Fatal Error xxx.dbf is not a table.

Events, Record Keeping, Utilities

Fatal Error xxx.dbf is not a table.

Postby mafmctr » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:12 am

Since we updated to v12.2, we have had the following error on three different occasions.

Error (12.2019.3030)
Program: opentables
Line: 8
Error: 15
Message: powerchurch\pcplus12\data\mecontlogd.dbf is not a table. (2 different times)

Or

Message: powerchurch\pcplus12\data\pcdict.dbf is not a table. (1 time)

Once you click OK on the error message PowerChurch aborts and exits.

mecontlogd.dbf has a file size of 1024kb and a timestamp of 11/18/2019 3:01am…which is when the external reindex process is set to run. Looks like the reindex process also aborted on this error (or perhaps created the error?) because the file date/time stamps on the remaining dbf files are from yesterday’s reindex process (11/17/2019). reindex.log does not have an entry for today.

I have restored the mecontlogd dbf/cdx files from backup and PowerChurch functions normally then. But this is not a long term solution!

Please advise.
mafmctr
 
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Re: Fatal Error xxx.dbf is not a table.

Postby Zorak » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:53 pm

What is the actual path listed in that message (the part before "powerchurch" that was excluded)? Is it a local file path like C:\ or is this a network installation?

It looks like your church purchased the Version 12 upgrade in March 2018. Have you been having this problem since then, or just since the download of the October 16, 2019 Maintenance Release that "upgraded" the software to Version 12.2?

As a point of interest, the two files that you referenced having the problems store the Contact History Log in Membership and the Spell Check dictionary. These aren't areas that have had any new development on in quite awhile, so the upgrade or Maintenance Release upgrade is probably coincidental.

The "Not a table" error means the database file is becoming corrupted beyond recognition as a database table. There are different errors that happen when there are just some non-ascii characters/data written into the database, causing "corruption" which is usually easy to resolve.

This is the internal structure of the file being changed. Have you done a thorough virus/threat scan on the computer where these files reside?
Zorak
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Re: Fatal Error xxx.dbf is not a table.

Postby mafmctr » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:43 pm

Zorak wrote:What is the actual path listed in that message (the part before "powerchurch" that was excluded)? Is it a local file path like C:\ or is this a network installation?
>>>It is a network path. We use UNC names...\\server\apps\powerchurch\... This has been the configuration for years.

It looks like your church purchased the Version 12 upgrade in March 2018. Have you been having this problem since then, or just since the download of the October 16, 2019 Maintenance Release that "upgraded" the software to Version 12.2?
>>>This is a new problem since the October update. The first file corruption (pcdict.dbf) was detected around 10/28/2019. The second time (mecontlogd.dbf) was around 11/03/2019. And the third (mecontlogd.dbf) was this morning (11/18/2019).

As a point of interest, the two files that you referenced having the problems store the Contact History Log in Membership and the Spell Check dictionary. These aren't areas that have had any new development on in quite awhile, so the upgrade or Maintenance Release upgrade is probably coincidental.
>>>hmmm...was hoping there was some easy explanation for this since it hasn't been a problem in the past. Both the mecontlogd.dbf corruption problems were detected by the office manager when she attempted to use the Integrated Data Entry form.

The "Not a table" error means the database file is becoming corrupted beyond recognition as a database table. There are different errors that happen when there are just some non-ascii characters/data written into the database, causing "corruption" which is usually easy to resolve.
>>>Is there something I should attempt to do to help resolve this?

This is the internal structure of the file being changed. Have you done a thorough virus/threat scan on the computer where these files reside?
>>>ran a virus scan on the powerchurch folder this morning and it came out clean.
mafmctr
 
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Re: Fatal Error xxx.dbf is not a table.

Postby Zorak » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:45 am

The tools/utilities we have available here in Technical Support can repair or replace the damaged files, but you've got that part covered, restoring the files from your backup. As you said, that is treating the symptoms, not the actual problem. The actual problem is something environmental and that will take some hands-on detective work to track down.

Just to rule out the easiest thing to resolve, if there was a virus/threat, it would likely be found running on the workstation where PowerChurch is accessed from.

Next, take a look at the error log in the PowerChurch share and see what kind of errors have been happening, aside from this not a table thing. There may be other signs of network/file access problems that haven't been reported to you. The file is called pcpluserror.log in the pcplus12 directory on the server.

Things like "File access is denied", "Error reading file", "Invalid seek offset", "There is not enough disk space", and "Cannot update the file" can indicate that the network connection is dropping out while the software is running or write-caching issues on the server. Those are things we would expect to see when database tables are being corrupted.

It isn't likely the problem starts with "Not a table" errors.
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