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FileMaker Server Troubleshooting

Instructions are intended here as an internal resource for IS&T staff supporting IS&T managed FileMaker Servers

Sequenced Troubleshooting steps

Sequence 1 - Is File Accessible via FM Pro?

  1. Verify host version
  2. If you have access credentials to file and user is indicating that he/she cannot access file, try accessing file using FileMaker Pro or FM Pro Advanced. (In the off chance that this file is hosted in a version earlier than 13. 05, you would have to have a compatible version of FM Pro installed.  In this case, first verify via Console (see below).)

Sequence 2 - Access Console to Close and Re-Open Problem File

  1. Check Server inventory to verify FM Server version if not known. 
  2. Note: logging into FileMaker 12 Console requires older Java version 
  3. If host FM 14 or later, connect via VPN first.  This is required whether on or off campus!
  4. Use local browser to log into console via
  5. In Console >>Activity Menu
  6. Verify displayed status of file and number of active users
  7. Use file icon to close selected file
  8. Re-open selected file
  9. Once open and status normal, try to log into file or ask user to try again if no direct access

Sequence 3 - Close all files and Re Open

  1. If during work-hours and active users will be impacted, send automatic message to all users from Console
  2. Use option to Close All (set time delay accordingly given number of active users) 
  3. Re open all closed files
  4. Check file status and verify if you or users can access files 

Sequence 4 - Update server status in OpsView

  1. Open in local browser
  2. Click on Gray menu icon column and select Information to investigate any possible updates or warnings that may indicate source of issues.  When OS patches are applied, this can sometimes cause problems on FM Server especially if the above steps were not have been taken prior to OS patch application and reboot.   
  3. Click on Gray menu icon column and select Schedule Downtime.
  4. Set hours or leave as 24-hour default
  5. Note that you are troubleshooting problem on server
  6. Select status (ok is fine).

Sequence 5 - Stop Database Server and Restart

  1. Back in the Console, make sure that all files have been closed (see sequence 3)
  2. From Status window, use upper right on/off blue button to stop Database Server
  3. Wait until the closed button changes from grayed out to available and then click same again to restart server.
  4. If individual files are still not able to close properly, you should repeat step 2 above before moving on to Sequence 5.

Sequence 6 - Stop FileMaker Server Services

  1. Perform steps in Sequence 5 first to make sure that files are closed if FM Console is working
  2. From host machine if Windows Server 2016>> Windows Server Manager>>Tools (upper right)>>Services>>FileMaker Server (Note: You can also get to Services via control panel by typing Services>>view Local Services)
  3. Use Stop in upper left corner of Services window

Sequence 7 - Restarting Server from Command line

* If normal admin console is not working properly (ghosting user log ins or database won’t close) first use CML to restart FileMaker Server Admin Server

2016 Start>>Windows PowerShell

  1. From prompt type: fmsadmin restart adminserver
  2. At prompt say y
  3. Go into browser to see that it is back up

If that doesn’t work, you probably will have to reboot

Sequence 7 - Rebooting Server

Rebooting - almost never done by us but would be done with OS updates when Ops does those.  We don’t do it very often.

Follow steps above first to make sure everything is stopped first.

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Windows 16 - Use Power Button >> Restart>>Application Maintenance Planned
  3. Anytime you do a server reboot  have a terminal open to the machine  ping servername to verify that it has rebooted and you can continue.  You have to Ctrl C to quit pings.  Reboots take a long time.
  4. A reboot will take longer if something is awry with the system.  Once you see that it no longer says Request Time Out then you know that it is back up.  Note: our recommendation is that servers are set to automatically restart files on the server if the server is rebooted.  There is some debate in FM world over whether this the best thing to do since in some circumstances it may be that a file that was misbehaving opens in a corrupted state.  We have not had any experience with that happening. 

Additional Resources

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

December 11, 2017

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