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    Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?

    g@briellelevenson

      Does anyone know what causes a corrupted record, where every field displays a question mark instead of your data? I've never seen this before, and now my very first record created in my database is displaying as question marks (out of 2500 records).

       

      This is definitely a record that used to contain data and now contains nothing. Interestingly enough, if I search by the data that I know used to be in any of those fields, this record shows up as a search result. Which means the data is still hiding in there somewhere.

       

      My worst case scenario here is that I have to delete this record (if I even can) and create a new one in its place, without understanding what caused it or how to prevent it from happening again.

       

      Any thoughts?

      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
          g@briellelevenson

          Here's what I've tried so far:

           

          Exporting record - All data exported is blank

          Duplicate record - You're able to click on the button (it's not grayed out), but when you click on it nothing happens

          Delete record - The record goes away as if it was deleted, but the total record count doesn't go down and when you search for the record it appears again

           

          I am resigning to the fact that this record's data is probably gone, and now I am restoring a back-up so I can manually transfer the data for this one record.  Now my only remaining problem is that I can't make this corrupt record go away without omitting it in every find, and I don't know if this whole thing is symptomatic of a bigger problem in my database that will make this happen again.

          • 2. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
            hostie42

            The fact that you say that you delete the record but the record count doesn't go down tells me that perhaps it is not an actual record at all but some sort of 'phantom' record, thus the question marks instead of data.

             

            I have had this exact same problem myself. And it's repeatable. It always happens at the end of a particular script that is used for emailing customer follow-ups via a portal. But although I have spent much time on this I have never been able to work out why it happens. We just delete the 'phantom' record with the question marks and carry on. As far as I can tell we have not lost any real data.

             

            But I would love to know if anyone else has the problem and actually knows why it's happening.

            • 3. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
              karendweaver

              This may be an indexing problem.  If you want to know why, how, and how to fix it I recommend you both review the info that Winfred Huslik provides on diagnosing and solving these kinds of problems at  http://www.fmdiff.com/fm/recordindex.html

               

              I believe there are already some other threads on this topic.  You may want to do some searching of Technet for additional information

               

              Question marks are definitely not a good sign.  Winfred has amazing information and tools for file recovery on his website - he is a great resource for both preventing and solving these problems..

               

              Hope that helps..

               

              Karen

              • 4. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                Beat

                We have exactely the same behaviour right now with one record (out of more than 40'000). It's the first time I see something like that. The information seems still to be there (search). And all the related data is still fine. It happened after a crash of a workstation, not even the server. Did anybody find a solution meanwhile? Either to delete the record or to recover?

                 

                Any help is highly appreciated.

                • 5. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                  Mike_Mitchell

                  Karen is most likely correct. A "?" in a field usually indicates index corruption. Quick check: Save a compressed copy of the file and see if it clears up (although the referral over to Winfried's site is very sound advice; he's sort of the guru of file corruption).  

                   

                  Mike

                  • 6. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                    g@briellelevenson

                    Hey Beat,

                     

                    I never was able to find a solution for this.  Instead I just created a new record to substitute the one I lost, and added a script step to omit the corrupt record in most of my finds (by its serial number).  It's painful and sometimes users still see the record, but for the most part it has been an okay workaround.  I'm curious to read the site that Karen suggested, and I would love to know more since it scares me that it could ever happen again.

                     

                    Good luck to you!

                    • 7. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                      gdurniak

                      You're on the right track

                       

                      you need to export all data, and re-import into a Clone of the file

                       

                      then use the backup copy to export and restore any records that were missed

                       

                      I have additional tips here:

                      http://fileshoppe.com/recover.htm

                       

                      greg

                       

                       

                      > and now I am restoring a back-up so I can manually transfer the data for this one record.  Now my only remaining problem is that I can't make this corrupt record go away

                      • 8. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                        gdurniak

                        We've been complaining of recurring phantom records for years now, and FileMaker claims they can't fix it, because it's not reproducible

                         

                        if you have a file that IS repeatable, please contact your local system engineer, and send them a copy !

                         

                        greg

                         

                         

                        > I have had this exact same problem myself. And it's repeatable. It always happens at the end of a particular script that is used for emailing customer follow-ups via a portal. But although I have spent much time on this I have never been able to work out why it happens.

                        • 9. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                          DaveLundgren

                          I'm looking at this exact problem today in a system of over 260,000 records. Gonna go try the compressed copy trick and will report back. Already have the backup from the previous day ready to go for import, but this is worth a try.

                          • 10. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                            DaveLundgren

                            NG on the compressed file and reindexing. Off to backup file and import land.

                             

                            This is on FM11 and FM11 server, most current versions.

                            • 11. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                              gdurniak

                              This was mis-stated years ago in an Advisor article, which led to some confusion

                               

                              Save As Compacted rebuilds the file's BLOCK index, and so can fix consistency problems.  it does not re-index fields.

                               

                              greg

                               

                               

                              > NG on the compressed file and reindexing. Off to backup file and import land

                              • 12. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                                DaveLundgren

                                Thanks, Greg... I didn't think that would do it, but it was worth a shot. Not really knowing what happened here, I'm going the safe route with the pre-issue backup file and reimporting the newer data. This system has been running 24x7/365 since late 1998, all the way back to FM3. Can't really complain if every fifteen years or so I have to deal with something like this!

                                 

                                dave

                                • 13. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                                  Beat

                                  I had a look at the page Karen recommended. I've been there before and it's very good stuff but maybe not perfectely up to date (we are working with FM11 Server and FM10/11 Clients). The file with the corrupted record consits of almost 40 tables with over 1 Million of records all toghether. Doing the export and import to a clone would be a lot of work. So I tried a recovery first which in the new versions rewrites all indexes. The recovery reported 'no problems found'. In the recoverd file, there were to records missing - both corrupt in the original (the second one I had'nt found before). But now, the file seems to be fine agian. One record I was able to reimport from a backup, the other I had to reconstruct.

                                   

                                  Beat

                                  • 14. Re: Corrupted record - how it happened and how to recover it?
                                    gdurniak

                                    Recover says "no problems found", yet drops two records ?  yikes !

                                     

                                    I've been in your situation, but with scrambled record ID's, so I had to do the export / import for all tables.

                                     

                                    You are fortunate that Recover "fixed" it, but this is a surprise

                                     

                                    Did you have Recover set to "copy file blocks as-is" ? Did you look thru the Recover Log ?

                                     

                                    It is possible these two records had been deleted, but the record Index was not properly updated, so FileMaker thought they were still there

                                     

                                    Yet you say "The information seems still to be there (search)". That is a bit odd

                                     

                                    greg

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    > I had a look at the page Karen recommended. I've been there before and it's very good stuff but maybe not perfectely up to date (we are working with FM11 Server and FM10/11 Clients). The file with the corrupted record consits of almost 40 tables with over 1 Million of records all toghether. Doing the export and import to a clone would be a lot of work. So I tried a recovery first which in the new versions rewrites all indexes. The recovery reported 'no problems found'. In the recoverd file, there were to records missing - both corrupt in the original (the second one I had'nt found before). But now, the file seems to be fine agian. One record I was able to reimport from a backup, the other I had to reconstruct.

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