98 Error Code


When a data file has a corrupt index, a 98 error message similar to the following pops up:

 What Causes Index Corruption
  • Improper Program Exit: The computer or data terminal should never be turned off while a program is still running. All programs have an exit option that should be used whenever possible before shutting down the computer. The computer stores the most commonly used information in memory. Therefore, if a lot of disk I/O (input-output) is occurring, some of the index nodes are in memory. If the computer is turned off without exiting the program, these index nodes are lost. However, if the program is shut down properly, the indexes in memory are flushed and written to the hard disk as they should be. If you’re going to be away from the computer for a lengthy time but don’t want to shut down the RTA program, at least exit to the RTA main menu for minimal damage.
  • Electricity: Power surges, power outages, and lightning can affect computers. When there’s an electrical storm we may take a quick tour of our homes and unplug electrical appliances such as TVs and DVDs. The same should be done for computers. Computers are extremely sensitive to electricity and steps need to be taken to prevent data files from getting “zapped.”  

    • Memory chips are sensitive to minimal amounts of static electricity. Always ground yourself when handling electronic components inside the computer and handle circuit boards by their edges only.

    • Tie several loose knots in the computer’s electrical cords. It has been proven that tying knots in electrical cords reduces the risk of damaging components inside the computer because the lightning works against itself when trying to zap the computer. This isn’t a very high tech solution but it doesn’t cost anything so why not try it? This also works on TVs and DVDs too!

    • Use a surge protector and don’t skimp on costs. Cheap power strips can be purchased almost anywhere but these are designed so that an internal circuit breaker trips when a certain voltage or spike is experienced. Your computer will still be shut off and you’ll still run the risk of data corruption. We suggest using battery backup/power conditioning units on each of your computers. There are many quality brands on the market that come in all sizes and power capacities. Get one that will provide enough battery power (usually about 20 minutes) to allow all programs and computers to be shut down properly during a power outage. These units also regulate the power going into the computer. These units “condition” the power before it gets to your computer, providing protection against brownouts and surges. Expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $1000+ depending on the size and capacity you need, and don’t forget about other wires. Not only do you need a surge protector on your power cords, but also on all other wires and cables that lead to your computer. Lightning can enter a computer through the phone line attached to your modem. Most battery backups have phone line protection as well.

  • Faulty Hardware: Memory chips, network cards, and cables are especially sensitive to electricity. If you are experiencing an unusually high volume of index file corruptions (98/xx errors), it may be a result of a hardware problem. It’s estimated that 25% of all memory chips on the market are faulty—right out of the box. A certified technician can test memory chips for you. A faulty network card may cause data transmission errors between your computer and the network server. Your network administrator should have tools to test this. Cables can also deteriorate from age. The small wires inside the cable can crack if the cable is bent or has become loose from the plugs on the ends of the cable. Hardware problems are difficult to track down and should be referred to your network administrator or a certified technician. If you suspect it may be a hardware problem, try eliminating a workstation from use for a day or so until you can pinpoint which terminal is causing the problem.


When you get a 98 error message, always note the file name (always the 3rd word) and error code shown. Provide this information when calling in for assistance. In this example, this is a 98/02 error on the vehaudky.rta data file. When a file error appears, the name of the data file is always listed in the message. In the sample error message, the vehaudky data file has an index corruption. An index corruption error always begins with 98. Regardless of what the last two digits of the 98 error are, the vehaudky.rta file, in this example, needs to be rebuilt before more work orders can be input into the system. If you cannot get into RTA at all, call in to support.
  1. Select System > Utilities > System > Check Corrupt Files from the RTA main menu (STSC) and enter the level 3 password
  2. Read the message displayed and choose OK to proceed.
  3. Select the corrupted file. In this case it is the vehaudky.rta. Select that file and then hit rebuild
  4. Check to make sure there are records in that file. If everything reads zero, please give us a call.
  5. When you rebuild a file, make sure it completes to 100% and that there are no files lost. It is ok if it deletes some files if there are none 'lost'. If it says there are lost files, do NOT replace original file with the new one and contact RTA immediately. If it completed 100% and there are no lost files, select yes.