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Message started by Admin on 04/25/08 at 07:42:57

Title: EM Advanced Diagnostics Toolkit   (EM-ADT)
Post by Admin on 04/25/08 at 07:42:57


Ultimate tool for diagnosis and repair of ecco folder and corruption issues.

Please read carefully the instructions *before* use.

This program is distributed as "HelpWare". (

     To purchase a license ( ($98.50),  or to register for a FREE 'HelpWare' license,   just send a private message ( (;to=admin)).

Title: Re: EM Advanced Diagnostics Toolkit
Post by Admin on 05/14/08 at 08:33:55

For those who purchase the tool to solve 'out of memory' errors,

used in conjunction with the (Freeware) EM Memory Reporter,

the EM-ADT (Advanced Diagnostics Toolkit) is GUARANTEED TO DIAGNOSE YOUR FILE BASED MEMORY ERROR-- OR YOUR MONEY BACK!.  (Does not apply to 'session' based memory issues which can be solved simply by closing and restarting Ecco;  Requires that you send us your file for testing & confirmation; Does not apply to intentionally tampered with files; and Requires notification to us sufficiently timely to allow for normal refund procedures.)

Used in conjunction with the EM Memory Reporter,



Title: Re: EM Advanced Diagnostics Toolkit
Post by Admin on 05/28/08 at 22:48:45

For those "deep & destructive' testing on 'Networked' or 'Sycned' files:

1. A synced (or shared/workstation) copy of a file may be corrupt and/or the master (or server) may be corrupt.

2. Best procedure (safest)  when testing ecc "master" file  is to copy the file,  move to another directory,  rename the original directory (rename back when done) (or move the contents to temp. holding directory) and then test the copied file (ie. not in the same directory with the original .ecg file).

3. If a corruption is found in master or 'slave' (server or workstation),  recovery will disconnect the files.    If the client/slave is corrupt,  simply make a new client/slave and 'throw away' the old.  If the server/master is corrupt,  restore,  and then re-create sync or workstation copies.

note also: For those using EM-ADT for making templates, remember  that just copying a file does not remove the network or sync connection.  Ie. the COPIED file is connected to the master file just as the original was.  Currently EM-ADT does test for,  and should usually avoid turning your master into a tempalte,  but if you want to be sure, you can manually disconnect the copy by opening it and using the File > Properties > Disconnect  function. THIS IS NON-REVERSIBLE.

Title: Re: EM Advanced Diagnostics Toolkit
Post by Admin on 02/06/09 at 09:43:54


1. The EM-ADT includes deGhosting, Orphan recovery, template creation, folder analysis,  rule extraction,  and other diagnostic/repair tools.

2. Advanced versions of the slang extension include helpful error prevention 'fixes' for ecco.  Since the EM-ADT tool 'proves' a file is corrupted by breaking the file, in some cases a corrupted file will not break while the slang extension is active (this is good).   Such files will break when the slang extension is not active (which is not so good).  Thus,  to fully test for corruption,  the test must be performed without the slang extension active.   However:  for those that exclusively use the slang extension,  the only *relevant* corruption test is with the extension active.    In other words,  if the 'corruption' does not break the file with the slang extension,   the 'corruption' is not a 'corruption',  but a DB structure ecco can handle safely (with the extension).   In such cases,  the 'corruption' is only a corruption with native ecco.    Importantly,  if the EM-ADT does not break a file with the slang extension,   you have a very high degree of comfort that the file is safe (so long as you use the extension).

Title: Re: EM Advanced Diagnostics Toolkit   (EM-ADT)
Post by Admin on 09/30/09 at 17:27:04

Where did this cool tool come from ?

A short history....

Quite a few years ago (seems like yesterday),  I had a very strange problem with one of my ecco files.  A view tab that simply would not be deleted.   I asked others about the issue,  but it seemed like was the only one in the world with that problem.   Occasionally other users would ask about strange issues,  like vanishing parts of their outline,  strange memory errors,  'ghost' items,   and a whole host of 'odd' ecco issues that no one else seemed to share.

