Can you translate that message into English for us English speakers please?
Translation of the message : "This is version 11.0 'name of the file' is made with FileMaker version number 4.01 and it can not be opened in this version. Use version 4.0.1 instead if you would like to open this file."
Have you tried the 'Recover' function in FM4? In other words launch the application, don't open any file, choose the 'Recover' command (probably under 'File'), and point it at the file you are trying to open.
If I tried to use the recover option the files were disabled (gray) so that I could not select them to recover. This does not work.
Hmm.. That's strange. I have never seen the files themselves greyed out. The command - yes.
What size is the file? I only ask in case you want to ask someone else to try and recover it.
What happens if you move the file to another location? Is it always greyed out? What are the file's properties in Get Info?
It almost looks like Filemaker doesn't recognise that as a Filemaker file at all. What happens if you move it to a Windows machine and try and convert or recover it there?
When I tried to recover this files on a windows machine FileMaker doesn't recognize the files at all.
Is it a file extension issue? From memory they were suffixed fp3 in those days. If the file is a reasonable size, do you want to e-mail it to me and I will try?
I even tried the extension ".fp3" without results.
Now I think I understand! (But don't get your hopes up, I haven't solved the problem.)
I did not read your posting correctly. What baffled me was that there was no file format of .fp4 - it went from .fp3 to .fp5. So a .fp3 application version may not be expected to open it, but a .fp5 should. I loaded FP5 on to a PC and tried exactly what you have already, and had exactly the same result.
Then I read more carefully - you said (correctly) they were written in Filemaker 4 - not Filemaker Pro 4. That version dates from around 1988. Are you trying to open the files with FM Pro 4? I was also thrown by you saying that you had (sort of) sequentially tried version 4, version 5, 7, 9, 11. (As I did too). But the correct chronological sequence would be:
Filemaker II vs 1
Filemaker II vs 1.1
Filemaker Pro 1
Filemaker Pro 2
(The earliest version I used was Filemaker Pro.)
If these files rerally were developed in a 1988 application, I suspect you will have to follow the message in the dialogue and contact FM Technical Support.
if it's a FM Pro 4.x file, You'll need to convert to version 6 first, I suppose (to the .fp5 format)
There is no FM Pro 4 format, so it can't be converted. Either it is FM 4 (which would need an archaeologist to get back) or it is indeed FM Pro 4, in which case the conversion to FM 5 doesn't work.