Repairing an IBM Notes 9x corrupted \Notes\Data folder

Rob HutchinsonDesktop Support Specialist
Current strengths are Office 365 and Dell laptops: 7450, 7470, 7490, 5410/5420
Edited by: Andrew Leniart
This article shows how to repair a Notes 9.x installation. If you just need to copy the Notes config from one computer to another, then just copy the Notes\Data folder over which usually works most of the time.

Repairing an IBM Notes 9x corrupted \Notes\Data folder:

Before starting, ‘move’ the old \Notes\Data folder to a temp save folder for safekeeping
Do not copy.
For example move to: C:\SaveNotes\Notes\Data

Then start creating a new Notes\Data folder config by clicking on the Notes icon:

Disclaimer: your Notes config screens may need other information so just enter in whatever is normal info for your company’s Notes configuration to set up Notes for the first time—a clean install.

You may see this box first so just click “Next”:

At this next box, enter in the username and the server name and click “Next”

You can find this info in the old Notes.ini file:

KeyFileName_Owner=CN=Rob Hutchinson/OU=AV/OU=MyGroup/O=JoesCorp

At the Notes password box, enter in the Notes password.

At this next screen, enter in the normal info then just click “Finish

Wait about one minute for Notes to finish updating; then at this first program screen, right-click the “Open” button, and choose “Dock the Open list” to get the left border menu:

So then it looks like this:

Then open the workspace and the Sync tabs via the left bookmark icons:


The workspace and sync tabs should look like these:


Replication and Sync:

When replication is complete, exit out of Notes:

Now, we are ready to copy the old files-folders from the old corrupt Notes\Data folder:

Before copying over the specific files from the old Notes\Data folder; in the new Notes\Data folder, rename the bookmark.nsf and desktop8.ndk files. (It’s important to rename the file extension of these files to prevent Notes from recognizing and using these files) bookmark.nsf to bookmark.newnsf desktop8.ndk to desktop8.newndk.
Then copy over the file of the same name from the old Notes\Data folder to the new Notes\Data folder.

We also want to copy over the old names.nsf, BUT we DO NOT want to replace the new file.

So rename the old names.nsf to something like “names - copy.nsf

THEN copy the “names - copy.nsf” into the new Notes\Data folder, do not overwrite the new names.nsf

**The main reason for ‘not’ overwriting or replacing the new names.nsf is because the names.nsf is more than just a file storing the user’s Contacts info—the names.nsf file also stores Notes server connection info.

(Technically, you can just rename the names.nsf file like the others, but only do this if you are SURE that there is nothing wrong with the old names.nsf—I usually just use the new version of this file.)

Besides these mentioned files, we also need this folder:

( this folder has to do with the recent contacts email history)

There is an IBM doc on this too:

Copy this dip folder into the same ".plugins" folder under the new Notes\Data\workspace\.metadata folder.

After these steps, you can re-open Notes.
After re-opening Notes, you might see this popup:

Unless you know otherwise, ALWAYS click “Yes” to for Create Cross Certificate.

Now, open the Workspace tab:

and right-click the workspace to "Open Application…" we want to open the old file “names – Copy.nsf.” that we copied over from the old Notes\Data folder.

Now open the new Contacts folder:

...then with both Contacts folders open( from the current Contacts and the “names – Copy.nsf”)
copy the all of the old “Recent Contacts” into the new Recent Contacts.


How to copy the Recent Contacts: from the old recent contacts folder, select one contact, then press CTRL-A to select all contacts, the press CTRL-C( or use the Notes menu option to copy)

After this, open the new Recent Contacts folder, select the folder, then paste all the old recent contacts into the new recent contacts folder.

Transferring the normal My Contacts: first copy a single contact from the old My Contacts folder from the “names – Copy.nsf” into the new My Contacts then re-replicate.

The reason for this is because 80% of the time, the existing My Contacts entries will copy back down from the server copy—so if you copy all the My Contacts from the old names - Copy.nsf file, then you will have duplicated all the normal My Contacts.

If the duplication does not happen, then copy the rest of the normal contacts like you did with the recent contacts.

If the duplication does happen, then remove all the normal contacts, exit out of Notes, let the server update with your changes, then copy over the old contacts from the old "names - copy.nsf" again.

Be careful that the pulled down normal contacts from the server are also included in the old normal Contacts--otherwise, you will have to manually sort through these, and you will NOT want to remove any of the pulled down normal contacts.

After copying these Recent Contacts and My Contacts, always rename the file extension of the old file that you copied from, the file in the Notes\Data folder: “names - Copy.oldnsf” so Notes will not try and use this file again.

Now login to Sametime: using the same Notes login name and password that you used to get into Notes the first time if needed…you may not need to type in the login again as the embedded Sametime client may log you in automatically.

Getting the emoticons back is easy: open up a chat window with any user, doesn’t matter who.
Click the Insert Emoticon button:

Then click the Edit button and remove all the default existing emoticons—if desired, you might have duplicates if not.


Now, click the “Import…” button, and go to the folder where the emoticons are stored in the “old” Notes\Data folder. The exact location under the Notes\Data folder is here:


Change the file type from *.zip to *.xml to see the “palette.xml” file. This is the file you want to import.


For the most part, you do not need to do anything here—EXCEPT, this is only based on the assumption that the archives are NOT stored under the default Notes\Data folder.

This is because the Notes Archive setting will still point to the same location—if the folder is NOT under the Notes\Data folder. Now, if the Notes archive IS under the Notes Data folder, then you have to change the path—possibly. This is because the old archive path was under Lotus\Notes\Data\archive, this has to be changed to IBM\Notes\Data\archive

Of course, we have to also move or copy the old \Notes\Data\Archive folder from the old backed up location to the new location under the Notes\Data folder.

That’s it.

Might add/edit this data later if I can think of something else that needs changing or editing.

Rob HutchinsonDesktop Support Specialist
Current strengths are Office 365 and Dell laptops: 7450, 7470, 7490, 5410/5420

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