Trouble with Filemaker 7
December 3, 2013 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Working on an old version of Filemaker Pro (7) in Windows, I created an alias (shortcut) of the main database, opened it and lost everything. Help?

For ease of access to the main database which is stored on an external, I created a shortcut on the desktop. When I initially opened the alias through Filemaker, it worked fine and opened the main database. However, after I closed it and then tried to reopen it, the whole database was wiped, reduced to a completely blank, empty, new database and the database was now a tiny 24 kb file.

The program is set to autosave after every close. I assume something happened where it saved the alias (if that's possible?) overtop of the database itself?

Has this ever happened to you before? I assume it's just lost, at this point, but if anyone had any suggestions (other than "back everything up, idiot") I would love to hear them. I'm mostly confused why it worked once and only once.
posted by StopMakingSense to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
 
>For ease of access to the main database which is stored on an external, I created a shortcut on the desktop.

Don't do that! You can create a local FileMaker file to use as a launcher to open a remotely hosted FileMaker db, but you shouldn't make/use a Window's shortcut to do that. FileMaker can't stop you from doing that, but it is a very bad practice. It won't damage the file, but it may work inconsistently and and/or fail, as you are seeing.

> I assume something happened where it saved the alias (if that's possible?) overtop of the database itself?

It's not possible to wipe data out this way unless you have some sort of evil "on closing, delete records" sort of script. In other words, you would have to do this explicitly. It's more likely it didn't find your networked file and instead opened your local copy of Filemaker to a new/blank file.

Have you tried opening the file remotely from within FileMaker? Launch your copy of FileMaker, go to the File menu, choose Open Remote (or choose Open and then click on the Remote button), and then navigating to the hosted file? That's the thing to try in this situation. If the file is still hosted, it should be fine and your data should be there. If the file isn't there, well, that's a different problem. It's still possible that the remote file is there, and the data is truly gone, but this seems less likely. See if you can get to the actual remote file using the above method, and we'll go from there.
posted by mosk at 1:54 PM on December 3, 2013


I'm mostly confused why it worked once and only once.

Is the thing on your desktop still a shortcut, or is it in fact now a stub database file?
posted by flabdablet at 3:05 PM on December 3, 2013


mosk - I can't open remotely or share because "the networking stack could not be initialized." Previously, I had just opened the database directly (File, Open) from the external HD (it is a long, dumb story about why it wasn't just hosted locally). This is a one-horse, one-computer kind of operation, so it hasn't needed to be set up for sharing on a network. There were definitely no unusual actions taken (deleting, or other fussing around) other than the creation of the shortcut and then opening the shortcut.

flabdablet -It is still a shortcut. The database itself (same name and location as before) opens as a blank database (that is to say, no design or layout, no data, nothing) and is only 24kb when it was previously much more. It appears this way both when I initially tried open it directly and when I open it via the shortcut.
posted by StopMakingSense at 3:15 PM on December 3, 2013


> Previously, I had just opened the database directly (File, Open) from the external HD.

Ah, gotcha. OK, disregard most of my previous comment -- I thought you or someone else wwas hosting the file remotely, and therefore opening it locally from a remote host, which is a very specific thing in FileMaker. But that isn't what you were doing, so my previous advice doesn't apply. Storing the file on an external drive and using it as you were is not a big deal at all, it just isn't what we typically mean when we refer to a file as being "remote" in FMP.

>It is still a shortcut. The database itself (same name and location as before) opens as a blank database (that is to say, no design or layout, no data, nothing) and is only 24kb when it was previously much more. It appears this way both when I initially tried open it directly and when I open it via the shortcut.

Well...that's pretty troubling. :( Have you tried doing a Windows search of your hard drive for this file? It's very, very, very odd for FMP to "eat" even a single element of a file and not give you any warning that it's about to do this, never mind wiping a file out completely. I say this as someone who earns his living with this program. If you haven't shut down the FileMaker app since this happened, it's possible there may be something in FileMaker's temp folder, or in the trash, so I'd look there just to be sure, but I don't have much hope.

I'm going to do a little digging and see if I can find an explanation for might have happened, but AFAIK this is very weird and unusual.
posted by mosk at 4:11 PM on December 3, 2013


Oh, one more thing to check: check the create date of the 24k db file on your external drive, via Properties. If it isn't yoday, well, that makes it almost certain that your data is gone for good. If it is today, then it isn't your original db file, and that file was somehow moved elsewhere. Does that make sense?
posted by mosk at 6:06 PM on December 3, 2013


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