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Btrieve, Pervasive PSQL, and Actian Zen Data File Recovery Services

In most cases, the Actian database engines run and run and run with no problems, and many sites have NEVER seen any form of data corruption. Sometimes, however, due to problems in the environment or perhaps in the database software itself, files can become corrupted and will need to be recovered. This issue is not specific to PSQL/Zen databases, but all databases.

Your best (and usually cheapest) solution to corrupted files is to revert to your most current backup from before the problem occurred. This resets your system to the snapshot from the backup, in which the files are (hopefully) not damaged, and you will need to re-apply any changes made in the time-frame between the backup and the corruption.

If you have no backup at all, if your backup is damaged in some way, or if the amount of work completed since the backup is simply too great to allow a reasonable recovery, then you may be a candidate for our data file recovery services, so you should read on. At the same time, you may also wish to consider our Data Protection Services, which can help ensure that you get good backups from this point forward.

The typical recovery process involves using the BUTIL application to recover (export) the records, clone a new file that has the same structure as the original, and then load the recovered data records into the new file. These steps are quite straightforward and very simple to execute. For a complete description of the process, see our white paper on database maintenance. Again, this is not unique to the Pervasive world, as other databases certainly experience corruption that needs to be fixed. If you are uncomfortable with these steps, we'll be happy to perform them for you -- see below.

When the data file corruption is more severe, the process may not recover all data, and the number of records lost can be very high. In this case, proceeding with the standard recovery process will is not a good idea, as your application may be missing a lot of data and can experience lots of problems. The best solution in this case is always to recover the system from backup tape. Some applications require that ALL database files be recovered from tape at the same time, while others can survive a targeted restoration with a subset of files. Unfortunately, only the application software developer can tell you this for sure, so contact your provider for additional information.

So what do you do if you have a backup that is a week old or more? Or if the cost of restoring the backup will result in such a high level of data loss that it is prohibitive? The answer to this question is different depending on your downtime window. If extended downtime is not an option, then you MUST restore from backup and get the system running again as quickly as possible -- this is a given, and you must simply bite the bullet on the data loss.

However, if you can afford an extended downtime window, then Goldstar Software may be able to help with the recovery. We have built numerous file recovery tools and repair techniques (both automated an manual) that have allowed us to recover many corrupted data files. We can often evaluate the corruption to try to determine a cause (such as single-bit errors, disk overwrites, and more), and even suggest possible solutions to prevent the problem from recurring.

The first step is to obtain an evaluation of your corrupted files. For $250, we can provide a fixed-cost evaluation of your corrupted database file to estimate the extent of the corruption as well as the expected data recovery level. If you have multiple files, we can evaluate EVERY data file in your data set for a fixed cost of $500.

In many cases, our automated tools can provide a complete data recovery. If this is the case, then the evaluation fee will be the complete cost to you. If our automated tools will not suffice for a full recovery, we will provide you with two options, including 1) a recovery level for the automated tools at the fixed cost, and 2) an estimated cost for a complete manual analysis and recovery of the database. In some cases, manual efforts can get all records back out of the file, but this is not true for every case, so we cannot guarantee results of the manual efforts Our manual recovery rates are billed at $500/hour, so this is not an option for all sites. If manual recovery looks like it will take too long, or if it is too expensive, simply roll back to your backup tape copy of the database.

To proceed, follow these steps:

  1. Use PKZIP, WINRAR, or WINZIP to compress your data file.
  2. Send your file to us. If the file is less than 2MB in compressed format, you may simply attach it to an Email and send it to support at (The actual email address is not shown here to prevent spam. Replace the " at " with the @ sign.) Remember to include your contact information so that we can get back to you with the results. If the compressed file is over 2MB, then you will need to upload it to our internal FTP site instead. Click HERE for information about using FTP to upload your data to our server. You can also call us at 1-708-647-7665 for immediate servicing.
  3. Visit our e-commerce server ( and purchase the "Data File Recovery Services" for either a Single File or a Set of Files. This standard service provides for the use of our internally-designed tools to evaluate the file and attempt an initial recovery.
  4. We will perform the evaluation and contact you with the results and the cost of a full recovery, as well as the expected number of data records lost.

Don't Have a Technical Person Available?

For users who are not comfortable following these steps and do not have on-site IT support to assist, we can perform all of the related work on your behalf, including zipping and uploading the file to our server, repairing the files, and then downloading the files and placing them back in the correct location, with a full backup of all files. In addition to the file recovery fee itself, this service adds an additional cost of $250 per hour, billed in 15-minute increments, for the time spent performing these tasks only. To use this service, find the location of your damaged files and contact us to request our Complete File Recovery Service. We'll get connected to your system via the Internet and take care of the details for you.

Do You Like Getting Your Hands Dirty?

The adventurous soul might also want to take a do-it-yourself approach. Goldstar Software offers up our own internal data recovery tools, along with a detailed manual on how to do your own repairs. Though not for the novice, an advanced user may be able to learn a lot from corruption recovery! Click HERE for more details.

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