A few years ago (it really does seem like yesterday) one of the slang extension doc files  would 'self-destruct'.   The cause turns out to be related to opening a temporary view for a 'system' folder in the file, and then reverting the folder to its 'system' status.   It turns out that caused the internal pointers in ecco to become corrupted,  and when accessed,  promptly 'exploded'!

Once we figured out what was up with the 'exploding documentation file',  a light flashed and I pulled out my old non-destructible view file.   Sure enough,  looking at the internal structure it had in a different place the SAME TYPE OF POINTER CORRUPTION.

While this was able to be seen manually on a single file by watching step by step as ecco loaded & processed the file in the debugger,  there was no clear way to test for the condition.   It was a HUGE  effort to figure out a way to reliably test for internal pointer corruptions in any .eco/.ect file.  (At the time I was on a frantic search to figure out the cause of frequent, but inexplicable ecco crashing.  

As fate would have it it turned out that internal pointer corruption was the cause of ALL OF THE HEADACHES my ecco was having since SLANG had me using ecco about ten times as much as I had in the past.  The cause of those headaches-- ALL OF MY .ECO FILES WERE 'INFECTED' with the internal corruption.).  {well, some headaches relate to Ecco's failure to release pointers in some operations [partially fixed by Slang extension],  and so sometimes ecco needs a 'reboot' to clear unreleased pointers in order to load new files after complex files are loaded.  those issues are 'session' based and not relating to physical file structure.}

After a HUGE effort we thought we came up with a good test but.. in doing a 'control' test on a brand new file... the testing process seemed to be a failure--- it reported new, clean files as being corrupt.    Another HUGE effort went into finding the 'bug' in the testing process.

Finally,  working though a new file manually with the testing process-- to see where the testing was going astray,  we realized that the testing was good.  The control file was bad.

It turns out that before releasing the default.ect someone at Netmanage must have done something akin to what was done with the exploding Slang doc file,  causing a corruption of the internal file pointers buried deep within.  (Ecco is 'blind' to internal pointer issues as it 'sees' that the data is good--  using corrupted pointers all is logical from the inside.)

Indeed,  the default.ect file from which all "New File"  (unless shift or control is held down) were created.   Ie.,   ALL OF THE NORMALLY CREATED FILES IN USE based on the corrupted template are corrupt. (Including the other template files that are included with the standard Ecco install).

So,  after another HUGE effort, a process was developed to reliably diagnose & repair, and when possible, to minimize or even eliminate data loss (in files where the corruption was not yet too extensively manifest).   The result is this tool.


and, of course,  also be sure to use the updated, fixed default.ect template.  (just put it in the directory where ecco32.exe resides.) [If you want to use a template that shipped with Ecco,  use one from the 'single directory' Ecco version on the board.  Those templates have been repaired with the EM-ADT tool].

A healthy file can be repeatedly tested and will always report healthy.   If you repair and retest only to find that multiple testing ends up with a corruption warning-- read the instructions.  Some very deeply buried corruption issues on complex files require the 'opposite' fix than most other files.  Please be sure to carefully read the tool's instructions *BEFORE USE*.

(Note: there are 100% safe parts of the EM-ADT tool you can use without looking at the instructions, for example the automatic test for folder capacity which will warn of any folders over,  or in danger of soon becoming over Ecco's internal capacity to handle their memory pointer requirements.   DeGhosting and  fixing orphans are also 'safe' for 'play'.)

Title: Re: EM Advanced Diagnostics Toolkit   (EM-ADT)
Post by Admin on 02/16/17 at 05:59:05

Another super-handy feature is creating a list of all native and slang extension rules.

Use the Tools > Analysis & Diagnosis > Advanced File and Rule Analysis  tool.

When the Analysis is complete, a copy of all folder rules will be contained in the clipboard.  Clip to a MagicView pane or to any standard text editor, even notepad.  (You can copy the list again & paste into ecco, if you desire).

Incredibly useful with complex rules structures,  especially in older files where we have forgotten what is going on in there!

note:  Slang rules allow " // " notations so can explain IN THE RULE what the rule is doing.....   [smiley=happy.gif]

e.g., "// this is a notation, at end of line or on its own line!"

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