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Unrecognized database format

Q: When I start RTG Bills or RTG Timer Version 2, I get an error message that says Unrecognized database format. Then the program exits. Do I need to restore the database from a backup?

A: Probably not. This problem can occur if your PC crashes while you are running RTG Bills or RTG Timer. In spite of the scary message, the database probably isn't corrupted, it just wasn't closed properly because RTG Bills or RTG Timer couldn't exit normally.

If you can start RTG Bills or RTG Timer, use the File > Compact Database command, which often fixes database problems.

If you cannot start RTG Bills or RTG Timer, you can't use the File > Compact Database command. However, there is a special Microsoft program that usually solves this problem:






This utility was installed on each PC that has RTG Bills installed.

Although it is called a "Compact" utility, there is no difference between compacting and repairing for Microsoft Jet 4.0 databases (which is what RTG Bills Version 2 uses). It attempts to copy the database.

The following instructions are for RTG Bills. The procedure is the same for RTG Timer, but the database name is Rtgtimer.mdb instead of Rtgbills.mdb.

Note: The filename extension (.mdb) can be made visible by changing a setting in Windows Explorer, as explained here.

  1. All users must exit RTG Bills and RTG Timer.
  2. Double-click jetcomp.exe to start it.
  3. Click the "..." button for the source database. Locate the RTG Bills database, Rtgbills.mdb. (The error message you get when you start RTG Bills gives the location of the file.)
  4. For the destination database, type in a name: newbills.mdb.
  5. Click the Compact button.
  6. Exit the program.

If it ran without errors, rename rtgbills.mdb to badbills.mdb and rename newbills.mdb to rtgbills.mdb.

Note: You won't fix the problem if you don't rename the files!

If this doesn't work, restoring the database file from a backup may be the only option. Perhaps the database really is corrupted. This can happen if you have hardware problems that cause errors on the hard disk. We suggest you send us a message with the details.