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Risks of running Analyze in Visual Source Safe

Posted on 2011-05-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
I just recently found out that Analyze has to be run regularly on Visual SourceSafe, and as fas as I know, it hasn't been run in over 6 months. Are there any rissks involved when running this? What type of precautions, if any, need to be taken? I'm the VSS administrator (very bad one as you can see), and I would like to run this as soon as possible. Thanks.
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Question by:horalia
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Zoppo earned 2000 total points
ID: 35721617
Hi horalia,

I don't know of any cases where 'Analyze' really damaged a VSS database. It can be that corrupt files are removed in a way you can see i.e. some history entries are missing, but this should only happen if before the 'Analyze' run the history is already corrupt (so i.e. differences between vesrions cannot be shown anymore or you cannot get old versions of a file or something).

IMO you should do three things before starting a 'Analyze' run:

- Force all users to check-in/undo-check-out files they currently have checked out
- Lock the database so no one can check-out files while the 'Analyze' is in progress
- Create a backup copy of the complete database by simply creating a copy of the complete folder where the 'srcsafe.ini' resides.

If you have source code in your VSS database I would suggest to test get latest version of each project into clean directories and build them for testing before you unlock the database again.

Hope that helps,

ZOPPO

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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 35721650
How can I force all users to check-in their files? And how do I lock the database?
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Expert Comment

by:Zoppo
ID: 35721698
There's no functionality to force user to check-in/undo-check-out. You have to tell them. And, since you're the VSS admin they should follow your wish.

To lock the database use the 'Tools->Lock SourceSafe Database' menu item in SourceSafe Admin tool.

ZOPPO
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 35721728
I was told that it will take a long time to run analyze since it hasn't been run in so long. Last time it was run was back in July last year. Could you give me an estimate of how long this process will take to run?
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Expert Comment

by:Zoppo
ID: 35721900
Sorry, that's nearly impossible for me - it simply depends on how much data exists in there, how old the database is (so how many different versions of files may exist) and how much problems/errors were found. I had a case with a heavy used 5 GB database where 'Analyze' hasn't run for more than five years, I made two 'Analyze' runs, the first one took about 6 hours, the second one about 4 - but even this can vary a lot depending on the hardware involved.

IMO you can only test how long it takes - if you want to test it without disturbing other people you can even test it on a copy of the complete database before.
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 35721961
How can this be done? Test the analyze on a copy? As you can see, my experience with VSS is totally nonexistent.
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Expert Comment

by:Zoppo
ID: 35722184
Yes, test it on a copy - one good thing to know with VSS is that you can create a copy of the database by simply copying the content of it's root folder (the folder where 'srcsafe.ini' resides) on the harddisk to an empty folder - then with 'Open database' you can open this copy of the database with both VSS and VSS-Admin tool, you just have to give it another name then.

If no-one changes check-out state or sets a label while the copying is done you really have a 1-to-1 copy of the database which you can use for testing or store as backup.
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 35722440
OK, I have found the folder. So, I copy it, give it another name, open it using the VSS Admin tool and then analyze it. I'll do the copying after hours and ask users not to check out anything. Is this all that I need to do?
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 35726064
I had issues copying the folder, I guess it is protected... It is set up as a network place on the server. Can I open the database no matter what it is? For example, if I copy the whole thing on a folder on my machine and open it from there? I need to get over this VSS fear....
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Expert Comment

by:Zoppo
ID: 35727779
Hi again,

yes, if you can copy the whole content of the root folder to your local machine you can open it from there. BTW, asking users not to check out isn't really neccessary, they just shouldn't check in anything or delete anything or set a label because this may break data consitency while copy-progress is running.

ZOPPO
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 35730113
OK, I'm going to try to do this, there is a lot of data out there... The data folder is 945 MB in size...
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Expert Comment

by:Zoppo
ID: 35730152
ok - as told, that one where I did it was about 5.7 GB, so yours most probably should work faster :o)
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Author Closing Comment

by:horalia
ID: 35753859
Thanks, I really appreicate your time and patience! I copied the database and run 'Analyze' on the copy. Took only 3 minutes to do so, and only one error came up. I then ran 'Analyze' again from the command window, and it fixed the problem. I still haven't run it in the original one, but at least now I know what to expect. Thanks again!
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Zoppo
ID: 35753944
You're welcome - I'm glad I could help.

Have a nice day,

best regards,

ZOPPO
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