I looked into a problem that occurred recently when adding observations to the spectra table over break. The error message was

This was due to using a normal INT type for the index. The fix is quite simple in MySQL, you can change the type using the command:

However, spec_id is also auto incrementing and the PRIMARY KEY for my table. Here is the description of spec_id BEFORE ALTERing the TABLE:

Since there is already a PRIMARY KEY set (spec_id), MySQL will produce an error if PRIMARY KEY is specified when attempting to MODIFY the TABLE. Fortunately, this does not matter — the spec_id column will remain the primary key even if PRIMARY KEY is not specified. However, AUTO_INCREMENT does need to be specified when altering the column.

In my specific case the command used to change my MySQL column from an INT type to BIGINT was

which resulted in

Using BIGINT for the type will allow for up to 9 Quadrillion rows in the table! That should last for a while.