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Company's nsf files keep disappearing

Our nsf files have disappeared quite a few times in the past 12 months. This happened in R5 and also in R6. I have also changed the server. After I restore the backup nsf file to the same location, I can continue. But why is this happening?

View member feedback to this Ask the Expert Q&A.

I suspect that there is some person (or program) that has direct access to the Domino data folder, and is deleting the NSF file. Make sure that no one can see the Domino data folders as a shared drive from their workstation. Also make sure that no program is running on the Domino server other than Domino.


We've seen instances where compact is unable to rename the tmp file back after it's completed. Simply manually renaming the file to .nsf resolves the issue.

—Judy O.


There are also some other reasons why this happens. By using a Windows system and having a lot of files or databases and not enough memory, you are "losing" files also, until you restart your system. Nice feature, isn't it?

Using Domino 6.x you can search the log or add an event notification when users delete databases. I think the log message contains the phrase "database deleted by User / domain".

—Volker M.


This also caused problems for me, but it worked after I changed the settings. I used a solution posted on IBM Lotus Software Support, part of which appears below:

In this case, the customer was running Symantec Anti Virus(SAV)/Filtering 3.x for Domino. The customer had originally installed SAV 3.0 and was provided SAV 3.01 by Symantec to address an issue in SAV 3.0. The SAV files were upgraded to 3.01. A clean install of SAV 3.01 did not exhibit this problem.

There is a Settings document in SAV where users can define what server processes to ignore. This is located on the Auto-Protect tab, then the Basics tab. The field name is "Ignore the following server processes". In that field, you would enter the server process names like this, separated by commas: compact, fixup, updall, update

In this customer's situation, four (4) Domino processes were defined -- compact, updall, fixup and update. However, they were separated by semicolons ( ; ), which appears to not work correctly. The correct separator in this document is either a comma or a carriage return.

Replace the semicolons in the "Ignore the following server processes" field with commas or carriage returns and restart SAV."

—Peter S.

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This was first published in July 2005

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