover process and the message at the end is FileMaker made a new copy of the database without finding any problems,  your original database is ok.

                       

                      Essentially you have removed the corruption from the database.  Unfortunately sometimes the corruption can't be removed,  then you are back to building a new copy or using a recovered file.

                       

                      HTH