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[archive] File Status 98

[Migrated content. Thread originally posted on 15 April 2007]

Most of the times we are getting the File status 98 (File Broken). What are the possible causes for this?
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RE: [archive] File Status 98

Analyzing Error 98s

The most common causes of a corrupted file are as follows:

1. Incomplete file updates: This is the most common cause. This would occur as a result of a power failure, an unanticipated machine reboot, an unhandled kill signal (such as a kill -9), or a program-supplied interrupt handler that performs a sloppy shutdown. To help determine if an incomplete update has occurred, check the value of the user count on the file (vutil -info). The user count should accurately reflect the number of users accessing the file. If there is no one using the file, the user count should be 0. If the user count is not consistent with the number of users in the file, then this would indicate one of the above has occurred.

2. Intermixed file updates. This can occur if a single user runtime is used on a PC network, or if third-party software accesses Vision directly, circumventing the runtime.

3. Hardware errors. When the hardware fails, it is possible that a write to disk is interrupted before completing, bad disk sectors will appear in the middle of a file, etc.

4. Software errors. This would include:

a) A bug in Vision. Currently Vision has no known bugs, and there have not been any data integrity bugs identified in Vision since version 2.0.4.
b) A bug in the application code that causes a change to a data item internal to Vision.
c) Memory conflicts

5) Environmental problems (static electricity, close proximity to an x-ray machine, etc).

6) Hardware layout. The following came from a user in Canada, which can show the complexity of tracing error 98's:


Novell networks: There are restrictions regarding the whole length of the cable in a Network. This depends on the kind of cable they use. E.g. the cable RG58 has the restriction of 180 meters. His two customers had the length 211m and 240m (he checked this with an electrical tool). Since they cut the cable to the right length the errors disappeared. He said that might be a good hint for our analyzing error 98 papers.


7) Operating system problems. Recently we have found that Novell
Client-32 software does extremely aggressive disk caching and can, in
Certain circumstances, cause file corruption. If you're using Client-32 the FILE CACHE LEVEL should be set to a one (1). Default is a three (3).

😎 It should be noted that, if a file is opened I-O and runtime determines that a file is corrupt, then the header record of the file is flagged with the broken code. Thus, any other runtimes or programs that open the file know immediately that the file is corrupt. Of course, if the file is open for input then the header cannot be updated.

Software bugs are typically reproducible. If you suspect a problem with the runtime, we will need to reproduce the problem before we are able to comment on or fix it. A couple of suggestions:

1. Start by assuming that the system is unstable. Perform regular
backups and file rebuilds. This will give you time to find the cause of the problem as opposed to spending time recovering from a major disaster.
2. Monitor your files carefully. Check the user count frequently (vutil -info filename). The user count is incremented by one each time the file is opened and decremented each time the file is closed. A non-zero user count indicates that the file was opened more times than it was closed, i.e., that a user's process was abruptly interrupted.
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