2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2012 9:33 AM by Madpearl

    Entire records gone missing and changes to records not saved



      Entire records gone missing and changes to records not saved


      For over five years I have had a simple database at a client's logging sales contacts' details. The database is on Filemaker Server 11 on a dedicated Mac. Several of the staff reported recently that some entries they had made were not there when searched for a few days later, and some changes to existing records similarly disappeared. These omissions are infrequent, unpredictable and thus unnerving. I can find nothing on the forum, or elsewhere, about this particular problem.

      The client has said that 'connection to server' error messages have appeared on the sales team's Macs recently but not necessarily at precisely the same time as records go missing. My best guess is that this intermittent connection problem is causing entries to not make it back to the server even if no error message is shown. Would this make sense to you guys? 

      Any suggestions welcome.

        • 1. Re: Entire records gone missing and changes to records not saved

          A crash or loss of connection on the client machine before changes are committed back to the server would explain missing data/updates on the server. How likely that is or how severe the loss of data can depend on the design of your database. Some layout designs have auto-save turned off and do not save data until the user changes records, layouts, or clicks a button. In those cases, such a communication loss could lose all the data entered on the layout. Other layouts might commit data as often as every time the user exits a field. This isn't always a practical option but would minimize some of the data loss--assuming that it is from this cause.

          You might also take a copy down off the server and run a recover on it and then examine the recovered copy for data previously "missing". A damaged index or other file damage can keep a find performed by the user from finding data that is actually present in the table. WIth FileMaker 11, there's an advanced recover option that will rebuild all indexes in your file in one batch operation.

          If you have FileMaker 11, you can use Advanced Recovery options to rebuild your file's indexes:

          1. With the file closed, select Recover from the File Menu.
          2. Select "Use advanced Options"
          3. Select only: "Copy File Blocks as-is" and "Rebuild Field Indexes Now".

          The above specialized Recover that only rebuilds indexes is the one exception that I make to the following guidelines on recover operations:

          Things to keep in mind about Recover:

          1. Recover does not detect all problems
          2. Recover doesn't always fix all problems correctly
          3. Best Practice is to never put a recovered copy back into regular use or development. Instead, replace the damaged file with an undamaged back up copy if this is at all possible. You may have to save a clone of the back up copy and import all data from your recovered copy to get a working copy with the most up to date information possible.
          • 2. Re: Entire records gone missing and changes to records not saved

            Thanks again PhilModJunk. I haven't changed any of the methods that layout save the data from the default so am hoping it is working as it should. This would minimise loss but not cause it. That still looks like a network thing.

            I will run all the steps of the recover process you suggest and let you know how I get on.

            The client is also making improvements to the cabling on that side of the office. We should sort this out in a pincer movement.