You would like information on preventive maintenance, troubleshooting, repair, and conversion for your Act! database.
This document is intended to be an all inclusive, one-stop shop for information on maintaining the integrity of your Act! database. The information provided below will assist with regular database maintenance, troubleshooting database issues, sending the database to Database Services for repair, and converting an old database to a newer version of Act!.
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- Perform regular backups of your database within the How to back up and restore an Act! database, as backups may not be successful if you use a 3rd-party backup utility. It is our recommendation that you make daily backups of your database. This process can be automated using the Act! Scheduler. Please refer to the following Knowledgebase Article for more information:
Title: How to Automatically Back Up Your Database
Answer ID: How to use the Act! Scheduler to automatically back up your Act! databaseTitle: Using Third Party Software to Back Up Your ACT! Database
Answer ID: Using Third Party Software to Back Up Your ACT! Database
- Copy your database backups to a secure, off-site location.
- In Act!, under the Tools menu, select Database Maintenance and click Check and Repair... as detailed in the article Act! database rebuild and repair procedures.
This task can be scheduled to occur automatically using the Act! Scheduler. Please refer to the following Knowledgebase Article for more information:Title: How to Automatically Perform Database Maintenance
Answer ID: How to use the Act! Scheduler to automatically perform database maintenance
- Perform database diagnostics and repair within the actdiag utility as detailed in the article Act! database rebuild and repair procedures
General Database Maintenance:
- Remove outdated, cleared activities from within the database by performing the steps outlined in the article How do I remove old data from my Act! Database?. We recommend that you check to remove 'Cleared Activities Older than' with the number of 0 days (this information is still retained in History) as well as any other data that you are comfortable removing.
- Regularly take a manual backup, then perform a "Restore As" procedure to restore the backup with a different name. This will ensure that your backups are working correctly and can be restored successfully if needed.
NOTE: Performing a "Restore As" will restore the database with a different name and will therefore not affect your live data.
Use the following article to take a manual backup and perform the "Restore As" procedure: How to back up and restore an Act! database.
Once the "Restore As" has completed successfully, open up the new database and delete it. PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE DEFINITELY OPENED THE NEW DATABASE BEFORE DELETING IT. Use the steps in the following article to delete the new database: How to delete an Act! database.
In the event that an error does occur within your database, there are many steps that you can take to attempt to resolve the problem yourself prior to submitting a request to Act! Database Services. Below are some troubleshooting steps that can be taken for some of the more common issues; however, you can also search our online Knowledgebase for additional articles.
NOTE: Prior to performing any of the following troubleshooting, make sure you backup your database.Activities
Activity corruption may occur because of lack of preventive maintenance, power failure/surges, or incompatibilities with Operating System, Hardware, or software versions or service packs. To troubleshoot these issues yourself, we recommend that you perform the following:
- Delete all Cleared Activities prior to 0 days. The cleared activities are retained in History so the customer is not losing any data. If this corrects the issue and they really insist that they need this information for historical purposes, than you can restore the backed up database with a new name that they can reference when needed.
- Perform all checks, repairs, reindexes, and rebuilds within Act! and ACTDiag, especially Fix Known Activity Data Issues.
- If you are unable to view activities in the Task List or Calendar, can you view activities for any user or is it limited to just one user or a select few? If possible, narrow the problem down to a specific user, activity type, priority, and date range. It may be quicker and easier for the customer to create a new user and reassign the contacts and information than to submit the database for repair.
Follow Knowledgebase Article: How To Improve the Performance of ACT!
- Check RAM memory and recommend upgrading, if necessary
- Ensure required Hard Drive space is available on server and workstations
- Check Hardware Acceleration settings
- Delete Temp files
- Turn off other background applications that may compete for resources
- Run all database maintenance: Checks, Repairs, Reindex, and Rebuilds
- Purge Cleared Activities
Also, in ACT! 2009, you can run the Field Usage Analysis Report. This report shows incredibly handy usage statistics on fields within Act! and will provide performance improvement suggestions, such as removing unnecessary fields and/or shortening field lengths. We DO NOT recommend removing system created fields, however, these can generally be shortened, if needed.
- Launch ACTDiag
- Go to the Database tab
- Right-click on the database
- Select Database Structure
- Select the Field Usage Analysis Report
There are two possible types of Schema errors that may occur when updating the database:
- "Exceptions occurred while executing Database Schema Update Script. Check the errors in..."
- Follow Knowledgebase Article Error: "Exceptions occurred while executing Database Schema Update Script. Check the errors in..." When Attempting to Open Your Database After Updating ACT! to the Current Version for troubleshooting.
- "Act! Schema Update failed"
- Follow Knowledgebase Article Error: "ACT! Schema Update failed" After Updating to ACT! for troubleshooting.
There may be a variety of reasons why a database will fail to open. Below are some of the more common scenarios that can be remedied:
- "The database <Database name> could not be accessed. In order to access this database, check your network connection and verify that your database server is available. It may be necessary to disable any firewall software..."
- "Could not access the specified database"
- Follow Knowledgebase Article Error: "Could not access the specified database" for troubleshooting.
- "Cannot Access Specified Database..." and the Database is Listed as SUSPECT in the Act! Diagnostics Utility
- Follow Knowledgebase Article Error: "Cannot access specified database..." and the database is listed as SUSPECT or RECOVERY in the Act! Diagnostics Utility. for troubleshooting.
- "I/O error (torn page) detected..."
- Follow Knowledgebase Article Error: "I/O error (torn page) detected during read at offset 0x0000 in file 'C:\filename" or "SQL Server detected a logical consistency-based I/O error: torn page..." for troubleshooting.
- "Device Activation Error: The physical filename ...<Database_Name>.ALF may be incorrect."
- Follow Knowledgebase Article Error: "Device Activation Error: The physical filename 'C:\Documents and Settings\\Database\ACT\ACT for Win 7\Databases\.ALF may be incorrect." When Attempting to Open Your Database for troubleshooting.
Database Repair Services
If you have tried the steps in Preventive Maintenance and Self-Service Troubleshooting but you still encounter errors, it may be that your database is in need of repair. In order to repair this, you will need to seek the assistance of an Act! Certified Consultant who is qualified to perform the repair work required. You can find a list of our Certified Consultants by visiting:
To submit your database for conversion, please complete the Act! Data Agreement (attached to this article as a pdf) and follow the instrustions on the agreement.
How to convert an ACT! 3.x, 4.x, 5.x (2000) or 6.x (2004) database to versions 2005 and higher
Answer ID How to convert an ACT! 3.x, 4.x, 5.x (2000) or 6.x (2004) database to versions 2005 (v7) through v19.1
Converting an ACT! for DOS Database to ACT! 3.0 or Later Format
Answer ID Converting an ACT! for DOS Database to ACT! 3.0 or Later Format