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We simply cannot overstate the need to maintain a proper set of backups for your day to day programs. While we can replace any programs that you have obtained from us within a few minutes, we simply cannot replace your data.

All of our programs have repair utilities to fix any data corruption that has occurred in individual files but there is always a danger of data loss if any of the records are damaged beyond repair.

"What causes data corruption?" This is not a simple matter to explain but it is usually a hardware or network failure that occurs during or after a record has been written. Pressing reset or a Windows 'crash' may also be a cause. A computer virus is another possibility. When we look at damaged data files then we can find things like data from other programs in the files or spurious characters. In one case, we find a truncated file which is a situation that occurs when the operating system finds a more serious issue on the disk and blocks a section out. Fortunately, serious data corruption is very rare. The operating system should be making you aware of problems which you should not ignore. Keep in mind that if you do get data corruption then there is always a cause that must be looked into.

You can avoid these pitfalls by maintaining a proper backup system. In this you not only take a backup on a regular basis but also before you perform any major operation on the system, such as reading in data. As an example, perform a backup in Sage before you import a transaction file. If you find that you have read in the wrong data then it is easier to restore a backup than make corrective postings.

Backups restore your system to a point in time. You can simply copy all the data elsewhere - to a USB drive for example. All of our programs have a backup facility within them. In addition, programs such as Loadmaster or Sameday Express have a facility to do an offsite backup to our Cloud server. With these if you suffer from a complete computer failure then you can be back up and running in no time. And always keep the last three copies.

Do not rely totally on an automated backup system. A new virus may not be recognised by your anti-virus software early enough and your backup system may get infiltrated before you realise.

A standalone backup is far safer. Our recommendation is that you use at least three USB dongles or plug-in drives to perform backups onto. Rotate their use. Unplug them after the backup and place then in a fireproof safe.

Keep in mind that if you do get data corruption then there is always a cause that must be investigated.

Do a backup today! It may save your business.
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