The most common and potentially most costly mistake that the owner of an Act! 6 database can make is not properly backing up their database. We receive numerous calls from people using version 6 of Act! that believe that simply copying the Act! database file to a back-up drive or the entire Act! folder on their computer to a back-up drive will allow them to restore the Act! database if it becomes corrupt or inoperable. Often they use an automated process that scans their computer for directories or files that have changed since the last back-up and they assume that the scan will provide a copy of an Act! database that they can restore if a problem occurs, but they are wrong.
The ONLY restorable Act! 6 database file is a .zip file that is created from the Act! Backup procedure that is initiated using the Act! Software. If you are reading this and you currently aren’t running the backup procedure out of Act!, stop what you are doing, ask everyone to get out of the Act! database, sign on as the Administrator, and create a backup. Your data has the potential of being lost in total if you don’t produce a proper backup immediately.
Instructions for backing up an Act! 6 Database:
1. On the File menu (inside the Act! 6 appication) choose Backup. Follow the prompts and choose to save the Zip file to the hard drive of the computer you are working on or better yet on a removable drive or external hard drive.
2. We recommend rotating backup files and taking a copy off-site in case of a local flood or fire that wipes out the computer that holds the Act! database currently.
Remember, based on the date of this posting if you are still running an Act! 6 database it means that your Act! software and database are probably at least 4 years old. The Act! 6 software is no longer supported by the manufacturer, Sage, so you won’t have much recourse if your database becomes corrupt or you have a hard drive failure.
If you would like to upgrade your Act! 6 database to a newer version of Act! – don’t take this step lightly. The back-end database for Act! 6 data is FoxPro and you will be converting to a Microsoft SQL Server database. This conversion is not for do-it-yourself-ers. If you want your data in tact, you should have it converted by an Act! Certified Consultant. Read more in one of our Blog entries about converting Act! 6 Databases.
Restoring an Act! 6 Database is an easy task – IF – you have a properly backed up database to restore. You cannot restore an Act! 6 database using the restore function in Act! if you do not have the .zip file that is created from the Act! Backup process. A copy of the Act! 6 database file that was saved to an external drive without using the Act! procedure (for example – an Act! file that was saved by copying the entire Act! directory to an external drive) is not recoverable using the Act! software and the data is most likely lost. To determine if you are backing your data up properly – read the beginning portion of this entry.
Instructions for restoring an Act! 6 Database:
1. On the File menu (inside the Act! 6 appication) choose Restore.