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Databases and tables

How to deal with "Memo file is missing or invalidö errors by Mike Lewis
Posted: 28 Jan 05 (Edited 26 Dec 06)

According to the Microsoft Knowledge Base, this error message occurs when users running Windows XP attempt to access a table with a memo field on a file server that is running Windows ME or earlier. The error arises from the differences in file locking in the different versions of Windows. (See
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;812696.)

In my experience, a much more likely reason for this error is simple file corruption. Typically, the system crashed, or the user switched off the computer, while a table with a memo field was open.

When this happens, the user will often be able to re-open the table and perhaps access its records, but certain operations û a Pack or a Reindex, for example û will produce the error.

Faced with this situation, hereÆs a simple fix:

1. Open the table exclusively.

2 Go into the Table Designer (for example, by typing MODIFY STRUCTURE).

3. Make a non-destructive change to the table structure. For example, you could increase the length of a character field by 1.

4. Pack the table.

5. Re-open the table, go back to the Table Designer, and undo the change you made in step 3.

I canÆt guarantee that this will always work, but it has saved the day for me more than once.

Mike Lewis
Edinburgh, Scotland
www.ml-consult.co.uk

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