Claris FileMaker Recovery and Corruption Resources

A collection of recovery and corruption resources from Claris all in one place.

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Our life boat service rebuilds you a brand new file based on your existing application code and data. You get your file back – corruption free.

File Recovery Service

Registered owners of the current version (or one version back) of FileMaker Pro may send in files for recovery. This service will be processed provided all necessary documentation (see attachment) is submitted correctly. There is a fee of U.S. $500.00 per file.


Deleting a damaged layout

First, a word to the wise. Anything discussed here should not give the impression that backing up data is anything less than vital. The following types of processes are usually not necessary if good backup procedures are in place and followed!

How to organize the recovery process when recovering related databases

When running a recovery process on databases in a FileMaker Pro solution, (multiple databases using relationships to one another) retaining the original filenames is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the relationships between files. Following is a overview of a process to help organize the recovery process and avoid filename confusion.

Recover File

Recovers a damaged FileMaker Pro file.

Recovering files

If a file appears to be damaged, first try saving a compacted copy, which copies all the data and rebuilds the tree structure of the database (see Saving a compacted copy). Even if the file can’t be opened, you can use the Advanced Recovery Options dialog box (described below) to make a compacted copy. If a file is too damaged to open or use, you can use the Recover command to salvage as much information as it can and create a new, recovered file.

Removing corrupt records from a file

When scrolling through your data (with or without View as List), your computer freezes when trying to display a specific record.  Recovering the file either results in a failure or does not fix the record.

Setting advanced file recovery options

FileMaker Pro uses certain default settings when it recovers a file. You can change these settings when you attempt to recover a damaged file.

What do you do if your file fails the consistency check?

To open a database that failed the Consistency Check, you must first repair the database with the Save a Copy As/Compacted Copy command in your previous version of FileMaker Pro (8.5 or earlier) or use the Recover command in your current version of FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Pro Advanced.

What to do when your file is corrupt

If you suspect that you FileMaker solution is corrupt there are several things you can try to fix it on your own.


Corrupt / Damaged Files: How to avoid the need for recovery

File corruption is not inevitable, but it’s a good idea to take measures to prevent damage to a database and ensure that databases are properly backed-up in case of disaster.

Ensuring that all of your hosted files are clean of corruption

If you are experiencing issues with one or more of your files hosted by FileMaker Server and feel like there is the possibility of corruption within your file(s), the following steps need to be performed for ALL files hosted on the server. Once this process has been completed for all of the files, it is important that they are all put back up on the server at the same time.

File management best practices

While FileMaker, Inc. 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 this happens to you, the news does not have to be all bad.  In fact, following the suggestions and best practices in this article, the overall impact and inconvenience can be minimal.

OS level file sharing can lead to file corruption

FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server use their own networking capabilities, and are entirely independent of any file sharing capabilities native to your operating system.

Background / Related

Messages that appear in Recover.log

The Recover.log file, introduced in FileMaker Pro 10, is a standard text file which is written to every time you Recover a file or perform a Consistency Check on a file.

Overview of disaster recovery in FileMaker Pro

A frequent cause of file damage is a FileMaker Pro solution being closed improperly… Another cause of file damage is media damage (for example, bad sectors on a hard drive), where parts of a file cannot be read by the operating system.

The FileMaker Pro Consistency Check

FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced include a file consistency check which is the same as the one performed in FileMaker Server. If a FileMaker Pro file is closed improperly, a consistency check is performed the next time the file is opened. In addition, the consistency check will run on each file that has not previously had a check performed on it. FileMaker’s consistency check is a process run on each individual file upon opening.

Understanding the messages returned in the Recover dialog box after file recovery has completed

When files are recovered, any easily recreated information is destroyed – to eliminate file damage messages when bringing the file up again. Usually, these are in the form of defaults (exclusive being checked, status area open or closed, window size, etc.) It’s easier for the user to recreate these.

What to do if FileMaker Pro displays a message about damaged access privileges when attempting to open a FileMaker Pro file

FileMaker Pro is aggressive in checking the integrity and safety of account names and password in a FileMaker Pro file. Because of this, if a FileMaker Pro file is damaged and the area of the file where the account names and password are stored is affected, the file may not open as expected and will instead display a message similar to the following…

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