11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2014 11:14 AM by AlarS.

    Data lost after closing host FM database

    AlarS.

      Title

      Data lost after closing host FM database

      Post

           I've been sharing a FM database from my a server computer for a while now. I'm not using a FM Server, only the Pro version to share with few of my colleagues. Today I wanted to maintain the server computer so I made sure nobody was using the database and closed the program. After a restart I opened the database file but it appeared to be a very old version of my database. A lot of work done in last few weeks seems to be lost.

           Any ideas on why this happened and where is my up-to-date database? How can I get it back?

           BR
           Alar 

        • 1. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
          philmodjunk

               Best guess is that the copy of the file that you opened is not the copy that was being hosted--perhaps it was an older back up copy. FileMaker automatically saves all data to disk, so the data shouldn't just disappear like this.

          • 2. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
            AlarS.

                 No. The file opened was correct copy. I'm sure because I used the "recent files" window that opens when I open the program. There are only 2 citems there. 

            • 3. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
              philmodjunk

                   Apologies in advance for this post. When something like this happens, you have to rule out some really obvious possible causes.

                   Records do not just "go missing" in a FileMaker database. Recent items stores a file path to a specific file. If something such as a "Restore from backup" type operation overwrote your most recent file with a backup. Recent Items would then point to the older back up.

                   It's also possible to examine a layout and think that the records are missing when they aren't. What do you see on your layout that tells you these records are missing? If you do a Show All Records on this layout, do you then see the records you thought were missing?

                   Do you have any back up copies of your file? What do you see when you open your most recent back up copy of this database file?

                   Do you have any relationships in your database that specify the "Delete" option? Could recently deleting a record or group of records have resulted in a cascading delete of multiple records in multiple tables?

              • 4. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
                AlarS.

                     I know this is the old version because I made some major modifications with the layout designs during last weeks and they are all gone. I also located it on the disk and the file is correct until I open it.

                     Maybe I should have mentioned this earlier but the database file is located in a shared dropbox folder.

                • 5. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
                  WBSimon

                       My guess is the file you worked on did not have time to sync with the copy in the "cloud". 

                  • 6. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
                    AlarS.

                         I went to my work computer, disconnected ethernet cable and turned it on. I made a copy of the database file located in the dropbox folder. This should be the last working up-to-date copy because everything was fine when I left the office. I opened the copied file but it is exactly the same -- version from few weeks back.

                         Seems like filemaker hasn't been saving anything these last weeks?

                    • 7. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
                      philmodjunk
                           

                                I know this is the old version because I made some major modifications with the layout designs during last weeks and they are all gone.

                           Which provides pretty strong evidence that you are not looking at the same copy of the file that you were when you were connecting to the file as a client of the hosted database.

                           Is there data that is also missing or is it only layout/design changes that do not appear?

                           There have been one or two unreproducible cases reported over in Report an Issue where a file hosted (by SERVER if I recall correctly) failed to save layout design changes that were made to it. This was stalled by the fact that no one at FileMaker Inc. has been able to reproduce this behavior.

                      • 8. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
                        AlarS.

                             I searched the server computer thorouglly for .fmp12 files and had a look into them — newest version was a 10 day old "complicated copy" that dropbox made.

                             Yes there is also lots of data missing.

                             I tried to simulate the problem today. Opened a database in server computer, shared it. Made changes (new records etc) during the day on two different computers. Same time tracked the physical file and no changes  seemed to be saved during the day ("date modified" was the same when I opened it). Then I made a new record on the server computer and closed the database. Only then the "date modified" changed from 9:54 AM to 6:37 PM. Only difference between the fatal data loss and this simulation was the last data modification in the server computer.

                             Can this be explained? I can not use FM until this problem is solved.

                        • 9. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
                          philmodjunk

                               How exactly are you using drop box in conjunction with hosting this file over the network? I don't get why you would be getting "conflicted" copies if you are correctly using FileMaker Pro to host the files while other users access the file using open remote.

                               Personally, I would never, ever host this database from a drop box folder. I might save back up copies to it, but I wouldn't open a file located inside drop box for hosting over a network.

                               If you are using some kind of file sharing to share this file, that is a very likely explanation for the missing data and can also result in a damaged database file.

                          • 10. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database

                                 Using a file in a Dropbox folder is not a very good idea... Dropbox is NOT a Filemaker server nor does DropBox promise that any file opened and run and saved in the Dropbox folder will be current. Dropbox will copy a newly dropped into it file but may not see a saved file as a new file.

                                 Place the working copy on the hard drive of the computer hosting Filemaker Pro.

                                 You can then know where that file resides, etc. Always open it.

                                 To save a copy to Dropbox, which is NOT a FileMaker Server, write a backup script to Save a Copy to the DropBox folder. I timestamp my saved copies so that there is always a fresh copy plus old backups in DropBox.

                                 I also use this technique with other cloud servers. I also use it to make a backup copy on my hard drive in a Backups folder.

                                 I have so many backup copies here and there that I would never suffer a catastrophic loss of more than the time since my last manual or scripted backup.

                                 Did I mention that my last window close trigger runs my backup script?

                                 You can also try going to DropBox.com and opening your account and see what files it has there. You might get lucky.

                            • 11. Re: Data lost after closing host FM database
                              AlarS.

                                   The complicated copy was made during development when I closed the db from one computer and opened the same file from another too fast.

                                   As I understand I have no hope on getting my database back the way it was two days ago and have to continue with the version I have now. I'll move it away from dropbox.

                                   I was searching help on creating a script that makes automatically after certain interval. I tried some scripts but at the moment it seems like it can be done only on the host computer? Is there a way I can initiate the backup making from via remote connection? Or can I somehow make the script to make the host file save the backup files after certain time intervals — after 5 hours, once a day, at exactly 6PM?

                                   I don't mind if there are many backup files on my hard drive. I can always delete the older ones manually?