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My ValMap database isn't updating any more. How do I make it work again?

Background and maintenance

This generally happens when it has been plugging along quite happily for some period of time. Then at some point, you might get error messages when the helper starts up and you no long see updated information in ValMap.

The problem is likely to be that the database used to store the MVOW information for ValMap is full. The database technology is old … it dates back to 1997, and it’s limited to 2 GB of data. Because of the way the database works, an update to a record in the database seems to result in the old one being discarded, and a new one being tacked on the end. However, the space occupied by discard rows is never reclaimed, and the database file just keeps getting bigger.

The way around this is to periodically click the Compact DB button on the helper:

The time to do this is when the size of the database is approaching 2 GB. It’s only 667 MB in the snip, and it’s definitely a good time when it’s around 1.8 GB.

However, if you’re reading this, it’s probably too late for that, and the helper can’t do anything at all. So what you need to do is reset the database back to its original empty state.

Resetting the database

1. Find the target location

You’ll use this later, but you need to get it now. Click the Show button at the end of the Database Location field:

Windows will open a new File Explorer window showing the location of the database file. It’ll look something like this:

Put that window somewhere you’ll be able to find it later.

2. Make sure there will be no interference

Make sure that the helper is not running, and that ValMap is not running. One way of doing this is pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete and choosing to open the Task Manager. Once you have the Task Manager open, make sure you can see all the processes (you might have to switch to an advanced mode), and scroll all the way through. Make sure you don’t see any ValMap or mvp3vm processes running. If you do, you can right-click them in the list, and choose End task.

Once there are no more left, you can continue.

3. Find the original database file

Find the helper icon on your desktop. It’ll look like this:

Right-click this icon and choose Properties from the popup menu. You’ll then see something like this:

Click the Open File Location button and you should see another File Explorer window something like this:

Now it might not be a list like this, it might be just icons. That’s OK.

4. Copy the original database file

Click on the file called mvp3vm that doesn’t have the same icon as is on your desktop (see further up). If you right-click it and choose Properties, you should see a size of 76.0 KB (77,824 bytes). Once you have the right file, right-click it and choose Copy.

5. Replace your current database with the original one

Find the target File Explorer window you opened in step 1 above. Right-click in the blank space and choose Paste. Windows will tell you that there is already a file with this name. Click the Replace the file in the destination button.

At this point, you’re done.

Restart the helper, and it should get a completely fresh copy of your data. It’s going to take a long time, and you shouldn’t start ValMap or transfer any PIDs from MVOW into ValMap until it’s finished.