I strongly recommend that you upgrade. The day is approaching when all available replacement computers you might get won't work with FileMaker 5. You really don't want to put yourself in a position where you have to convert your DB to a newer version on a crash basis as the change will take time to do without introducing problems into the converted set of files.
To answer your specific question, I suggest making a copy of this field and removing the check box formatting. At one time, such value list formatting was part of the field definition and I forget when the change to layout based value list formatting was done, so you may have to set up a calculation field that copies the value of this field. But once you can see the data in the field without the check box formatting you can check to see if the field is empty or if the data imported doesn't exactly match a value or values in the current value list defined for your field. (A check box formatted field can store data, but if it does not match a value in the value list, none of the boxes will show as selected and this creates the illusion that the field is empty and in your case that the data did not import.)
I'm very quickly going to get in over my head here as I know little about DB.
First, I agree about the upgrade. That should happen in the near future based on my recommendation.
Second, I am sure your suggestion about eliminating the check box is valid but it's somewhat over my head. Currently, the script uses the check box to filter orders. It does a date filter by month, and includes only those orders that have been shipped. Perhaps the data is importing, but the box is not checked and when I run the script to calculate monthly sales... it tells me that no records match the request because it's looking for records with that box checked.
I'm not suggesting that you make permanent change to your database, but that you make a temporary change to your file so that we can tell if the data failed to import or if it simply fails to match the current list of values specified for this field's value list.
There are basically 3 possible scenarios that I can imagine here:
The data was not imported due to the field not being correctly mapped during the data import.
The data was not imported due to a validation error keeping the data from being imported (but you should have seen an error message during the import in most cases.)
The data was imported, but the value list and check box format hides this value from view.
By looking at the actual data in the field by using a copy that is not formatted with a check box format, we can better determine which of the above scenarios is the most likely and then I can tell what to do to correct the issue.
Note that if you want to be extra careful, you can make a copy of this file and try doing this in the copy so that you can simply discard the copy and return to the original if something goes wrong with your file.
Well so far my experience with FM is only on modifying scripts. I have no knowledge of how to create or modify fields. I'm sure I could learn it quickly but this may not be the best time for me to do that. It may be simpler for me to manually check the boxes this time around and then address the issue when we upgrade. I'll certainly need avail myself of the training offered for FM.
I'd provide more detailed info on how to do this. (It's not that hard), but the system has changed a lot over the decades and I no longer have a version that old installed where I can launch it and review my memory of exactly how to do it in that version.
Well I've decided just to manually re-check the box on all records. Tedious, yes. And it doesn't really solve the underlying issue. But this only occurs once each year when the records are imported to the updated scripted version of our file. Since we're upgrading FM this year, next year will be a different set of problems entirely, I'm sure! :)
I'm also discovering other areas where data is not importing properly. In several instances, without any pattern that I can find, freight charges are not transferring over. There's also a field called "Control date" that isn't transferring.
So our problems are larger than I anticipated, and I think an upgrade is more urgent than I had been thinking. I believe I'll be talking with a sales associate shortly.