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Chacham's Journal: Question: Backup & QB rights/ Chronicle: small data recovery 5

Journal by Chacham

A small not-for profit organization recently had someone wipe and resisntall their OS. They backed up files beforehand and tried to reimplement. They ran into two issues:

  1. The ACT! 2005 database they backed up was missing the .ddf file.
  2. They could not figure out how to give a second user read-only access to Quickbooks on another computer.

Eventually, i was called in. Not that i know either of these spplications too well, but when they asked around town for help, apparently, my name kept coming up.

Well, i'm glad to help, so i gave it a shot.

ACT! kept its data in the .dbf file. Ostensibly, the .ddf was structure. A few backups they had were all missing the same file(!) Luckily, the backup from about one year prior had it. It was corrupt though, but the diagnostic tool fixed it. Using the recovered .ddf file with later backups was unsuccessful. So, one year's data lost. Better than the entire decade of data. The non-too-computer-literate director printed up a hard copy of the names and addresses "just in case".

I suggested they hire a kid during the summer to update and add new records from the hard copy while asking about data recovery, and giving a monetary value to the data lost. In the end, the cost of retrieval would have been higher than the value, and a responsible teen was hired to fix it.

I also suggested regular backups, and that they actually test the backups. It was agreed. Shortly thereafter, i was asked if i wanted the job. Heh, i guess i knew that was coming.

Onto Quickbooks. They upgraded to the latest version. One license is something like $200. The secretary and the bookkeeper use the same computer, just at different times. The director likes to have read-only access on his computer.

I figured read-only wouldn't require a full license. I tried setting up a multi-user environment. No good, licenses are required, and it checks that the same person isn't already signed in. Pointing both to the same file in single-user mode is similar, it works separately. I asked in the Intuit forums, and it was pretty much confirmed that it would require a new license. Basically, if they really had it working, i have no idea how. So, they may have to purchase that second license.

For the backup plan, i suggested off-site backup. That works, either at another location or online. The question is which makes sense, if only ACT! and QB need backing up. IIRC, it's about 100 MB.

Now i'm looking for ideas. One, what is a good backup plan? CDs? Internet to a server in another location? online backup?

Two, is there a way to get a second read-only instance of QB without a second license.

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Question: Backup & QB rights/ Chronicle: small data recovery

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  • I'm no backup expert but more and more I'm seeing a lot of value in the on-line options that are available. Most of them are really good now, connections folks have are fast enough, and they are drop dead simple. Most other stuff involves more effort and the truth is most people don't make the effort. I have no doubt you would do whatever is necessary, but you don't want to dump too much time into it either.

    I have never used quickbooks - but if they are a legal non-profit (I don't know the lingo for thi

    • by Chacham (981)

      I have no doubt you would do whatever is necessary, but you don't want to dump too much time into it either.

      You hit the nail on the head there.

      but if they are a legal non-profit

      I believe they are. QB has a non-profit version, but i didn't think licensing was different. I'll has to take a other look.

      Thanx for your comments.

  • See subject of comment. Just make sure it's being backed up somewhere you trust. I see this approach used nightly on several gigs of data over DSL.

    Additionally, you might try putting the rsync target under version control, Just In Case. Someone I know wrote a script that watches a directory tree for changes, waits for things to settle down, then runs it all through git.

    • by Chacham (981)

      See subject of comment.

      Arg! [slashdot.org] :)

      Additionally, you might try putting the rsync target under version control

      Good point. I like the idea.

      Thanx for the comment. I'll have to think about this one and bounce it off others.

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