Repairing damaged Notesbrowser files

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Dirk Schwenke
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:31 pm
Location: Hamburg

Repairing damaged Notesbrowser files

Post by Dirk Schwenke » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:33 am

I get an error message that a file is damaged and Notesbrowser will not open, what to do?

Example error message:

Note: The file that is affected is displayed in the red circle.

If the above error message appears, it clearly says which file is causing the trouble.
Please note that the following instructions are not easy to execute if you are a beginner or unexperienced computer user. If you need help please address us by email. Write exactly where the problem is (with wording of the error message) and what you tried.

What exactly did happen?
1) Notesbrowser tries to load the file
2) Notesbrowser checks the loaded file if it is complete (fully loaded)
3) if the file is not completely loaded, it displays the above error message
4) Notesbrowser exits. Why? It prevents that the file is not fully loaded and then the user save the file -> that would be bad because there would be no way to recover the not-loaded parts of the file then.

There are different reason that can cause this problem:
1) rights problem (user does not have rights to access the file). This is usually a save problem, but it can be related to the error. Have a look here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=173
2) Notesbrowser did not save completely last time (this is theoretically not possible with Notesbrowser 1.9.2 or later because it always checks if the version is saved correctly)
3) hard disk error -> there may be a problem with your file system
4) virus or anti virus software or other software that is causing the problem

Solutions to the posssible problems:
1) try to solve it with giving/using administrator rights to load the file correctly. If not possible proceed with 4)
2) same solution like 4)
3) same solution like 4)
4) you need to know the underlying problem, e.g. hard disk is defect, virus, etc.

Some ideas:
- scan your hard disks for defects
- scan you system for viruses
- test to turn of the anti virus software
- turn of other software/programs
- copy Notesbrowser to a different location, e.g. different hard disk, flash drive, other PC an look if it works there (you can copy the full Notesbrowser folder)

If you have found the underlying problem, here is how to fix the file if necessary:
Please note that the following instructions are for .NBW files (Notesbrowser category files). If an configuration XML file is broken, you can try to fix it with an editor, Email it to us for repair or just delete it (make a backup before) and it will be reconstructed by Notesbrowser.

How to repair a Notesbrowser file (a file with the ending .NBW):

1) Do a backup of you whole Notesbrowser folder (with the Windows Explorer)
2) locate the broken file on your hard disk with the the Windows Explorer, example:

3) Open the broken file with a text editor. We recommend Notepad++ but the Windows Notepad will do. Have a look at the end(!) of the file, example:

In the red circle you see a typical file ending of a Notesbrowser file. If the last line is not </NotesbrowserCategory> the file is not complete (cut off).

4) if you have a backup of the file, you can simply replace the file.

5) if you don't have a backup, you can try to exctract the necessary information from the file with the text editor - the text will still be there with some RTF tags (like \rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\deff0\deflang1031...) which can be ignored. Images and formattings are lost.

After you have extracted the information you need you can delete the .NBW file, then start Notesbrowser and the file will be reconstructed from scratch but empty of course (self healing mechanism).

6) If you need the images or formattings, you can try to repair the file directly. Here you need an understanding how Notesbrowser saves the information. Warning! This task is not easy! If it does not contain personal data, send the file to us and we will repair it for you!. Following are some notes how we do it.

How to repair a Notesbrowser file, the advanced way:
Warning! This task is not easy! If the file does not contain personal data, send the file to us and we will repair it for you!
1) First you should rename the broken file

2) start Notesbrowser. It will replace the renamed file with a fresh one (self healing mechanism)

3) change the category in Notesbrowser to make it a very basic one, just one page, one field and only "Test" for text. The file will look like this:

4) Open the renamed broken file and the file with only the basic text in a text editor. The file we created in 3) will look like:

In the red circle between <FieldContent> and </FieldContent> is the content of one(1) text field

5) Now you need to exit Notesbrowser, get the first text field from the broken file and copy the text between <FieldContent> and </FieldContent> in the file that was created in 3) at the right place

6) Start Notesbrowser and you should see the first Text field of the broken field. You can copy this field in a empty and healthy Notesbrowser category

7) repeat steps 5) + 6) until you have extracted all fields you need
Dirk Schwenke,
Notesbrowser Team

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