FileMaker® Pro Files Testing and Repair

What is FileMaker Corruption

File corruption is not inevitable, but it’s a good idea ensure that databases are properly backed-up in case of disaster. While FileMaker takes every precaution possible to prevent data loss – there are those rare occasions when your FileMaker Pro file can become corrupted and data loss may occur. If your Filemaker database exhibits the following signs, chances are, your file could be corrupted:

  • Multiple users report beachballs or hanging that require force quitting of FileMaker.
  • Repeatable FileMaker file crashes.
  • Repeatable FileMaker application or server crashes.
  • Records that can’t be deleted.
  • Ghost records.
  • Layouts that cause FileMaker to crash.

What causes FileMaker Corruption

There are many problems can FileMaker corruption. Corruption can be caused by both human, network and system issues, including:

  • Catastrophic hardware failure
  • Losing power unexpectedly to your server machine
  • Clients disconnecting without proper termination of their activities
  • Writing / Accessing a bad spot on the hard drive
  • Software or hardware conflicts
  • Network latency

What to do if you suspect your files are corrupted

If you suspect “some” corruption in your file(s), the best course of action is:

  1. Open your current FileMaker Pro file.
  2. Export the data to a neutral file format (like a Merge file)
  3. Import the data from the neutral file format into a copy of your latest master clone
  4. Use the copy of your latest master clone

If you receive an error message about your file being corrupted when you attempt to open it:

  1. Use the recover command in FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced to attempt to recover your file.
  2. If the recovered version of your file opens, use it to export your data to a neutral file format (like a Merge file.)
  3. Import the data from the neutral file format into a copy of your latest master clone
  4. Use the copy of your latest master clone

If the file corruption is more severe and you cannot gain access to your current file:

  1. Export your data from your most recent backup to a neutral file format (like a Merge file)
  2. Import the data from the neutral file format into a copy of your latest master clone
  3. Use the copy of your latest master clone

If you do not have a master clone of your file:

  1. Create a clone of your current file or your most recent backup
  2. Import your data into this clone

Get professional help

If all else fails, you can send over your possibly corrupt files over to us.  We can inspect and test them provided that it meet the following conditions:

  • The File should NOT be recovered, cloned, or saved as a copy, after the discovery. Only the unmodified damaged file is of any use (unless instructed by us otherwise).
  • If you are able to create a Clone of the damaged file(s) that shows the exact same symptoms, you can use this Clone instead.
  • A description of the malfunction of the file is included.
  • Login/password or dependent files are only required, to perform specific tests.
  • Files MUST be zipped before submission. Zipped sizes up to 50 MB may be emailed. If you need assistance submitting the file(s) please contact us.
  • All data contained will be kept confidential.

Please note that we do not check for programming faults or wrong field (or other elements) definitions.

You may send your problematic .fp7 or .fmp12 file in .zip format to support@neocode.com, or provide a download URL. If your files are too big to be sent by email, please send it through Dropbox.com or WeTransfer.com account which is free for up to 2 GB.

After an exploratory test of the file we will report back what we have found and a scope of work and estimate. Usually these are the two possible results:

  • The file can likely be repaired, what is damaged, how much time it will take and what it will cost.
  • The file is damaged beyond repair

In case you agree to the scope of work and estimate, we will send you an invoice for the deposit to get started.

Statement from FileMaker:

The Recover command DOES NOT repair files and a recovered file SHOULD NOT be used in a production environment.

Please make sure you have reviewed “File management best practices”
http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11927/~/file-management-best-practices

Notes:

What to do when your file is corrupt
http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5421/~/what-to-do-when-your-file-is-corrupt

Removing corrupt records from a file
http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4666/~/removing-corrupt-records-from-a-file

Corrupt / Damaged Files: How to avoid the need for recovery
http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4426/~/corrupt-%2F-damaged-files%3A-how-to-avoid-the-need-for-recovery