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Thread: Losing records VERY WORRYING

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Just a quick note: I had written in my autoexec to turn off oportunistic locking, however the machines were switched to Windows 7 machines and for some reason, the code will not write to the registry using registry.sys_create.

    I went in manually and put in the new registry entry and I will keep my fingers crossed that this may help.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Not currently very active here anymore w/a5, but having "popped in" I saw this thread which "jogged my memory" on these other (possibly related, but doubtful) "SMB" threads:
    (Also some of my own experience with Windows file manipulation/corruption outside of a5 during the past 5 years.)

    http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...hlight=SMB+1.0

    http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...hlight=SMB+1.0

    I do know for a fact that even Windows has some issues when 1.) Copying large files to external USB drives on some hardware combinations w/Win7-64 (using TeraCopy is a workaround) fails. The files copy, but they don't compare properly afterwards. (no indication of this failure is made, as the problem is only realized if a compare is done on the files, or if you need them and "find out the hard way") 2.) If you're using MS VirtualPC and using a mapped driver to store/work with data outside the VM (even when mapped to a regular internal hard drive), data also an and frequently will become corrupted without any advanced warning. (I've replicated this on numerous different machines running an XP vm inside of both Vista, and Windows-7 (both 64bit OSes) and the VM's was based on XP (32 bit) ~ If you use a VM, I learned to "keep all the associated data in them VM too." (Never liked that solution, as if the VM file ever corrupts, everything including data is lost!)

    On the vm side, I can manually drag and drop (copy) .png files created in Fireworks (not huge ones by any means) from the desktop of a vm, out to the host drive. 4 out of 5 times it might work. But on the 5'th time, you can preview the same file and realize that something went wrong, as only the first part of the image is good, the rest is all grayed out. Similar things happen with Btrieve database (accounting) files (when an accounting system) is mapped to data outside the VM. I've been using the POS for over a decade and never lost a bit of data to corruption using it conventionally. But in a VM, with data stored "outside" (on the host drive), the data will eventually ALWAYS become corrupt. (Not at first, but after a few minutes doing the same kind of things, like just running reports based on date criteria..... All of a sudden Btrieve errors will appear, and that's when you know the data has been corrupted & "the party is over."

    I have no idea if any of these issues are "related at the core", but it sure seems strange. Microsoft has tried, but seemingly never fixed this? (I'm sure it's something MS would prefer to keep "swept under the carpet.") But if you look hard and deep, you will find many threads on numerous forums making reference to these seemingly "phantom" problems. Unfortunately, I ran into this issue after I had moved all my Acronis True-Image images from a smaller drive to a large external one. (Virtually every image file was effectively ruined as they did not compare and could not be "mounted." Fortunately I had not experienced any OS hardware/drive failures, and in the end lost nothing important.)

    Note: The issues I experience firsthand can (and were) created on two different (and relatively high end) hardware. A Lenovo T61p, and also on a HP EliteBook 8770w with SSD (vm corruption) ~ This is not "fluke!" (Also, brand of USB drive didn't seem to matter. Problem is "in the box.") I added this because, unllke so many other a5 issues, certain "phantom" data corruption scenarios may not even be their fault, and thus be "outside" the scope of Alpha's control.....

    Apparently (from my research on this), some of these "data integrity" problems people are experiencing in Windows are reportedly only afflicting 64BIT WINDOWS SYSTEMS! (Too bad it wasn't on the 32 bit ones.) And it's only larger files that are effected. (The type of file/extention doesn't seem to matter. And Windows doesn't report (or even seem to catch) this "failure" at any time. ~ Since ONLY some 3'rd party tools do, I suspect they are successful because (unlike windows) they are constantly comparing "blocks of data" as the files are written, and they continuously silently retry to write the data block, until they successfully compare. (None of the cache settings in windows were able to alleviate the problems, only 3'rd party "explorer replacements" were able to circumvent the problems.)

    On the sites where these problems were "diagnosed", an incredible amount of time was spent trying to compare hardware/firmware/software looking for a "common denominator." "High-end" consumer based systems (different brands) were effected. The causes (to my knowledge) were never ascertained. In every instance I came across, the only resolution was to stop relying on windows explorer (to transfer files), and use TeraCopy was the only solution found! (Even with the input/assistance from MS engineers participating on one of the forums.)

