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st: Error 612 on .dta in Stata 13.1

From   Sergiy Radyakin <>
To   "" <>
Subject   st: Error 612 on .dta in Stata 13.1
Date   Mon, 9 Dec 2013 12:45:07 -0500

I have two Stata datasets sent by a user via email. Each file starts
with "r" and as such is based on specification-114. Stata 11 and 12
(Windows) can open the file without any problem. StataMP 13.1 for
Windows refuses to do so with an error code 612 and error message:

. use "datafile.dta", clear
.dta file corrupt
    The file unexpectedly ended before it should have.

without loading the data. Since I do not know the 'true' content of
the file, I don't know whether the data that is opened in Stata 12 is
-- partial dataset? (only surviving observations shown, fewer than declared)
-- complete dataset? (all observations surviving, Stata 13 gives a false alarm)
-- or corrupt dataset? (all observations, but some data is incorrect)

Furthermore, if I use my saveto9.exe on this dataset it creates a file
that Stata 9 can also open without any error message. This tells me
that the header is likely to be valid and intact.

Both files provoke identical problem, and surprisingly they have
identical size (around 4MB), but expectedly different content. The
identical  size might be a coincidence or evidence of trimming,
intentional or accidental.

I need to know if this is a false alarm and the file is actually in
order, or Stata 13.1 is indeed detecting some inconsistencies that
Stata 12 didn't watch for?

I wonder if anyone has had an experience like that and whether there
is a known incompatibility or a problem with any other software
creating .dta files (e.g. SPSS, R, etc). The reason I suspect other
software is that there is no visible timestamp that Stata usually
saves into the file. In Stata 12 I see:
 c(filedate) = ""
Afaik the date in file was optional. Has anything changed in Stata 13?

The help for error 612 does not give any info in the .dta-context, and
a somewhat more precise error message would be helpful (e.g. "only 40
out of 74 observations read successfully", or "value labels not
found", etc).

Thank you, Sergiy Radyakin

PS: no, I can't share the data files; and yes, I am already following
up with the user on the history of the file, so far nothing to add.
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