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  1. #1
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    FoxPro v1.02 database problem following computer crash

    I have a twenty-year-old British CRM program called ProAction which I use daily and do not want to give up as it continues to be very useful indeed. It uses FoxPro version 1.02 and runs on a Windows XP SP3 desktop. (My “other car” is a Windows 8 64-bit laptop, BTW, which is why I can’t use ProAction on the more modern OS.)

    As you will have guessed, the program is no longer supported so I am asking for your advice on how to recover database files following the XP computer’s crash.

    What has happened and what I have done about it is as follows:

    1. On loading the program, I got a “Not a database” error message.

    This had also happened many years ago, and I was given verbal support and told to use one of the files which come with the program, and it worked. Now, having stupidly lost my notes (if I ever made any), I took a guess and used FOXFIX.EXE which seemed the obvious one. This simply opens a command screen which asks if I want to overwrite FOXFIX.001. Whether you answer yes or no, nothing happens.

    2. I bought DBF Recovery Toolbox and ran it.

    It “recovered” a number of *.dbf files (but not others). I renamed the old *.dbf files and replaced them with the new ones.

    Now, on starting the program I get “Record is not in index” message. If you continue,
    “Database is not indexed. Cancel/Ignore” comes up.

    If you choose “Ignore”, the message says “Error 26 in program ON…” [new line] “Database is not indexed.” (twice). “Details have been recorded.”

    3. For info, the “obvious” FoxPro files which came with the program are:
    FOX.FIX.001
    FOXFIX.EXE
    FOXFIX.FIP
    FOXFIX.FXP
    FOXHELP.DBF
    FOXLAN.BAT
    FOXPRORT.OVL
    FOXPRORT.RSC
    FOXSWAP.COM

    Please forgive the length of this message but I hope it gives you – who has so kindly read this far – as clear an idea of what the situation is as possible. Do please let me know if you need more info.

    What would be your suggestion, please, (apart from getting a new program, of course, which would mean a huge loss of data)? Can I use any of the files listed above, for example?

    I need hardly say that any advice would be very gratefully received.
    Last edited by barrowgate; 2013-07-25 at 09:45.

  2. #2
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    Whether or not you are able to recover, I suggest that you search for geek type help on translating your database (s?) to a current supported [modern]database. I barely remember FoxPro (I'm 76) but I remember where I worked in 1998 some coworkers talking about the trouble in translating FoxPro to a different db (probably the current Microsoft one).

    I just Googled FoxPro and the first response was called "End of Life" trying to sell you a conversion. It said "Does Visual FoxPro’s end-of-life mean the end of
    your software applications built on it?" and asked you to call them. I know nothing about this company (FoxPro Convert, a Ticomix company).
    At least there are still folks out there that want your money.

    I wish you good luck!
    Paulbyr in NC

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    barrowgate (2013-07-26)

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    I presume you don't have a recent backup of the hard drive on your XP computer - if you did the logical step would be to get the computer repaired and restore the database to it's original place.

    You might try finding a FoxPro user group in the city region where you live/work. People in such groups often have a wealth of knowledge. If you find one who is willing to work with you and recover your data and the ProAction software, then rebuilding your XP computer is likely the best choice.

    If all else fails, it it possible to open DBF files in Excel and to recover much of your information that way. But you will need a platform to restore the data to, as Paul (I lived in Burlington when you were in your 20's, Paulbyr) suggests. I'm not familiar with the small business CRM products that are available in the UK, but I would expect that most of them would have a facility for importing data from DBF or Excel files.
    Wendell

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    Are you using "regular" FoxPro or Visual FoxPro?

    I have a copy of regular FoxPro but it is Ver 2.6 and I believe it came out while Win 3.x was still around.

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    barrowgate (2013-07-26)

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    Thank you very much, paulbyr. You're right about getting geek-type help for this, of course, and I will have to consider converting to a new program. However, I m sure you can understand the psychological "drag" and hassle involved in doing this -- perhaps I should say laziness TBH!

    Following your pointer to Ticomix, I see they provide two CRM programs: GoldMine and Sugar, both of which I have heard of but have not looked into seriously as yet.

    At least there are still folks out there that want your money
    Good to know some things never change, eh?

    Thanks again.

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    Thank you, Wendell. How did you know I didn't have a recent backup?! There is one of a few months ago and that would be one solution at the expense of losing some data, of course.

    I have also looked briefly into your suggestion of user groups but so far have only found one UK one whose website looks a bit out of date to be frank. I am sure you're right in that it is a question finding other FoxPro devotees who are keeping the flame alive. I have absolutely no doubt that they are out there, somewhere.

    I have also tried your suggestion of opening the DBF files in Excel - very cheering to see all the stuff sort of there again!

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by barrowgate; 2013-07-26 at 09:01.

  10. #7
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    The FoxPro program used by ProAction is the "regular" version, nate01pa, not Visual, and I am pretty sure it is version 1.02 so it is in the same family as your version 2.6. Yes, I seem to remember converting from DOS 6 (was it?) to Windows 3.1 around that time....

  11. #8
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    One thing you might consider is installing Foxpro in a virtual machine (such as Hyper-V) with XP as the OS. In this way, you will get everything on new hardware.

