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Disclaimer: This article was written about products for which Sage Software, Inc. no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered “as is” and will no longer be updated. If you need assistance with issues pertaining to an unsupported product, please refer your questions to the ACT! Online Community or to an ACT! Certified Consultant. For more information regarding currently supported versions of ACT!, please see our Obsolescence Policy
This document covers four options for backing up your database. Depending on the size of your database any of these methods can also be used to move your database from one computer to another.
Always maintain a current backup of your database. It is also recommended that a second copy of the backup be stored in a different location in case of an emergency. (For example, take a copy home with you in case of a fire or other disaster at the office).
Copying a database
Use ACT!'s copy command as a quick and easy method to back up your database. You can copy any database to a different location on your hard drive or network. If your database is small enough you can copy it to a floppy disk.
Because this method copies your database to your hard drive or network, the backup is only as safe as they are. For greater security, a backup should be saved to some type of removable storage media.
Follow these steps to make a copy of your database:
- Open ACT!
- From the File menu, select Save Copy As.
- Choose Copy database.
- The Save As dialog box displays.
- Select a folder in the Save In box, or create a new one outside of the ACT! folder.
- Type an appropriate name in the File Name box.
- Click the Save button.
If you try to save your database to a floppy disk and get an out-of-space message, your database is too large to fit on one floppy disk.
You can back up a small database to a single floppy diskette using Synchronization (it cannot span multiple diskettes). Depending on how much associated data--notes, activities, and history--your contacts have, the number of contacts that a high-density diskette can hold will vary. Because synchronization files contain compressed data, you should be able to back up several hundred contacts. The only way to find out is to try it. If you get an out-of-space error message, then this method will not work.
Setting up synchronization for a backup (done once)
Follow these steps to set up synchronization for a backup:
- From the contact screen, select File, Synchronize. At the Synchronize dialog box, select Setup.
- Select Synchronization with other users, and click Next.
- Click Add User.
- Select New user name, and type the word Backup. Then select Next.
- Select Shared Folder from the Connect via drop-down list.
- In the E-mail address or location field, type: A: (or B:, if that is the correct drive). Select Next.
- Delete the entry in the Collection group field. In this situation, you do not need a Collection group. Select Next.
- Select All Groups and All Contacts, then select Next.
- Select both Include Private Data and Send Database Field Definitions. Select Next.
- At the next dialog box, just select Next. You will not be restoring into this database, so the options do not matter.
- Select Send All Records (This Update Only), and select Finish.
- At the next dialog box, which lists synchronization users, Backup will have a check next to it. If Backup is your only entry here, you can leave it checked; if you have other users listed here for normal synchronization, leave it unchecked until you are ready to back up your database (see instructions below). Select Next.
- Make sure that both Notes/History and Activities are checked. Select Finish. Select Done.
Backing up your database using synchronization
After setting up synchronization, follow these steps to back up your database:
- Insert a freshly formatted diskette into the drive you specified in Setup above.
- From the contact screen, select File, Administration, Define Users. Select Backup from the list, and then click the Send tab on the right. Make sure that Send All Records (This Update Only) is checked, and select OK.
- Select File, Synchronize. At the Synchronize dialog, select Setup.
- Select Synchronization with other users and click Next.
- At the list of synchronization users, make sure that only Backup is checked, and select Finish.
- Back at the original Synchronize dialog, make sure that Apply updates is unchecked and that Send updates is checked.
- Select Synchronize. You database will be sent to the diskette as a single .SNC file.
- Remove the diskette and write the database name and current date on the diskette label. This database can only be restored using ACT! 3.0 synchronization.
If you get an error message that there is insufficient disk space to write the file, your database is too large to fit on diskette. In this case, please refer to the document titled, "Using the Windows 95 Backup Utility."
Restoring your database using synchronization
Follow these steps to restore your database:
- In ACT!, create a new database by selecting File, New, and select ACT! 3.0 Database.
- Enter a unique database name, and select Save. ACT! will create your new database.
- Ensure you are in your new database and that the diskette containing the backup file is in the floppy drive.
- Select Edit, Preferences, and--on the General tab--open up the File type drop-down. Select Synchronize from the list.
- In the Location field, delete what is there and enter A: (or B:, if that's the correct drive). Select OK.
- Back at the contact record screen, select File, Synchronize.
- At the Synchronize dialog, make sure that Apply updates is checked and that Send updates is unchecked.
- Select Synchronize. The backed-up data on the floppy diskette will be synchronized into the current database.
