Corrupted Catalogue files

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Your first action should be to use the 'Recover' procedure described on page 140 (v8), p136 (v7), p130 (v6) or p216 (v5) of the manual and described here.

This article refers to 'normal' single-file FDB catalogues - SQL based catalogue users should skip to the section at the bottom of the page.

It is worth stating that on well-maintained systems catalogue corruption is rare. Apart from not being able to open a catalogue at all, tell-tale signs are apparent duplicate records appearing and data in list view not displaying correctly (dupes, data offset from correct record, etc.).

Before recovery, always close all catalogues in the client to be used. Served catalogues can't be recovered but must be unserved first; the FAQ doesn't recommend recovery of of unserved catalogues from servered catalogue folders either, lest something trigger an attempt to re-serve the catalogue during recovery. The recovery task is CPU intensive so best done on powerful desktop (or the server) without a lot of other tasks going on as well. Ideally use a client on the same computer as the catalogue's location as this will make the task quicker; it is certainly quickest to recover using a client and catalogue on the same OS and the catalogue on a local hard drive. The catalogue doesn't need access to its originals, previews, etc., during recovery - it just uses the FDB file data - so may be moved to undertake this process and then restored to its original location for use once done; the latter fact may offer more choices for an admin with limited spare assets. There is no estimator of the time the process will take - very large catalogue recoveries may need to run for some while - e.g. overnight.

It is a good idea - certainly with production catalogues - to do the recovery process on a back-up of the 'bad' catalogue. Take into account that the end result of the process is a new catalogue, so allow for the disk space needed. The resulting catalogue is likely to be smaller as compacting is a by-product of this process (indeed it is the only way to compact a healthy catalogue file). Another good tip is that if the damaged catalogue can be opened, make a note the total number of records reported.

If recovering catalogues in their normal operating location, beware of ADM files that may have not been deleted when the catalogue was last closed, e.g. if there was an app crash.

If updating catalogues to a new version schema by opening in a new version's client, it is recommended you recover the catalogue first. This ensures the data is both 'clean' and compacted before the update to the new schema.

The recovery process results in a new catalogue with a different name but you'll want the resulting 'clean' catalogue to be corrected named - so do this:

For the recovery process you must do as follows:

If you don't see the "Recover Catalog" series of dialogs at all it is likely the process has not run correctly; in tests, these dialogs are seen even when compacting/recovering a new totally empty Catalogue by the above method. It should also be said that completing recovery is not a 100% guarantee the catalogue's problems have been resolved

At the end point although you are told "All recoverable records have been added to the new catalog" you are not told how many records have been recovered (or how many there may have been originally). Now open the catalogue (still unserved) in a client to check it opens correctly. If (above) you were able to note the last known total number of records compare that with the number last shown; you won't know what's gone if the number differs but at least you've some idea of numbers.

Recovery and SQL catalogues
In general, the use of a SQL engine really removes the need for a 'recovery' tool, certainly as a 'compact' tool.

With SQL 6.0 there are no recovery options. This is largely left to the skills and understanding of the SQL DBA.

From SQL 7.0+ there is a DBA Tool (Windows OS only) that will allow indexes to be re-created and basic maintenance plans to be applied, etc. The DBA tool is referred to in the server manual from v7 onwards.

Question: Corrupted Catalogue files [FAQ00036.htm]
Last Update:- 24 September 2007

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