FM crashed, produced an auto save file (.auto.fm) and another file w/suffix ".auto.fm.DAC"
This is my first time ever recieving this type of recover file. Please enlighten me, I did a web search and found nothing related to FrameMaker.
The .auto files aren't crash files, per se. They are created periodically because you have auto-save enabled. They are equivalent to doing a save-as with a different name.
What is supposed to be created during a crash is a .recover file, which is a save-as-MIF, but is named recover.fm. Use these files only to copy and paste recent edits, because they often contain whatever structure problem caused the crash.
Oft times the crash itself crashes, and that scatters files of various names, which I suspect describes the .DAC file. These may or may not contain scraps of anything useful.
And sometimes Frame just winks out altogether, leaving nothing useful about, nor any hints in the log, plus lock file litter you need to deal with.
When you get a crashed document recovered, do a MIF wash.
Save often during normal work.
No, currently there is no CMS/source control/repository, and we are currently working in unstructured FM. It's funny because FM crashed while I was sitting in front of my computer, working on paperwork, so I hadnt done anything with the file for about 15 minutes and it just crashed all by itself (I'm having Flashbacks of version 5 and 7)... Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question.
It's interesting that the file name is .auto.fm.DAC
That suggests to me that the crash occured during an auto-save.
My experience with crashes during saves, is that what FM does is create new files with odd names, and only when they have been successfully written, does it delete or rename the previous file(s).
So a crash during an auto-save means the previous .auto.fm, if any, is still intact.
A crash during a normal save means the previous .fm (and backup.fm) are still intact.
That said, some care is required when recovering from crashes. If, for example, you just open the surviving documentname.fm, it immediately creates a new documentname.backup.fm, destroying the previous documentname.backup.fm. There may be scenarios in which you could lose the .auto.fm as well. I routinely copy all files to a subdirectory before beginning an autopsy.fm.