13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2013 3:56 PM by PeterWindle

    FM 12 file corruption, help needed

    PeterWindle

      Hello all,

       

      I have a client who has had a weird file corruption where two records out of 12000 have nothing but question marks in the fields.

       

      You can search the record ID and it will find the records, but nothing displays in the fields, except a question mark in each field.

       

       

      Recovery removes the two records completely and leaves a message saying that the file should not be used moving forward (which is not an option!)

      I have tried recovering a recovery and recovering a compressed copy, the message still shows that there are problems with the file after any process I run it through.

       

      They will need to continue working with the file, for now, I have retrived the records from a backup and imported them, but I'm fearful that there will be on-going problems with the data, BECAUSE... this is the SECOND time it has happened.

       

      NOTE: after the first time, I had actually exported each table as filemaker files and imported them into a recovered clone, which seemed to bring the missing data back in tact. That was only about 6-8 weeks ago.

       

      Info: The file resides on server 2008, FM12 server has all the latest updates etc. It shares to mostly PC's on internal network and iPads via WAN (3G)

       

      Anyone have any suggestions on how to make this file stable again, so that data does not go missing? My client and I are getting nervous !

       

      FileMaker are suggesting to send them the file, but if there are any other suggestions to resolving the issue, I'd very much appreciate any info...

        • 1. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed

          Peter,

           

          See <fmdiff.com/fm/recordindex.html> for a better understanding.

          Stay away from Recover unless absolutely necessary or for test purposes. You never know what is really missing in a recovered file.

           

          Your best choice is making a Clone, do a test-Recover on it and if it appears OK import the records of every table into the Clone. If Import does not show the expected results, try to import from a Recovered original.

           

          If you still have problems, see <http://fmdiff.com/repairs.html> and I'll see what I can do.

           

          Winfried

          • 2. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
            PeterWindle

            "Your best choice" - I performed this task once already, the data came back ok, for a while, but it looks like the orginal file might be causing a problem.

            At this stage, it's not looking like there are many options apart from forking out big money.

            • 3. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
              gdurniak

              Recurring question marks in all fields is not that unusual. I have it periodically, and complain about it each year at DevCon ( since it's not easily repeatable, FileMaker can't fix it )

               

              either the field index gets scrambled,  or the internal record ID's get scrambled

               

              see here as well:

               

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

               

              when you do a Recover, what does the Recover Log say ?  are any items "changed" ?

               

              and don't export as FileMaker Files.  Export as Text

               

              greg

               

              > You can search the record ID and it will find the records, but nothing displays in the fields, except a question mark in each field

              • 4. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
                PeterWindle

                Thanks gd,

                 

                There are many items "changed" in the log. Also a few things like:

                 

                ERROR: Page 105799 invalid previous page link 101117

                2013-03-15 17:13:16.588 +1100 acorn.fmp12 805 FAILED consistency check; found 1 bad block(s) of 105799 checked

                 

                I suppose I only exported as filemaker to ensure that the field matching upon import occurs. I will try exporting as text if it continues to be a problem, I think I will do it only for the one table this time, last time I did all tables, it took several hours.

                 

                I really don't like this. If FileMaker don't provide a tool to REALLY recover the data, what other option is there?

                • 5. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
                  rgordon

                  You could export as a merge file.  This will give you the field names in the first line.

                  • 6. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
                    gdurniak

                    Unfortunately, you really can't do just one table

                     

                    if the Record ID's are scrambled,  you must import into a clone.  Delete All won't do it

                     

                    FEATURE REQUEST:  we really need a way to Truncate ( clone ) just one table

                     

                     

                    Also, try saving as a Compressed Copy, then run a Consistency Check, and check the Recover Log again.  Saving Compressed can fix consistency problems

                     

                    at worst, you may just lose the two records.  The trick here is to regain confidence in the file itself

                     

                    FEATURE REQUEST:  we really need a proper Verification Utility

                     

                    greg

                     

                     

                     

                    > I will try exporting as text if it continues to be a problem, I think I will do it only for the one table this time, last time I did all tables, it took several hours.

                     

                    I really don't like this. If FileMaker don't provide a tool to REALLY recover the data, what other option is there?

                     

                    Message was edited by: gdurniak

                    • 7. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
                      PeterWindle

                      Hmmm.... interesting proposition...

                       

                      How's this for a thought. Create a new file, copy and paste the table/fields from the suspect file into the new file. Change all file references in the old file to the new file (data separation), then export data from the sus file into the new file....??

                       

                      in fact, I think it should be safe enough for me to do this into a new file just for the one table, saving me a heap of time having to change all file references...(none of the other tables seem to have data issues.)

                       

                      thoughts?

                      • 8. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
                        gdurniak

                        if all else fails,  for the one table,  that is an interesting work around

                         

                        if it's the largest table ( multi GB's ) it might help to have it split anyway

                         

                        just keep in mind,  this all could still happen again

                         

                         

                        Do you do periodic bulk importing and deleting ?  this can lead to trouble as well

                         

                        greg

                         

                        > in fact, I think it should be safe enough for me to do this into a new file just for the one table, saving me a heap of time having to change all file references...(none of the other tables seem to have data issues.)

                        • 9. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed

                          "I suppose I only exported as filemaker to ensure that the field matching upon import occurs. I will try exporting as text if it continues to be a problem"

                           

                          You must export as text to properly recover data.  Using FM file does nothing at all.

                          • 10. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed

                            It is certainly worth to find out the reason why this happens first. If the cause is not removed then it will happen again and again.

                             

                            Please describe the usage configuration and all exact version numbers.

                            There was a problem that was solved with a new serial number from FileMaker, but I don't know whether this touches your problem (did not find the mail).

                            • 11. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
                              BobGossom

                              Peter,

                               

                              These types of items in the reoover log indicate serious problems with the file. If you keep using it you will have problems in the future. If specific items (fields, layouts, scripts, etc.) are mentioned in the recover log, you can often go back to the original, correct that item and run recovery again.

                               

                              We've had great success with this technique, fixing individual items until the recover log reports clean. It might be worth a try. Your bad block issue, however, indicates that the file itself may be damaged, not just individual elements.

                               

                              If this is the case, you have two choices: Recover it, or rewrite it.

                               

                              All conventional wisdom says "rewrite." However there are real time and money issues involved with this. I have taken over many databases that have previously been recovered by clients and have had them work perfectly for years. (Gurus note, I'm NOT recommending this; just noting experience in the field.) If they must use this database today, my personal preference would be to implement a recovered file, rather than one that has known structural corruption. The recovered file MIGHT have a problem, but the one with bad blocks most definitely does.

                               

                              Implementing the recovered file could be an interim step - something to use while the rewrite is being done.

                               

                              Bob Gossom

                              • 12. Re: FM 12 file corruption, help needed
                                ch0c0halic

                                Peter,

                                 

                                Follow Winfried's suggestion. Clone and import the data.

                                 

                                The "?" records are from a corrupted record level indexing. This is easily corrected using the process Winfried described.