Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Designer keep crashing? Unable to delete apps? Notes client really slow? Something to try.

As a Domino Administrator with a smidge of Design skill I am constantly using all three Notes clients during my working day. Over recent weeks, I have found my Notes 8.5.3 client getting slower and slower and some other issues which were more worrying, such as:

  • Unable to delete Notes applications either from Local or from a server. (Notes just crashed).
  • Opening Designer crashed Notes immediately.
I tried the following to fix it:
  •  Installed FP3.
  • Offline compact, fixup and updall against the entire data directory.
  • Ensured that ODS was updated to version 51 on all system databases.
  • Uninstall / Re-install the application (after a registry sweep to ensure all gremlins were gone).
  • Disable all client add-ins (there was just one).
I found a few forum threads and blog posts which suggested that the bookmark.nsf might be "corrupted" so I thought I'd focus on that.

(Corrupted is a word which gets used far too often in Notes world in my view! If the file were really corrupted, I wouldn't be able to use the thing at all, right? I'm pretty sure I'd struggle to find a dictionary definition for "corrupted" meaning "kinda works sometimes").

So I renamed bookmark.nsf to oldbookmark.nsf. On restarting the client a new bookmark.nsf was spawned (you need a bookmark.ntf in your data directory if that doesn't happen for you) and suddenly my issues went away.

What have I lost by doing this? Actually, not much. Here's what I found:
  • My client preferences were retained.
  • My Domino Administrator server bookmarks and domains were retained.
  • My Domino Designer bookmarks were retained.
  • My workspace icons were retained.
  • My homepage was lost (I was only using the default anyway - no big deal).
  • The links in my "Open" list (I had links to my Traveler.nsf and a couple of spreadsheets there) were lost.
So, I've lost very little, but gained a client which works at an acceptable speed, with very little data loss.

I highly recommended this to anyone else who has been suffering from the same issue!