Fields Suddenly Missing and Changed - Corrupt file?


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    FM 8.5 I posted this problem but it seemed to have slipped through the cracks so I repost it here. Thanks I have three tables - CONTACTS , INVOICES and CHEQUES. I have working relationships between the CONTACTS and INVOICES that displays Contact ID in my Invoices based off the Contact ID #. I do not understand how to create a relationship between INVOICES and CHEQUES that will allow me see the information I entered in my payment records (CHEQUES) for the Invoice ID designation I have, what I am calling RS_ID_Number. When I create an Invoice I designate a unique RS_ID _Number (it tells me info that an auto-generated serial would not). When I record a payment for an Invoice I enter the RS_ID Number in a field called RS_Number - this is a drop down list displaying records from a field (RS_ID_NUmber). When I do this info from the related Invoice appears, namely the amount of the Invoice. Then I enter the payment info - payment date , payment type etc.. My aim is to be able to see this payment info from the CHEQUES records on a Layout based on INVOICES. Thanks

Fields Suddenly Missing and Changed - Corrupt file?

Postby douglas » Wed, 13 Oct 2004 00:50:15 GMT

If his computer crashes while running File Maker Pro, the next time he
logs in, my friend says he gets a message that says his file is
corrupt.  It has never been a problem -- he just clicks something to
repair it and it has always worked -- but this last time, it didn't

(I'm an Access programmer and I've never used FM Pro, so I'm going to
use Access words to describe what I found when I took a look at my
friends FM Pro 6.0 database.)

On his invoice form, all of the fields have shifted; become different
fields: Where it used to have the customer name, it now has a <Field
Missing> message, and where it used to have the invoice ID (the label
above it still says Invoice ID,) it now has the total amount field. 
(in fact all of the fields are missing or different than the labels.) 
He said the form has worked for a long time, and the change happened
suddenly (which assures me it is a corrupt file issue.)  If I remove
all of the <Missing Field> fields, the invoice actually runs without
throwing an error, but all of the data in the wrong place.

Am I right when I come up with the following thoughts (being
inexperienced with MF) -- because although I would like to know why
this happend, more importantly, we'd just like to make it work:

1. I could delete all of the fields, and rebuild the form, but then I
fear I am leaving corruptness somewhere.  And what if it happens again
in the future, would this solutions mean is he doomed to rebuilding
forms everytime he has a problem for the rest of his life?

2. I wonder, in my ignorance, if it might be as simple as an index
that needs to be rebuilt (or whatever MF uses to keep things linked.)

3. A quick search of the internet tells me that Claris can fix corrupt
files for $100 a pop; I might be pounding my head against an
unsolvable wall and that might be the answer (but they say it takes 6

Then I remembered that the internet is filled with geniuses and
experts who know everything I wish I knew.  If you are one of those
people who may even have the slightest inkling of what I might try,
would you please leave a post and help me help my friend?

Thank you so very much!


Re: Fields Suddenly Missing and Changed - Corrupt file?

Postby lynn » Wed, 13 Oct 2004 01:04:54 GMT

oug < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote:

Unfortunately for your friend, the "Recover" command in Filemaker does
not repair files. It only opens them to a state where you can recover
all or most of the data.

This is poorly documented, but if you search, in the Help it says
specifically NOT to continue to use or develop crashed and recovered
files. This is why it's prudent to keep uncrashed clones and import the
data from crashed files, then continue to use & develop the clean files.
If your friend doesn't have clean clones, then he will have to rebuild
from scratch. Period. There is no saving the old files...only the old
data. Then you can have the Why We Back Up talk with him...I'm sure this
holds true for Access as well as Filemaker.

[snip of corruption description]

When the Recover command is run, it will examine all the structural
elements of the files, and if it finds anything suspicious to the
analysis algorithms, the suspicious element is REMOVED. Entirely. Field
definitions may be replaced by unnamed fields, but you'll lose
calculations, relationships based on those fields, script steps that
refer to the bad field, etc. ANY element, from layout objects to entire
scripts, can be deleted during the process.

This pretty much explains what you find. Crashing during use,
particularly during defining fields, will cause corruption. Repeated
crashing and recovery will build corruption on top of corruption.

This is one really good argument for hosting files with FM Server.
Usually a client machine crash doesn't affect the hosted files, and a
properly configured server almost never crashes.

Don't continue to use the files. Rebuild them, and then keep the clones
as recommended above. So you'll only do it once. However, you also need
to examine the reasons behind the crashing. Is he hosting the files and
allowing others to guest in inappropriately? Is his machine unstable for
other reasons? Minimize the necessity for importing into the clones by
getting rid of the underlying cause, the crashing.

Nope. Those files are hosed. Thoroughly.

Probably not. I know they want to stop offering that service, and
anyway, Claris became FileMaker Inc. about 7 years ago. ;) The files
themselves won't do you any good, it's really the data you need. Doesn't
your friend have ANY recent backups? If not, shame on him. He'll have to
consider this his Wakeup Call from the Data Gods.

Doug, you're a good friend. Teach your buddy how to post and ask his own
questions, so he can figure out how to rebuild his files, practice good
database hygiene and rigorous backup procedures, and get righteous with
his data. ;)

Lynn Allen

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