10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2010 10:15 PM by CheryleCoons

    admin locked out



      admin locked out



      I work in a medical research lab. About 10 years ago, I created a database to keep our hundreds of antibody vials organized using FileMaker Pro 4.0 (yes, that's old!). To this day, it has worked wonderfully. Of course we have to keep the file on a old computer that still runs Mac OS 9... Recently, we decided to put a copy of the file on a networked HD so "guests" could access it from their machines, while the admin access would stay where it is, on the old computer.

      One user contacted me saying that his version of FileMaker (pro 9 advanced, he said) required the file to be converted, which worked fine, but also asked for a password to open, even as a guest. After some fiddling around and several trials, I could not figure what password was asked, so I decided to remove the "limited access" password from the original file to see if it would convert "freely". It kind of did, but the biggest issue is that now the original database is "guest only", and I can't modify the file anymore (add or remove antibodies). The "define password" in the menu is grey and can't be selected.

      Any suggestion? Thank you for your help.

        • 1. Re: admin locked out

          I encountered this problem when I converted a bunch of 5.5 files to 10. In the older files, you have a one part password, the password while in the newly converted file, you need an account name and a password.


          After converting the file, you can open it with any passwords that were present in the original file if you enter the password twice, once in the Account name box and once in the password box. Since this exposes your password to anyone watching the screen, you'll want to then update the accounts to use a different account name after conversion.



          • 2. Re: admin locked out

            Thanks! I wish I knew that before I erased my password in the old file. To avoid confusion, I removed the group (guests access) and my password (limited access), checked all boxes giving everyone access to everything, hoping to re-secure the file after the conversion. Now the original database can be accessed only as a guest, and I can't modify any field. What kind of "account name and password" could the the converted file received form the original one, since the password window was left blank?

            To make things better, I deleted all the converted files I could not open after each trial, so I can't even try your suggestion.

            • 3. Re: admin locked out

              Try account name "Admin" and a blank password. That's a full access default that may exist in your converted file.


              I recomend that all developers keep multiple copies of every file they work with. You never know when you might need to toss your current copy and revert back to a previous version.

              • 4. Re: admin locked out
                   No, it does not work. I guess it would be too easy. What if the file contains confidential data? In my case, I just wanted to avoid someone to mess up my entries. No bid deal if they do with their converted file, as soon as I have the original, secure file I can work on. This is the one I would like to fix though, just enough so I can go in and add my password (and create a backup copy!)
                • 5. Re: admin locked out

                  It sounds like you've set a document preference in your FMP 4 file to open the file with a "guest" password. Is this the case? Try opening the file and choosing edit | preferences | Document and see what's there. I don't have a version that old, but I still have 5.5. I'm guessing you'll find something similar.


                  To see if the file is set to automatically supply the password when opened, try opening the file while holding down the shift key (windows) or option key (mac). If that causes the system to ask you for a password, you should be able to enter a full access password to get the file open and then set whatever passwords you want on your original file before converting it.

                  • 6. Re: admin locked out

                    When I open the file, it asks me for a password (or leave blank for guest access). The problem is that I used to have a password, but I erased it (and left window blank), then checked all the boxes to give access to everything (or so I thought). I think I even removed the only group that was setup, since the access would be the same.

                    When opening, it never asks me for a user name (or account), only a password. So now the "default password" is the same as the "guest password", which is a blank, which does not give me full access.

                    So, to follow your suggestion, I opened the file (as a guest, it's the only way) and went to the document preferences. A window popped up saying "your password does not enable you to do this or the file is not modifiable", and after clicking OK, a greyed window opened. All the boxes are unchecked, except for the first one about using '' or '". The field next to "try default password" is empty (and box unchecked), no scripts are defined. As I said, the window is grey, so I can't change anything.

                    • 7. Re: admin locked out
                         I tried this in FMP 5.5 (the closest I can get to your version) and couldn't set two blank passwords. That might be a difference in the two versions (4 and 5.5) or you might still have a password in your file. I'd try each of your original passwords or even a single space as the password to see if any of them are accepted and let you open the file.
                      • 8. Re: admin locked out

                        I appreciate all your efforts to help me. I remember that when I erased the password, a screen said I needed to give full access to the file, and I checked the box for that. I guess "full access" meant access to look at everything (which was already teh case), but not access to modify the file...

                        I have tried pretty much any password I could think of. I think I also tried the space, but I'll try again tomorrow. Now is the end of my work day... What a frustrating one!

                        Thanks again. I'll keep you posted.

                        • 9. Re: admin locked out

                          Did you follow his suggestion of 


                          "To see if the file is set to automatically supply the password when opened, try opening the file while holding down the shift key (windows) or option key (mac). If that causes the system to ask you for a password, you should be able to enter a full access password to get the file open and then set whatever passwords you want on your original file before converting it."


                          You'd have to hold the key down while opening the file, not after its been opened, and not opening filemaker, but opening the file. So if the file is already open, then close it, hold down the key and reopen it.  Best first choice would be Admin and blank password. Whenever you create a file those are its default credentials. Thats why you can create and modify and open the new file without a password. 

                          • 10. Re: admin locked out

                            Man, you guys are the best. If any of this works...you will have bailed me out of a massively bad day at work on Monday. Locked myself out of the 60 layout/ school database that I have been developing for the last month by mistake. IIt wants a system password that I have no clue what it is...I just work there. One can have very bad days with old Fikemaker files and passwords, yes?