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Retrieve Missing Contacts

New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Retrieve Missing Contacts

Hello. I am using ACT 2009 (11.0). My database is being shared from a server. I am using ACT on a Windows 7 computer, but other of my colleagues are still on XP. 

 

A few weeks ago, I added and removed some users of the database. During that process, about 10% of the contacts from our database were somehow deleted even though I assigned tasks associated with the removed users to other active users. I asked my IT guy to send me backup files from our server (we back everything up each night) so that I could go back in time, but I'm getting stuck. The good news is that I think I've discovered the problem. The ALF file for our database was changed on June 4, 2014, so I'm thinking that if I open up the database from June 3, 2014, I should be able to retreive the missing contacts. 

 

Unfortunately when I click on the PAD file for June 3, 2014, I don't see anything different than when I open up the database from today, July 11, 2014. Maybe I need to kick everyone else off the program who's using it in my office first? 

 

Please help.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike Goldman

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: Retrieve Missing Contacts

You Wrote: A few weeks ago, I added and removed some users of the database. 

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When you delete a user if you don't chose to reassign their information to a different user, all records where they are the record manager will be deleted from the database. If you have a backup of the database prior to the changes you can do a restore as of the backup with a different database name you should be able to recover the missing data.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Re: Retrieve Missing Contacts

Thanks for your response Roy. I actually did reassign their information to a different user to prevent that from happening. Most of my contacts that were deleted were never users of the database. Something weird happened, that's for sure.

 

I am interested in how to restore - please point me in that direction. I should tell you, though, that I don't do backups through ACT itself. I'm just grabbing the files from my server directly, and unfortunately there are no zip files on my server, which appears to be the way to do a backup. Should I just create my own zip file using the PAD, ALF, and ADF files from the date that I'd like to restore the database?

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: Retrieve Missing Contacts

I have very bad news, most server level backups won't backup the ACT! database files because the SQL server has the database open all the time and most backup programs won't backup open files. That is why you should use the ACT! scheduler to backup the ACT! database to a public location on the server so that the server backup will include the ACT! backup in its backup.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Re: Retrieve Missing Contacts

I was afraid you might say that. That is indeed bad news. Just to close the loop on this, I believe what you're telling me is that even though I can see that the ALF file for my database was modified on a certain date, and that that tells me when the change occured, I won't be able to access the files I need to get the old data because I didn't schedule the backups through ACT itself? Can you think of any possible workaround, or is this just an important lesson that I'm learning the hard way?

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: Retrieve Missing Contacts

The ALF is the logging file and contains no data. A copy of the ADF file dating befoe the date in question would be the only useful thing.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129
New Member
Posts: 4
Country: USA

Re: Retrieve Missing Contacts

Got it. You've been most helpful. I apologize if I'm overstepping my bounds by continuing to ask more follow-up questions, but our entire business operates on ACT, so I need to get this figured out. 

 

I just got off the phone with my IT guy (who is not a software guy, just networking), and he told me that the backup system that we use is called "Backup for Workgroups" and is "SQL Active" which means, I think, that it should back up ACT nightly as well as any other open programs (we use an Access database that also communicates with SQL.)

 

That being said, I don't have an ADF file dating before the date in question, so I guess we're still stuck?

Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 6,652
Country: USA

Re: Retrieve Missing Contacts

He may be right but there are other reasons to use the ACT! backup. The ACT! backup has everything in it associated with the database, the database itself, the layouts, templates, attached documents, etc. In case you need is it restores everything the way it was. Also you can test the backup by doing a restore as with a different name. The ACT! scheduler will create backups at the time and place you define and allows setting how many sequential backups you want to keep (I usually select 10). It date stamps the backup and when you reach the selected limit it removes the oldest and creates a new backup.

 

You might want to establish a relationship with an ACT! Certified Consultant for future help.

Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
ACT! Report Expert
Durkin Impact Report Designer
www.techbenders.com
royel@techbenders.com
541-343-8129