8 Replies Latest reply on May 22, 2014 12:28 PM by pedantic

    Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)


      Hello everyone:


      I have two databases that management has asked me to move from the Mac to a Windows box. Both of them do pretty much the same thing; they take in text and images, organize the information and then provide the information to programs further on in the process.


      One deals solely with local tables and creates a runtime to be distributed to customers. I have had no problems moving it from the Mac to the Windows platform.


      The other imports the information to local tables, massages the information a bit and then places it in MySQL tables for future use by web programs. Most of the work, however is done locally and the MySQL tables are not accessed except at the last step. This particular application has about 35 layouts and 11 tables. A number of the layouts are simple dialogs that the authors used to accept information from the operator while others actually do the heavy lifting in this process.


      The problem is that there are approximately 14 layouts, and some of them the most important layouts, that crash Filemaker if I attempt to call them up using the dropdown menu in the Filemaker UI.


      I have tried all sorts of things to attempt to track down the problem, including removing the field one-by-one to see if I could identify the field that was causing the trouble (that did not help), and deleting all records in the table to see if it would resolve the problem (it did not) to completely recreating the table--which finally resolved the problem for one small, barely used table. I had to also recreate the layouts and modify the scripts that were used in conjunction with those layouts, and it took me several hours to fix that one little table/layout. The table had only three fields, and only one record. Though this solution worked, it is not ideal.


      If I have to rewrite the whole process, it will take a serious amount of time. But if there is some simple fix, such as exporting and then reimporting the information (or whatever) I would be pleased to hear of it.


      Thanks for any help you can give me. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.




        • 1. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)

          Can you access the problem layouts in Layout mode? Does it only crash in Browse mode, or both?


          Since there are so many… is there anything that is common to them that is not to the other layouts?


          Are there any script triggers that could be causing issues on layout/record load?


          Have you narrowed it down being a layout-based problem vs a table-based problem?


          Are there possibly some problem fonts on those layouts? If you open it on the Mac and go to one of those layouts in Layout mode, then select all and change the font, does that help? How about changing the theme?

          Or in a copy of the file, open that layout on the Mac and delete all objects. See if that layout still crashes. If yes, then something with the layout is corrupted. If no, then it might just be an object. Try deleting half the objects, etc to narrow down what is causing the problem.


          Just some things to try… good luck!  Or, just stick with the Mac!  

          Well, this is probably a sign of an underlying issue anyway, so best to figure it out, even if it's not manifesting itself on the Mac right now.




          • 2. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)

            One more thing to add: any plugins? (installed, even if they are not used in the solution)

            • 3. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)

              Thanks Shawn for the list of things to try.  Some of these I have already tried, some of them never occurred to me (such as the font issue).


              If I go to the Layout Manager under File->Manage, I can pull the layout up to the screen but I really can't do much with it there (or so it seems to me).


              If I just pull it up as described in my original post, well, I've already described what happens.


              Here's another bit or two that has me puzzled.  Though Filemaker disappears from the screen and the tray at the bottom of the screen, it is still considered a process and one must open up Task Manager to kill it.  If I do not, then I cannot restart Filemaker. 


              Additionally, the OS considers the database still open until I do stop the process.


              Finally, there are a couple of Troi Automatisering plugins attached to the program (File and Text--both of which seem fairly well-behaved), and the couple of plugins that come with Filemaker, but other than that, no.  No additional plugins.

              • 4. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)



                     What version of FM are you using? If 13, have you increased the Memory cache in Preferences to at least 256 MB?


                     Have you tried changing themes on any of the problem layouts?


                Al Quimby

                • 5. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)
                  Stephen Huston

                  A few of other techniques you may or may not have tried to more quickly identify the issue(s) — always working on a fresh copy of the file for each test:

                  1. Run the full Recover File process on it, then check the log for all errors.
                  2. On the Mac, where it sounds like things still work OK, go thru ALL layouts, selecting all objects, unlocking them if locked, ungrouping them if grouped, and changing the text font on all to something X-platform such as Times New Roman or Verdana. Then test the file on Windows.
                  3. Use the rule of halves to check layout objects on a layout-by-layout basis:
                    Remove half of the objects, keeping track of which, and then test. When the problem goes away, remove only half of what you removed before, then test again, etc. Still a tedious process, but a lot shorter than doing each object between tests.
                    If none of the halves-tests turns up anything, try removing everything and retesting, just to be sure it is a layout object. (The worst-case is if you have multiple problem-objects, and don't get all the bad ones in any half group, but it's usually ONE bad object on a layout that causes the problem, though grouping alone has been known to cause some objects to go bad in some versions.
                  • 6. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)

                    An off the wall suggestion: uncheck the boxex in the layout list selector and close it. Now reopen it and recheck the boxes you want to use. This may cause Windows FMP to save and resave the data in its preference file and correct the problem. Maybe not...


                    I did fix a malfunctioning layout in a file that had been inappropriately upgraded twice by opening a layout, clicking on the tab object and moving it one pixel and then saving the layout.

                    • 7. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)

                      One other point: Do a file Save As compressed copy. This should always be done after/before an upgrade and probably is needed when changing server platforms.

                      • 8. Re: Moving a Filemaker database from Mac to Windows (Win 7)

                        Thanks for the suggestion, but alas it did not work.


                        Take care and thanks for the help, anyway.