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dbase 3 Problem

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  • dbase 3 Problem

    I have an application that we have used for years in Alpha Four ver. 4. Every quarter, I copy the .dbf file to a different directory and run a dbase 3 application using the copied file. This has worked successfully for years.

    All of a sudden when I tried to open the copied database today, Im getting an error in dbase 3 that says the file isnt a dbase file. The file does continue to open in Alpha Four.

    Any idea what happened ?

  • #2
    RE: dbase 3 Problem


    I'm not familiar with this problem but the first thing I would do would be to look with a simple file viewer at the raw table file to see if there is anything that looks strange or corrupted. There's a good chance that dBase doesn't understand the file for some reason. The other thing is to be sure you are looking at the correct DBF file.



    • #3
      RE: dbase 3 Problem

      There was a similar thread about a year ago. Here's what O.J. Newman answered:


      This is the classic and well documented dBase 3+ and dBXL Y2K + 1 bug.

      The gist of it is that most databases using .dbf files will increment the year in the dbf header to 2001. However, dBase 3, 3+, and dBXL 1.x will rollover the year to 1901 in the header. This causes no problems as long as the tables are accessed exclusively by dBase 3/ dBXL OR by the other database programs.

      The problem occurs when a dbf table is accessed or created with a DBMS other than dBase3/dBXL. The other DBMS will update the year in the dbf header as 2001. The old dBase 3/dBXL, however, will reject any date in the header exceeding 2000 as invalid and report an error of "Not a valid dbase file"!

      For a detailed analysis, see .

      For a program to fix the problem, see .

      Better yet, you can find a utility to patch the dBase 3+/ dBXL executable at .



      • #4
        RE: dbase 3 Problem


        Thank you sooooo much for your posting. I checked out the sites mentioned in your post and that fixed my problem.

        Thanks again !!!