    PS: Because of this, IMO it is extremely important to transfer large files (especially to external drives for backup) only using 3'rd party tools like TeraCopy. (which is not a perfect solution by any means) And NEVER USE THE BUILT-IN WINDOWS FILE MANAGER for moving large files. Other tools (which compare files) like SecondCopy may also be favorable & reliable. ~ I personally believe that somewhere within the depths of windows, there is still a huge crippling "low level" elusive data integrity issue. ~ And because this has not been "resolved", publicly the problem has been largely "ignored."
    Last edited by SNusa; 12-18-2013 at 02:37 PM.
    Robert T. ~ "I enjoy manipulating data... just not my data."
    It's all about the "framework." (I suppose an "a5-induced" hard drive crash is now in order?)
    RELOADED: My current posting activity here merely represents a "Momentary Lapse Of Reason."

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    We have been occasionally experiencing the same problem for over a year. At first I thought it was someone doing something wrong but it has happened to me a few times so here I am.
    We have a V.11 network of 5 computers, 4 on runtime (one on V10), (no shadows) and one with the developer app (no shadow). Our form has 11 child tables and an embedded browse as well. Occasionally, when one makes a change to the record it can be blanked out as described earlier. When I go to search for it, in the parent table, it is not there but I have found blank records so this might be the blanked records issue. The child table info remains. We have a mix of operating systems, Vista (4) and Win7 (pro).

    Larry Ternowski

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Larry,

    The standard recommendation is to run the same version ( in fact the same build of the same version ) on all workstations sharing access to / with the database. A mix of runtime and developer builds is ok, as long as they are the same version and build. It's NOT ok to run some workstations on v10 and others on v11.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cone Jr View Post
    Larry,

    The standard recommendation is to run the same version ( in fact the same build of the same version ) on all workstations sharing access to / with the database. A mix of runtime and developer builds is ok, as long as they are the same version and build. It's NOT ok to run some workstations on v10 and others on v11.
    Larry,
    I am still having the same issues but less frequently, still disturbing though. I made sure that opportunistic locking was off on all Machines. I also had some on save events and put several wait until idle pauses in my scripts. I always seem to have the problem on a form editing through multiple tables in a set. To test, I put a button on my form based on the set to open a form with only one table and making the edit there. I have had no errors yet when editing in this way.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Tom, I "found" the time to update the last computer to V11

    Thanks

    Larry

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    John, I was thinking that perhaps it is something to do with an embedded browse as I think you mentioned you had a browse in your form. I have other forms with embedded browses and do not recall any issues with them so who knows?

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Just an update to this thread, I am still having the issue, and have updated all computers on the system to new ones running windows 7 and v11 of alpha. I have thought about going to a server instead of the NAS to host the app, but there is a fair amount of expense and approval process because of our IT department at our parent company. I hesitate to do this not knowing if it will fix the issue or not.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Same bucket here. I nightly rebuild indexes and backup in that order.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    FWIW I've had mixed results using a NAS to host an alpha five desktop application. Problems of the type you describe went away when we switched over to a regular PC or server. I've surmised that some NAS devices may be optimized for writes, but not reads.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Dennis,
    What type of host is the alpha files residing on, a NAS, full server, or a PC?

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    What type of host is the alpha files residing on, a NAS, full server, or a PC?

    Oh, it's sitting on a network resource.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    I should clarify. The data is on the network resource. Runtimes are on the various desktop PCs.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    As mentioned above, I no longer allow my customers to use network attached storage devices to act as server for my Alpha Five desktop applications. I put them on PC's or Servers, only.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Do you feel that eliminates the danger associated with indexing and so forth? What is it about NAS resources that affects reliability and what can you do about it? I don't think IS is going to let me pop a PC on the network for everyone to access.

  16. #46
    Member Tim Sutherland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Mathias View Post
    Do you feel that eliminates the danger associated with indexing and so forth? What is it about NAS resources that affects reliability and what can you do about it? I don't think IS is going to let me pop a PC on the network for everyone to access.
    I can't give you technical reasons why but I can also confirm that I had reliability issues using a NAS when I first put my app into production. Once I moved it to a server, all the issues disappeared.

    Do you have an existing server on your network? All you need is a shared directory on it that holds your data. You do not need a dedicated machine.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Any machine that can be accessed, even as peer to peer is usable. Using a nas may have problems with indexing.
    I have data on a peer to peer in many dealerships where the server is a Linux and unusable for alpha without other tools they don't want and in some cases there is also a shadow on the same machine.
    Maybe this is not ideal, but no data losses or index issues.
    Dave Mason
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  18. #48
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Just a though. Note that USB version 2 based NAS do not have CRC checking while all hard drives do. USB3 does have it. CRC check for integrity. it is not recommended that critical data be stored on USB v2 devices. A sata or sas/ide controllers have crc, but USB2 does not. It may be OK to loose a few bits if you play some songs but its a hole other thing with critical data. Also keeping sets structure simple is a good adage along with my favorite absolute adage -ALL significant applications (that includes supporting API) have bugs, multiple bugs.
    -

  19. #49
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    ALL significant applications (that includes supporting API) have bugs, multiple bugs.
    -
    Noted and Agreed!!
    Dave Mason
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  20. #50
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    I am experiencing the same problem with Alpha 10.5
    The description you have given is identical to what I have found.
    Did you ever get a solution?

