PRB: Error "File Names.dat may be corrupt" Appears


The error "File Names.dat maybe corrupt" occurs when starting Visual SourceSafe, when trying to gain access to a file or project, or when running ANALYZE on the Database.


The Names.dat file in the database contains information on the 8.3 names that correspond to files that have long file names in Visual SourceSafe. When this error occurs, Visual SourceSafe cannot find the correct information in the Names.dat file for the file or project that it is trying to retrieve information on.


If you know the name of the file or project where the error occurs, rename the file to an 8.3 name, and then name it back from the Visual SourceSafe Explorer or Command Line.

If the Visual SourceSafe database is on a Novell server, do both of the following:

  1. Make the names.dat sharable (use Novell's FLAG command, which is similar to DOS's ATTRIB command).
  2. Change the Client on the Win95 computers to use the NetWare Client 32 client rather than the Microsoft Client for NetWare. The NetWare Client 32 client is a free download from Novell. Please see their site at for more information on that client.
The new Analyze.exe rebuilds the Names.dat file. Run Analyze with the -F switch to make changes to the database. Make sure no one attempts to gain access to SourceSafe's database while ANALYZE -F is running.

NOTE: When you are modifying the SourceSafe database, it is always a good idea to back up the Data directory and all subdirectories first should you need to recover.

Additionally, if the Visual SourceSafe database is on a Novell server, the error message will be returned if the Names.dat is not marked as sharable.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem with the products listed at the beginning of this article


For additional information on Analyze, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
190881 SAMPLE: Analyze6.exe Utility for Visual SourceSafe