    Also, after making a copy of everything, try reindexing the copy. It may be that the only thing you are missing are the indexes. Without the indexes you have nothing.

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    Thank you, mrjimphelps. I have thought of doing what you suggest, i.e, run ProAction with XP in a virtual machine once it is restored to health. I have downloaded DosBox and VirtualBox to this end but so far all I have done is eye them nervously, never having installed two OSs under one roof. Hyper-V I will definitely look into following your endorsement of it.

    As for indexing, the program is indeed indicating that that is the problem. Would you be able to advise on how to do this, please? I would be most grateful if so.

    Many thanks once again.
    Last edited by barrowgate; 2013-07-26 at 19:43.

  14. #10
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    As far as running XP in a virtual machine: you can easily test things before committing yourself to it. On your Windows 8 machine, create a hyper-V session with XP as the OS. (You may have to install XP into the session, or it may be included; I'm not sure.) Then install Firefox into the Hyper-V session. Then try to open something in FoxPro.

    As far as reindexing: there will be an option in FoxPro for reindexing a database. It's been a very long time since I have done any of that, but in the distant past, I was a FoxPro programmer.

    If you make a copy of what you have, and do the above items with the copy not the original, you can experiment to your heart's content without hurting anything.

    One thing to keep in mind: if you create a hyper-V session (or any other type of virtual machine), you will need to keep up your Windows and Anti-Virus updates in the virtual machine as well as in your regular Windows session.

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    Thank you for your advice once more, mrjimphelps.

    On your Windows 8 machine, create a hyper-V session
    I went onto the Microsoft site to download Hyper-V and discovered it can only be used on W8 Pro and Enterprise. I have the Windows 8 vanilla version, of course, wouldn't you know.

    As far as reindexing: there will be an option in FoxPro for reindexing a database
    .
    I know that once I am in the ProAction program there is an option to reindex the whole thing, but as I cannot get into ProAction this option is inaccessible. The only file which “does” anything (I.e., opens another screen) is FOXFIX.EXE with the non-result as described in my original post.

    The ProAction directories contain a number of *.NDX files which I assume are index files.

    Are you perhaps hinting that if I got another FoxPro program that this could open the database -- from the outside, as it were?

    you will need to keep up your Windows and Anti-Virus updates in the virtual machine
    This question was bothering me, so many thanks for raising it. I had been wondering if the virtual machine was protected by the host machine's security or maybe even cocooned in its own cosy little world. (Food for thought: if I were to run Windows XP in the virtual machine, its end-of-life buffers will be approaching pretty soon with no security updates after that...)

    Thank you again for your trouble. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by barrowgate; 2013-07-30 at 13:15.

  17. #12
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    There are other virtual machine products out there, which I'm not familiar with, but which other posters on this blog are continually talking about. Hyper-V just happens to be the one which comes with Windows 8 Pro.

    As far as opening FoxPro so as to reindex your database, I'm speaking of the main FoxPro program (something like foxpro.exe or some other similar name). Since you may not have that program, you could try the following program:
    http://www.softwaregeek.com/download...ms_foxpro.html

    I've never used this program, but it appears to be capable of taking a foxpro 1.02 database and importing it into MS Access. You should then be able to access the data using MS Access.

    The only question I would have is, can it take a FoxPro database with bad indexes and import it into MS Access. In order to do that, it would first have to reindex the FoxPro database.

    You could also purchase FoxPro 1.02 at the following web site:
    http://www.emsps.com/oldtools/msfox.htm

    You could then use it to do the reindex.

    As long as you make a copy of everything, and then try this stuff with the copy, you should be fine, because you won't mess up the only copy that you have.

    Quote Originally Posted by barrowgate View Post
    Thank you for your advice once more, mrjimphelps.



    I went onto the Microsoft site to download Hyper-V and discovered it can only be used on W8 Pro and Enterprise. I have the Windows 8 vanilla version, of course, wouldn't you know.

    .
    I know that once I am in the ProAction program there is an option to reindex the whole thing, but as I cannot get into ProAction this option is inaccessible. The only file which “does” anything (I.e., opens another screen) is FOXFIX.EXE with the non-result as described in my original post.

    The ProAction directories contain a number of *.NDX files which I assume are index files.

    Are you perhaps hinting that if I got another FoxPro program that this could open the database -- from the outside, as it were?



    This question was bothering me, so many thanks for raising it. I had been wondering if the virtual machine was protected by the host machine's security or maybe even cocooned in its own cosy little world. (Food for thought: if I were to run Windows XP in the virtual machine, its end-of-life buffers will be approaching pretty soon with no security updates after that...)

    Thank you again for your trouble. Much appreciated.

  18. #13
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    An interesting note for you:

    FoxPro 1.02 goes back to 1990, before Microsoft purchased the company (1992). Therefore, I'm not sure what resources, if any, are available from Microsoft.

    http://www.foxprohistory.org/foxprotimeline.htm

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    Although I had no real need of the info mrjimphelps has provided, I just wanted to add my thanks for his patient tutelage and what appear to me to be excellent suggestions (from what little I know about this subject).
    Paulbyr in NC

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