Thursday, May 9, 2013

Visual Fox Pro Hell: fpt file missing or invalid (memo file corruption)

I know, its 2013 and nobody should be dealing with Visual Fox Pro 6.0 databases, but one of the clients I support has a legacy system that uses foxpro databases. We have an SSIS job that pulls data everyday from `foxpro` and it recently started failing with the error, `person.fpt is missing or invalid`, I initially thought it was a network issue but the frequency of the failure increased and one fine day it stopped working at all. Lesson - don't wait for it to break completely. Because some day it will. So I naturally started googling and that was a time travel back to the ancient kingdoms of the internet. Microsoft's resources didn't help much, and I had to deal with shareware, freeware software that promise `.dbf` and `.fpt` repair as soon as you pay, help forums with no answers and annoying browser addons etc. After trying a lot of demo software I thought may be its just the `.fpt` file that needs rebuilding. So going though the documentation I thought I'd make a copy of this database and see if it rebuilds `.fpt` file and fortunately, it worked!

USE "C:\repair\person.dbf"
COPY STRUCTURE TO "C:\repair\person_fixed.dbf"
USE "C:\repair\person_fixed.dbf"
APPEND FROM "C:\repair\person.dbf"
RENAME "C:\repair\person.dbf" TO "C:\repair\oldperson.dbf"
RENAME "C:\repair\person_fixed.dbf" to "C:\repair\person.dbf"

If your issue is not solved by this, then you may have to buy one of those repair tools and fix your dbf/fpt files.

Some links that will help