Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Common Lotus Notes Errors and Recovery Solutions

Lotus Notes is a well known emailing application, developed by IBM Corps. It is considered amongst top three emailing platform with Microsoft Outlook and Novell GroupWise. The first version of Notes application was launched in 1989 and the latest version launched is Notes 9.0. Throughout the development timeline of Lotus Notes, user experienced large number of modifications that made the accessing much simpler and reliable. However there are large numbers of error events available that bypass the technical efficiency and make the situation troublesome for the user. In this article we will focus upon few such events and their possible solutions. 

Situation 1:

Error “File is not a database”


The failure of Server due to any reason results in shrinking of Lotus Notes database from GB to bytes. When user opens Lotus Notes client he encounters a pop up stating “file is not a database”. The occurrence of error can be due to transferring mails to any other user mailbox or when user runs “nfixup” command on the database. The last possible reason can be the attempt of user to open Lotus Notes database by itself or by using files.


There are two possible solutions available to tackle this problem:
·         The user can restore data with the help of last backup file. However in most cases it has been found that user has not maintained backup files at regular interval of time, in that case user have to recover their corrupt file.
·         User can opt for third party recovery solution to recover their corrupted lotus notes files.

Situation 2:

"Server Error: This database cannot be read due to an invalid on disk structure"

Another scenario is also related with database corruption, which inhibits user to send or receive messages in Lotus Notes. Above shown error message is encountered by the user when he tries to send an email message to a random destination.


However the email is sent successfully after the error is encountered but message is not saved in “Sent” folder. The reason behind the error message is when user checks the option of “Always keep a copy” for the “Save mail that you sent” option. The mentioned option saves every sent mail to the Sent folder. However, in case you still encounters that no mail is saved in the Sent folder then it suggest that Sent folder is corrupted. Due to this reason user is unable to access any information or data available in the Sent folder.

User can make use of “Fixup” or “Compact” utilities to repair and recover the corrupt mail database.
To use “Fixup” utility on Lotus Notes database following steps can be used:

  1. From the Domino Administrator, select the server on which to want to run ‘Fixup 
  2.  Now, click on the ‘Server – Status’ tab.
  3. Click on ‘Task – Start’ which is in the task panel on the right.
  4. Select ‘Fixup’ and then click ‘Start Task’.
It is worldwide accepted that Lotus Notes application is quite tough in-terms of technological aspect. Hence we cannot expect a novice or a new user to accomplish these steps accurately all alone. He must need technical specialist guidance as it is matter of their crucial data. Also there is no guarantee that after performing above mentioned steps precisely, user can repair their corrupted Notes data. The severity of corruption of Notes can hamper the repair process. Lotus notes can be repair with the help of any trusted recovery software in that case.

There are large numbers of such recovery tools available on the web but selecting a best and reliable tool amongst them is a tough task. Thorough research is required before finalizing any third party product as if selected an unworthy tool it may make the situation much worse. The best and most reliable technique to judge a tool is by using a license free or demo version of the tool. By this user can have a complete overview of the product and can understand the functionality on real time basis. Some of the trusted references are mentioned below:

  1. Stellar Phoenix Lotus Notes Recovery Website:
  2. Office Recovery Website
  3. Unistal Recovery Website: