Recover a FileMaker Pro 4.x - 5.x File

If FileMaker Pro 4.x -5.x files become damaged due to a power failure, system error, or hardware failure, many times FileMaker can automatically repair a damaged file.

If you receive the message when opening a file, "This file was not closed properly. FileMaker is now performing a consistency check." Let the process continue. If the file opens, the file has been repaired and you may use it normally.

Severely damaged files will display a message that "The access privileges in this files have been damaged." In these cases, FileMaker's Recover process will NOT work. The solution in these cases is to revert to a backup copy of the file.

Damaged files that are recoverable will display a message that the file is "damaged and cannot be opened." In these cases, you can follow these steps to use FileMaker's Recover to repair the damaged file.

Before Recovering

Before attempting the Recover process, Ag IT recommends that you RESTART the computer and empty TEMP folders (see How To Empty TEMP folders).

Recover Process

Note: Ag IT database programs are usually made up of multiple files. If you are using the Recover command to fix issues with one of our programs, you should recover all the "main" files from the folder.

Mailing List
YDEP Horse Prod
Horse Perf
Junior Dairy
HoRT Book
  • ML4v1
  • MLbusnv1
  • MLpersv1
  • People
  • Project Totals
  • Units
  • Horse Production
  • Prod_Animals

  • Horse Performance
  • Perf_Entries
  • Perf_Horses
  • Dairy Show
  • DS_Animals
  • DS_Entries
  • LS Show
  • LSS_Animals
  • LSS_Buyers
  • LSSale
  • HortBook
  • HortCaller
  • Resources
    Note: Some Ag IT database programs may be made up of "single" files as well. The older version of the Mailing List is one example. These files may be called Mailing List v2.x for example. In these cases, you only need to recover that single file.
    1. Click Start | All Programs | Open the FileMaker Pro 4.x or 5.x application.
    2. In the Open dialog box click Cancel.
    3. From the File menu choose Recover.

      : The Recover dialog box appears. You will need to locate the damaged file.

    4. Select the damaged file in the dialog box. Click Open.

      : The Name Recovered File dialog box appears. In the Save dialog box, a 'space' and the word 'Recovered' will be added to the end of the file name.

      Note: Ag IT recommends that you save the Recovered file to your Local Disk (C:) drive. If you attempt to save the file to the same location as the original, the process may not complete successfully.

    5. From the Save in drop-down box choose Local Disk (C:).
    6. In the File name box, re-enter the ORIGINAL file name. (Remove the 'space' & word 'Recovered')
    7. Click Save.

      Note: You should see a recovery process progress window. When it completes, you will see a "Recovery is complete" message. If this doesn't appear, the Recovery process did not complete successfully. Repeat steps 3 - 7. Be sure to save the Recovered file to the Local Disk (C:) location.

    8. When you see the "Recovery is complete" message, click OK.
    9. If you need to Recover additional files, repeat steps 3 - 8. Please be aware that when you do step 4, you will need to switch back to your original folder where the damaged files are located.
    10. When you have finished Recovering all the damaged files, from the File menu choose Exit.

    Remove Original File(s) & Replace with Recovered File(s)

    1. In the folder containing the original, damaged file(s) create a new folder called DAMAGED.
    2. Drag the original, damaged file(s) into the DAMAGED folder.
    3. Do not close the original folder location at this point. To make steps 4 - 5 easier, you could move the folder's window to the right side of the screen.
    4. Open My Computer. Open the Local Disk (C:).

      Note: The files on the Local Disk (C:) drive should have the ORIGINAL names at this point. We will refer to them as "Recovered" file(s) in our steps though since we can't be sure what their names might be.

      Note: While you can just drag the "Recovered" file(s) back to the original folder location, Ag IT recommends that you copy the "Recovered" file(s) back to the original location. If the files crash again, you will still have a good, "Recovered" file on the Local Disk (C:) drive.

    5. Right-click on a "Recovered" file in the Local Disk (C:) window and choose Copy.
    6. Right-click in the original folder and choose Paste.
    7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to copy all the "Recovered" file(s) back to the original folder.
    8. Open the "Recovered" file(s) and check for information loss.

      Note: If the recovered file still won't open or information is lost, contact Ag IT Computer Support for further assistance before proceeding.

    9. If the "Recovered" file(s)work as expected, from the File menu choose Exit.
    10. You can delete the DAMAGED folder. You can also delete the "Recovered" file(s) from the Local Disk (C:) drive.

      Note: It would be recommended to save a backup copy of the original folder at this point as well.