  21. #51
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    No, never did. What I do is what someone up above is doing. Rebuild those indexes every chance you get. I do it at night. Everyone has to be off or the files are open. Then, after I do that I do a backup. I just wrote a little script, made a batch file using xcopy..the DOS command. Also--and I don't know if this has anything to do with it--I save the record in the app every opportunity. So save when exiting a field and maybe do it again before they leave the app even if they don't do it.

    That said, I'm starting to think that it may indeed have something to do with the app and data not residing on a SERVER type of architecture. I don't know the gorey details of our network but it's big (huge) and maybe it's acting like NAS or something. I'd tell IS about it but a) they wouldn't listen to me and b) would bite my head off for not using SQL. I am an engineer and not in the IS department..so read between the lines.

  22. #52
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Here's a good one. I've even found records with the same record number! And others missing.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Unless you are running tons of users, you should not have problems like that. Sounds like connection issues. IT/IS should be able to help that if they will.

    So much for my opinion.
    Dave Mason
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  24. #54
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Mathias View Post
    Here's a good one. I've even found records with the same record number! And others missing.
    Can you post a visual of that?
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  25. #55
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    I, too still have the same issues. I cannot get a server put in due to IT constraints. I lose about 1 record every week sometimes a bit more. The records are there just with their linking field nulled so I can tell how many. I eventually will have to figure out how to put this app on the web which should take away all the issues.

  26. #56
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    For the client that had the problem, it was finally sorted when they switched everyone on thin client / virtual desktop. This way, all data processing is done one the server, there is no shadow, and in the 11 months since this was done they haven't lost a single record.
    The database was on the server and all clients were shadowing the database on their computers; it seems like every now and then, the shadow would not update properly and we ended up with an empty record - a completely blank record in the parent table. It was not user error, I spent a lot of time building an audit trail only to find that users had nothing to do with it.
    Because it was so random, my guess is that it's either a network issue, or a problem in the way Alpha updates the main database from a shadow.
    My customer only has some 20 users and fairly light database traffic, so switching to thin clients made sense even though it was a desperation move.
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  27. #57
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Marius,

    Perhaps you'd be willing to start a new thread and explain the specifics of the thin client / virtual desktop setup you mention. I think a number of folks would be very interested to learn how its configured on the workstation, and especially on the "server". Thanks. -- tom

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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cone Jr View Post
    Marius,

    Perhaps you'd be willing to start a new thread and explain the specifics of the thin client / virtual desktop setup you mention. I think a number of folks would be very interested to learn how its configured on the workstation, and especially on the "server". Thanks. -- tom
    have a look here Tom http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...5&goto=newpost

  29. #59
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    I, too still have the same issues. I cannot get a server put in due to IT constraints. I lose about 1 record every week sometimes a bit more. The records are there just with their linking field nulled so I can tell how many. I eventually will have to figure out how to put this app on the web which should take away all the issues.
    Most of my installs are on lans with no real server. One windows machine is used "as" a server. I am not having the problems you are on any install. Other side is, if you are having these problems on a lan, why would you think a web app would be better? Especially if it is in the networking??
    Dave Mason
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  30. #60
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    Default Re: Losing records VERY WORRYING

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cone Jr View Post
    Marius,

    Perhaps you'd be willing to start a new thread and explain the specifics of the thin client / virtual desktop setup you mention. I think a number of folks would be very interested to learn how its configured on the workstation, and especially on the "server". Thanks. -- tom
    Tom, I'm afraid I don't have much info about how to set this. It was done by my customer's IT guy. The server runs Win Server 2008, you set the Remote Desktop Services in the server roles, you can find how to do it if you google it. You need a fairly hefty server. For about 20 users they have, he installed 20GB of RAM and two fast HD's in RAID1.
    Each user has their own virtual desktop instance that runs on the server - the client machine only displays the screen, all software runs on the server. You need to pay for a M$oft license for each user, so it's not cheap. The advantage is that no database data is sent over the network, all processing is done locally on the server; so the database runs a lot faster. Of course, my main problem was losing records, and that doesn't happen because even if you lose connection from the client computer, your virtual desktop and your instance of the A5 runtime is still running on the server.
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