06-29-2008 02:41 PM
ACT! by Sage 2008 (10.0) Version 10.0.1.199 -- I'm attempting to restore a destroyed database by downloading it from MOZY. All MOZY *.ADF files are 54 MB in size since October 26, 2007 when the database was created. I've downloaded four different copies of the data base (*.ADF, *.ALF and *.PAD) from four different backups but when I start them they all say the database was created with a previous version of ACT! (doesn't say which one).
They all seem to be from October 26, 2007 (calendar has activities from then). I told ACT to keep my data bases on my E:\ drive as it is a RAID drive so I feel more comfortable with data being kept there.
Did ACT! put the data somewhere else and so I wasn't ever backing it up? Where does ACT! keep the databases. Any hint why MOZY would not have backed up the most recent copy of the database but kept backing up the original version?
Since I had the RAID safety and MOZY I did not backup (*.zip) the data base. Do I have to manually do that to be safe. Doesn't ACT! have an automatic data base backup feature like most REAL programs?? I thought ACT 6.0 (the version I used until ACT! 10) had an automatic backup feature.
I much appreciate nay help!
06-29-2008 05:56 PM
To explain the backup process. The SQL files used by ACT! end in .adf and .alf. They are "owned" by the ACT! instance of SQL, which runs as a windows "service". To backup the ACT! database files, the "service" must be stopped,the files backed up and the "service" restarted.
The manual Backup process in ACT! Standard does this, and the ACT! Scheduler in Premium can automate this. Some commercial backup programs also can backup "open files".
So which version of ACT! and which backup method are you using?
The files you have located, if dated October 2007 may very well be Version 9 format, as it was about then that the versions changed.
You might also search your drive for *.adf files, to see if there are more recent backups available.
06-29-2008 07:17 PM
Thanks for the reply. I'm using ACT! by Sage 2008 (10.0) Version 10.0.1.199
I put the database into the ACT! folder on my E:\ drive which is a RAID 0 drive. There are *.ADF. *.ALF and *.PAD files in the directory.
I run MOZY automatically every night at 2:00AM. ACT! is shut down by that time. Is the SQL server shut down when ACT! is shut down or not? Sometime during the month I reboot the PC so the server must be shut down then. But ACT! is one of the first programs I bring up after a reboot. Does starting ACT! bring up the SQL server?? If so, and if ACT! doesn't shut down the server it (the server) is always running when my backups are running.
Coincidentally I also run Windows FolderShare (Beta) nightly and backup the entire ACT folder to my MidiaCenter PC on my home network.
I've attempted to restore a destroyed database by downloading it from MOZYand also from my MediaCenter PC. All MOZY *.ADF and FolderShare *.ADF files are 54 MB in size since October 26, 2007 when the database was created. I've downloaded four different copies of the data base (*.ADF, *.ALF and *.PAD) from four different backups but when I start them they all say the database was created with a previous version of ACT! (doesn't say which one). Same thing with the FolderShare backups. They all seem to be from October 26, 2007 (calendar has activities from then).
Since I had the RAID safety and MOZY I DID NOT BACKUP THE DATA BASE BY CREATING *.ZIP FILE.
Your reply indicated I have to manually run a backup from ACT! as there is no automatic backup in this version of ACT! like most REAL programs.
Does the database stay the same size (54 meg) all the time? Could that fool my backup programs into beleiving the file hasn't changed when it really has?
06-29-2008 10:20 PM
06-29-2008 10:47 PM
so using ACT! Standard, the backup needs to be run from within ACT! to create the zip file. As you are not backing up from within ACT!, even with ACT! closed, the SQL Service is still running, so the Mozy backup files may not be OK for a restore. The same may apply to Windows FolderShare. Your backup to Mozy would be fine for the zip file created from within ACT!
You did not advise if the database file can be seen by ACTDIAG?
The file size not changing may mean they are all the same date. What are the dates on the files, are any of them recent?
