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How to Repair Visual SourceSafe Database

By James Hippolite, in , posted: 22-Oct-2008 10:46


  • Visual SourceSafe reports a broken chain and recommends running a fix.
  • But, the backup folder is not empty (because it just wrote an analysis log to it) so the fix won’t run.
  • So, you delete the contents of the backup folder and re-run the fix.
  • But, the database is in use (users are logged in) so the fix won’t run.
  • So, you politely ask all the users to stop being productive for 5 minutes, while you run the fix.
  • But, even with all users logged out, the stupid Analyzer still reports that files are locked and the fix won’t run. 


  • No (Owen, Mindscape, et al), you don’t have to upgrade/delete Visual SourceSafe!
  • Go to Computer Management, System Tools, Shared Folders, Open Files
  • Find and delete these three locks (being held open by Windows):
  • \VSS\data\names.dat
  • \VSS\data\rights.dat
  • \VSS\data\status.dat 


  • Here’s the command line to run the fix:
  • "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual SourceSafe\analyze.exe" -F -V3 -D "e:\vss\data"

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James Hippolite
New Zealand

Welcome to my technical blog. 

Here, I attempt to distill the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer knowledge I have accumulated since first qualifying MCP in 1996.  This blog started on 13 September 2007 as an off-shoot from my mixed up personal blog.  But it took a shot in the arm from Scott Hanselman's talk at TechEd New Zealand 08 "32 Ways To Make Your Blog Suck Less".