After ACT! successfully applies the update to your new database, it will delete the file from the diskette. Check out the file, and start over at the beginning of these instructions to create a backup from this database, as the settings you used in your previous database will not exist in this one. Then follow the procedures to create regular backups, as you did before.
Using Windows Explorer
You want to back up your database using Windows Explorer and high density floppy disks.
This method works only on databases with individual files smaller than 1.4 MB. Larger files will not fit on a high-density 3.5-inch diskette without using a compression utility.
Follow these steps to back up your ACT! 3.0x database to high density diskettes through Windows Explorer:
- Make sure ACT is not running. If it is, exit ACT!
- Click Start, Programs, and select Windows Explorer.
- Click View, Options in Explorer, and ensure that the following options are selected:
- Show All Files
- Display the full MS-DOS path in the title bar.
- Include description bar for the right and left panes
Uncheck "Hide MS-DOS file extension for file types that are registered."
- Select View, Arrange Icons, By Name. This displays icons for all files in alphabetical order.
- Double-click on the ACT folder in the left Windows Explorer pane.
- Double-click the Database folder.
- In the right pane, highlight all files that begin with the name of your database.
You can do this by either holding down the Shift or Ctrl key while selecting these files. The Shift key enables you to select a continuous range of files. The Ctrl key enables you to select files individually. (To select these files you may want to refer to the Windows Help section describing how to select multiple files.)
- Select Edit, Copy.
- In the left pane, scroll until you can see the 3.5-inch floppy disk (either A: or B:)
- Ensure the drive contains the blank high density disk.
- Highlight the drive to which you want to copy the files.
- Select Edit, Paste. The files will copy to the floppy disk.
Using Microsoft Backup
We provide the following procedures as a guide only. Technical support for Microsoft Backup is not provided by Interact Commerce Corporation. Please contact Microsoft for further assistance with Microsoft Backup.
Backing up your database using Microsoft Backup
Use the following procedure to back up your database files from your hard drive onto floppy disks. These steps assume you have Backup set up and configured on your computer already. For assistance installing and using Backup, contact Microsoft or see your Windows 95 documentation:
- Choose Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and Backup.
- Select the Backup tab in the Microsoft Backup window.
- Select the ACT! database folder in the left box.
- Check the box in front of the database files you need to back up. These files are in the right box.
- Make sure you have checked all the files you need to make a full backup of your databases. ACT! databases contain more than one file. There are 15-20 files associated with each database. For example, to back up the ACTDEMO database, select all the files with the name ACTDEMO, regardless of their file extensions.
Other important ACT! files such as layouts or templates can be backed up by selecting them along with your database files.
- Click the Next Step button.
- Select a destination for the backup. (Generally, the floppy drives are labeled A: or B:.)
- Click the Start Backup button.
- Label the Backup. You may want to include a password to secure your backup. The password is necessary to restore the files.
- Click OK. The backup process now starts.
- Click OK when the backup process is complete.
- Restore the backup to ensure that the files were properly saved. Do so with the steps in Restoring your ACT! Database Files.
Use the following steps to restore your ACT! database files from the backup disks to your hard drive. These steps assume you have setup and configured Backup, and you are restoring with the same version of Backup used to back up the files:
- Choose Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and Backup.
- Select the Restore tab in the Microsoft Backup window.
- Insert the floppy disk containing the backed-up files into the floppy drive.
- Select Settings, Options from the menu bar.
- Choose Restore.
- Select your restore preferences. Click OK.
If you choose Original Locations and Overwrite Files, any files with the same name are overwritten. Backing up to different directories ensures that no previously saved files are overwritten.
- Choose A: or B: from the list of sources in the Restore From window.
- Double-click the backed-up file (Name.Qic) in the Backup Set window.
- Open the ACT! Database folder. All the backed-up database files appear in the box on the right.
- Check the box in front of the database files you need to restore.
- Choose Start Restore.
- Select a location for the restored files. Click OK. The restore now begins.
- If you are concerned with the amount of data you will lose if your database fails, you should be backing up more often.
- For the most stable backup, we recommend that you perform database maintenance (compress and reindex) before making a backup.
- By naming your backup disks/files (do not rename sync packet files) by the day of the week that you perform the backup (for example, Monday, Tuesday, etc.) you have a backup for your last 5 workdays, and a record of which day your backup was made.
- PKZip by PKWare and WinZip by Nico Mak Computing are two other back up programs you can use. They are available as shareware and are free downloads on the Internet.