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280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

New Member
Posts: 9
Country: USA

280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

Looking at the history- the admin did it, according to ACT, but nothing was initiated.. nothing was being messed with, email integration is (and always been) turned off.  What happened??  There's no rhyme or reason to which ones were deleted (280 out of about 8000 contacts).. I ended up having to restore a backup to a test environment and pull out each of those 280 into an export, and while we will get the contacts back, we can say goodbye to almost 10 years of history, dating all the way back to 2009..  The backup we're pulling from is months old (for some reason backup exec failed to capture the act data file, but reported 100% backup success, another maddening issue), so anyways, we can't just restore and lose a day of input, we'd lose months, just not an option.

 

This is act premium 16, and according to the documentation online, I don't believe we can export directly from the backup version to the live one, but if it's possible, can we push the history, even after we import the customers back in via spreadsheet?

 

Without knowing the cause, I'm terrified this can or will happen again, and now we're running backups daily from ACT tools.  This is just extremely frustrating.  Thanks.

Silver Super Contributor
Posts: 2,328
Country: USA

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

You should work with an Act! Certified Consultant.  You should be able to export the missing contacts back from the backup to the current database and get their histories included as well.  An ACC can also show you how to backup your Act! database using the scheduler which would allow Backup Exec to backup the backups so you wouldn't have lost more than a day's worth of data entry.  You can find a local ACC by going to www.act.com/acc although most ACCs can easily work remotely as well.

 

Stan


If you would like to get more out of ACT! you can find an ACT! Certified Consultant near you by going to:www.act.com/acc.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stan Smith
ACT! Certified Consultant
ADS Programming Services, Inc.
(205) 222-1661
www.adsprogramming.com
www.actwebhosting.com
Click Here to Purchase Act!
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,662
Country: USA

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

Most network backup programs won't backup open files. The SQL server loads at boot time and all attached database files, which includes the ACT! database files, are opened unless the SQL server is manually stopped. The ACT! program doesn't control the opening or closing of the ACT! database files. 

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
New Member
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the feedback,

 

I did read in other searched topics that backup exec had issues with ACT, but this was after the fact.  BU Exec does have SQL backup and open-file technology that should have included in the daily report if it was unable to backup an open file.  The SQL backup did work, but there's only one copy of the SQL side in BU Exec, and it wasn't dated in the catalog, so I had to assume the backup was from the weekend, and the incident happened on Friday afternoon, so it seemed pointless and a waste of time to continue to travel down that path.

 

Of the 280 deleted contacts, only about 20-30 were of any real importance, whereas the remainder were dead leads or out of business, etc.

 

Seems silly to pay hundreds or thousands to a consultant to regain the histories on 20-30 customers, when the reality of it is that the customer is still our customer, we just have to start a new history.

 

I did set ACT to backup daily through the tools / schedule.  Lesson learned.

 

The real issue here is what happened?  Clearly 280 deleted contacts in the history log, all in less than 2 minutes tells me that it was an automated process that did it under an admin ID.  That user/admin was logged in, but not actively doing anything within ACT at the time.  I've talked with him, he's the sales manager and probably the most ACT-knowledgable person we have, and not the type to screw with things he doesn't understand, or lie about accidentally messing up.  It keeps coming back to the question:  "What possible automated process can mass delete records like that".  We're scratching our heads.

Employee
Posts: 102
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

Act! itself can't delete contact records on it's own. Sometimes we see this if a user is in a lookup when they delete a contact record and delete the lookup by mistake.

 

Do you have any users that synchronise or do you sync with any other outside applications?

New Member
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

[ Edited ]

We do not sync it at all with any other apps or email.  I will reach out to the user and find out if they were in a lookup and/or deleted a contact at that time. I'm very interested in solving the mystery of why.

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,662
Country: USA

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

From my time is ACT! tech support, deleting a lookup rather that a single contact happened many times. In fact over the years the warnings became more explicit to where it now states you are about to delete <n> number of contacts, this action can't be undone, do you want to continue. Still people will on occasion delete the lookup.

 

Assuming you did a restore as of the backup you had and you exported the missing contact records to your working database, where you do the mapping rules, there is a check box to include other users public history. That may explane why you got the contacts records without the history. 

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 1,424
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

I am with Roy on this. Every instance I have had of mystery deletions has been traced to the deleting of a lookup instead of a single record.

Silver Super Contributor
Posts: 2,328
Country: USA

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

I agree as well.  If it is a synching database you can actually look in the database to see who deleted the records.  You can probably look in the log file if the records in the logfile haven't been deleted.


Stan


If you would like to get more out of ACT! you can find an ACT! Certified Consultant near you by going to:www.act.com/acc.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stan Smith
ACT! Certified Consultant
ADS Programming Services, Inc.
(205) 222-1661
www.adsprogramming.com
www.actwebhosting.com
Click Here to Purchase Act!
New Member
Posts: 9
Country: USA

Re: 280 contacts deleted - all in the same 2 minutes

I wish I could agree, but there has to be a missing link with this one.  The user is the admin and has no reason to lie, and he swears he did not initiate any deletes that day, and even said there's two confirmation boxes before you can delete and he would have known.  He would only be in trouble with himself if he did do it- and he knows that a solid easy answer is better than a "?".  He is equally as invested in finding the cause as I am, so the question begs, if you rule out any manual deletions, and rule out synchronization and 3rd party apps, what's left?