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Tricky damaged file issue or "the server that couldn't slow down"


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The prime rules of backups are "1. make them, and 2. test them out".

Well, in doing this, I realized today that one of my filemaker files (hosted on FMSA8) is corrupt -- when I try to open one of the daily backup files locally, I get the dreaded "The access privileges have been damaged or possibly tampered with" message.

If I go back to the original file which is hosted on FMSA8, and open Accounts & Privileges, it opens up fine, but I notice that one of my accounts is blank, and I can't edit or delete it. Drat, this looks like real corruption. If I'm lucky it's only corruption of the Accounts data, not the entire file.

So here's the trick -- the file is still open & hosted & running fine in FMSA8. I worry that if I were to close it and/or shut down the server, the next time I tried to open it it might fail to open.

Since the file is open in the server, it seems like the best set of operations is to manually rebuild this file by starting with a brand new file, then import all the tables (using the "Create new table" option which keeps formulas), then copying & pasting everything else that I can into a new clean file (e.g. value lists, scripts, layouts, etc.) What a pain.

After I'm done with that, I'll be brave enough to close the file in FMServer and try recovery options. If the server crashes tonight, I'm totally hosed, but as long as the disks keep spinning I'll be ok. Pray for power!

Homer: I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around a city, keeping its speed over fifty and if its speed dropped, it would explode! I think it was called ... "The Bus That Couldnt Slow Down."
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Update -- I decided to start the hand-rebuilding process. It's a *#*!*$ pain in the behind, but after about 3 hours I had perhaps 90% of the crucial bits copied over into a brand new file. It seems that if you do the copying in a certain order it helps:

Setup File References.

Copy custom functions

Import base tables

Create TOs

Create relations

Copy Layouts

Copy Scripts

Doing it in this order, most (but not all) of the items are hooked back up properly.

My plan now is to get this freshly built version in good shape, then do more testing on the corrupt version and see if there's any way to get around the original bug.

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Your archives were damaged too?

Yeah, which is weird -- it appears that in the current state I'm in, the file is open in FMServer and running absolutely fine (with the exception of one "ghost" account that can't be edited, moved or deleted). However the daily backups being saved are corrupt, in the sense that the trigger the "tampered with" error and won't open locally.

I have not yet tried opening a backup in another copy of FM Server -- it is possible that FM Server would open the file, though I'm skeptical of this and want to make sure I've got 100% of the data and structure replicated elsewhere before I go messing with this.

I know how/when this corruption happened, which I'll try to detail in another post (short version = don't run scripts that add/delete accounts via a WAN with a poor wireless connection).

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Wow, what a nightmare. To recap: I had this one file that was open & running just fine in FM Server, but had a single corrupted account (blank name & password) that could not be edited or deleted. Worse, the hourly & daily backup files for this fm7 file were corrupted.

I spent about 15 hours re-building this file from scratch, doing as much copying & pasting & importing of tables & scripts as possible.

Once I got the new file working, I went back to the original file and tried to fix it -- I tried manually deleting the ghost account, re-ordering the accounts, deleting all accounts, removing password to the [Full Accesss] account, deleting the account via script, etc.

Nothing worked. And when I finally shut the old file down in FM Server, server would refuse to open it.

I suppose I could have sent the file to FM for repair, but I've heard that this takes weeks and $000s of dollars.


How the corruption happened in the first place:


Edited by Guest
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  • 1 year later...


I have just had this same experience and am still in the process of rebuilding my file. Trying to rebuild my faith in FileMaker.

The scenerio is:

This file which is a large heavily used file has been running fine on a FileMaker 8 Server. I needed to add an element to a global field so I took it down from the server, attempted to open the file and got the message "The access privileges in this file have been damaged or possibly tampered with. Please contact FileMaker Techincal Support..."

I proceeded to check my backups for this file - I had to go back 6 months to find a version that did not have this corruption.

I tried a recover, to no avail.

This was on a weekend and users were due in on Monday morning for a very large corporation and they run a very busy marketing department from this file. There is no emoticon that can express my feelings at this point.

This file had been hosted on a FM8 Server, I tried opening it on FM9 Server, etc. I shut down the FileMaker Service and restarted it and for some reason the file opened up.

I immediately ran a DDR, started documenting everything that I could think of and began rebuilding the file. That's when the email arrived telling us that the whole campus was going to lose power the next weekend and all servers would be shut down over the weekend. I contacted my FileMaker rep who said that FM should be able to recover the file. I called my premium tech support number and was told that they have seen this issue but do not have a solution for it. Also that there would be 6 week wait for FM to recover the file. I emailed my SE on Monday and heard back on Friday saying that a rebuild was my best solution.

It seems that all Server Backups need to be checked on a regular basis - Daily? Weekly? I am not sure if FM Server 9 would have caught this issue sooner.

This is very depressing.

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