Yes, while ACT! is a REAL program , you must manually create the zip file (in the Standard version), the Premium version can automate the creation of the zip file.
You could automate the backup file creation process with a batch file.
If you cannot open your database, nor locate a recent backup file, you may have to send a copy to Sage for fixing.
06-30-2008 06:15 AM
All the backups have different dates coinciding with the date the backup was made. When restored the database can be seen by ActDiag. When restored the database works just fine except it is back to the creation date. Since they all work but have the same old data I can't see how ACT! Database restore could do any good.
I suspect the saved database was the one I created with my conversion from ACT! 6. That's why it (they, all of them) have to be updated when opened. I still question why all he databases have exactly the same size. Is there a standard size that gets used and modified but not increased when modified?
07-01-2008 02:19 PM
I've not received a response from anyone re: why all the databases have exactly the same size. Does an SQL database have a fixed size and additions are made inside the fixed size until it is exceeded at which time the database receives a large bump? In digging around I came across a program that reported (I can't find it again) the database was 54 meg and 46 meg was used.
Is my experience unique or is every ACT! Standard user at risk of loosing their data despite "backing it up" via a MOZY, Foldershare or other automatic means.
If they are all in danger because there is no automated means to back up an ACT! Database I think it would be prudent to WARN them so they don't have the kind of disaster I apparently just did.
Let me know if you are finished trying to help.
Would paying $300.00 to ACT! for their help be of any use in your opinion or should I just start trying to update the last 8 MONTHS of activity in the old database.
I would appreciate a reply.
07-01-2008 03:08 PM
What you see as backups are likely multiple copies of the original conversion. Without direct troubleshooting it's very difficult to say what actually happened. The backups from ACT! will be different sizes so the fact that all yours are the same size indicates they are backups of the same information regardless of the dates.
I looked MOZY on the web and very interesting they provided very little information about their backups and it appears that the only backup style that is offered is incremental which is my least favored backup method. I personally use the Genie Backup Manger Pro to an external hard drive. Their version 8 now will backup open files and I have tested this with a couple of ACT! database and was able to bring back the ADF and ALF files and have them reattach to the SQL server. Genie also offers a backup service to the web similar to MOZY. If you are interested their web site is www.genie-soft.com.
07-01-2008 04:39 PM
The databases might be the same size if the same file was being backed up each time.
The backup method provided with ACT! works just fine, and it can be automated. Your issue was about backing up "open files", which Mozy may/does not do.
Raid is OK, as it generally writes the data to 2 drives (depends on the Raid type), so that if one drive crashes the other drive should be OK, and you can recover.
Restoring from backup overwrites the original files on your drive. Have you searched your drive for other (more recent) copies of the files? (Look for *.adf)
Personally, I have a Raid setup, and I also backup to an external drive, daily. I use Acronis (www.acronis.com), which takes an "image" of my drive and can perform a restore of files or the drive, quite quickly.
As to paying for a restore, that would depend on whether you have a copy of your database more recent than the one on Mozy.
I would suggest contacting a local ACT! Consultant for assistance.
07-01-2008 05:41 PM
I also use Genie Backup Manager Pro but only version 7. I would guess that since the SQL server doesn't go down when ACT! is shut down is the reason my Genie backups are also all the same size. However, I would think the fact that I shut down the system every once in a while would have the SQL server write the updated ADF and ALF files into my directory. The dates on the backups might not be in synch but they ought not be out of synch by much. My Genie backups are all 54 meg and restore the same way the MOZY ones do.
Are you absolutely sure the databases change size when you add contacts or history etc.
Obviously, I'm paranoid about backups with this disaster and need to get confident again. As I've said, I backup the data on MOZY, Foldershare, Genie and run a RAID drive (dual drives - RAID 0 I believe). You can tell that I had a hard drive crash in my past and am very sensitive to disasters. Recently I had a hard drive failure but the RAID system saved me.