Sage Pastel • Overview of Backing up and restoring your data

Sage Pastel • Overview of Backing up and restoring your data

Pastel Overview of Backing up (and restoring) your data

Pastel Backing up and restoring your data

Making security copies of your data is essential. If you don't back up, you can lose all of your customer, supplier, general ledger, and inventory information in one go.

I have got into the habit of asking my clients if they have been doing their backups. The response is either 1 of 2 answers, yes the client has signed up with Sage Irontree or a similar SAAS, or the IT administrator has set up the system to create daily backups. The second answer is that amusing guilty look that tells me there have been no backups done. The truth is backups reduce data corruptions to being a mere nuisance rather than a nightmare.

The guilty party's question will invariably be how often should they back up.

The answer is always the same. How much work are you prepared to recapture?

 

So, How does Pastel backup?

The backup function compresses the data into a single ZIP file, this file is far smaller than the uncompressed data. And a backup only takes a few minutes to create, even if you have to do it yourself.

 

WHEN PASTEL MAKES A BACKUP THE ENTIRE DATABASE (COMPANY) IS BACKED UP.

 

In other words, should you be capturing your cash book, and you make a backup "thinking" this is ONLY what you want to be backed up, you would be wrong.

 

Why is this important to understand?

If you have created a couple of backups, with different timestamps, and you select to restore from one of these OLDER dated backups, you will over-write everything to that exact time-stamped backup. You will over-write the all latest work you have done, and all the other user's data as well.

 

So, I reiterate, you cannot restore a backup of JUST A PARTICULAR section of Pastel. When you restore you take the whole company database back to that "backed up" point.

 

So, when and how should you backup?

Whether you use a third party software such as Nero, and USB stick or use a SAAS cloud backup :

You should make an initial backup onto the hard disk with the Windows system's backup function.
You must put backups on removable media such as CDs / DVDs / USB sticks or off-site data centers.
Make additional backups made at the end of every week, again on separate devices. This lets you go back a few weeks if you need to.

And additional backup made at the end of each month, which you keep for at least a financial year.

And again additional backup made at the end of the financial year, which you keep forever.

  • Keep Multiple Backup Sets
  • Replace USB drives Frequently
  • Move USB drives Out the Office

Sage Pastel Partner Version V14 onwards -

 

From V14 onwards enhanced backup files added a date and time stamp to ensure that backups were no longer overwritten as well as make restoring the correct backup easier.

 

Sage Pastel Partner Version Version 05 to Version 12 -

 

(These versions V05 to V12 do not have date stamps, only a system date of when the backup was created. The date stamp format is (ddmmyy_hhmm))

Many users do backups religiously each day, but they only use one set of backup disks. This is unsafe. For example, you may backup data which is corrupt (because you do not yet know that it is corrupt), and you are overwriting the only set of uncorrupt data which you have.

 

So, for the above versions, daily backups must be made onto separate backup devices, one for each day of the week, in other words, do not overwrite yesterday’s backup with today’s backup. Using this daily strategy, you can go back 5 working days to older backups, should corruption be present in your last couple of backups you have made.

 

  • You should take some time to ensure that your back-ups are working.
  • Make sure that the routines are in place and that they are in fact being carried out correctly.
  • Test your backups.

 

By this I mean, on a day where you have some time, create a backup onto a USB stick, and then restore it, to make sure that the computer you are using can actually restore this backup without any error messages popping up. Do this intermittently during the year, as settings may change on your network or pc that you are not aware of, that affect your backup settings.

Make sure that when you go onto a new version of Pastel that you deselect the old version of Pastel you are backing up, and select the new version of Pastel. This is especially important if you are using a SAAS such as Sage Irontree.

 

How to backup.

So, the first step is making sure that there is no-one in the Pastel programme. And this includes those users that may be using a different company altogether.

 

Sage Pastel Partner Version V14 onwards -

Depending on the version of Pastel you are using, you may or may not be able to make a backup while other users are in the program. The newer versions of Sage Pastel Partner will detect if there are other users in the company, and will give you a warning message to get those users out.

 

Sage Pastel Partner Version Version 05 to Version 12 -

Older versions of Pastel will allow you to backup while users are open, but the program is going to skip those files that are in use. In other words, you won't be getting a full backup of your data, and if users are working on the company, the data you back up may not balance or may even be corrupt.

 

To back up your data

  1. Select File...Backup
  2. In the Verify Method frame, choose whether to verify the data you backup:

If you select the "No Checking" option

Pastel Backup

 

This option backs up without verifying the integrity of the data.

And if you select "Ensure Files Readable"

This option verifies that your data is readable prior to performing the backup. Note that this option does no internal checking of the integrity of your data. To check data integrity, use the Data Integrity function. If you choose this option, the system opens a table to display the results of the verification.

 

Backup Encryption Password

This option is available to password protect your backup

 

  • To setup, the backup password, click on Setup... Company Parameters... Formats
  • Click on the Settings Tab…
  • At the bottom of the screen look for the field “Backup Password”
  • Click on the field
  • Enter a password in the field Backup Encryption Password
  • OK

Pastel Backup Settings

If the password is lost, the only way to get your password is to send your data into Sage Pastel. It is advisable to have two people in the company that know what the password is.
If the password is changed in the Setup Company Parameters screen, the new password must be recorded. When a previous backup is restored and the password on the backup does not match the system password, the previous password will need to be entered.

When backing up your company, the backup is date stamped to make searching and restoring a specific backup easier.

You can attach graphics to various master file records. If you do so, the system stores the graphics in a sub-folder beneath the data folder. This folder can be very large relative to the size of the rest of the data. You have the option to include or exclude the graphics folder in your backup. Check the check box to include the graphics, and uncheck the check box to exclude the graphics.

In the Where to Backup frame, choose the destination of the backup. The system defaults to the last folder you used.

Click the Process button to start the backup. Once the backup completes, the system verifies that the backup is readable by reading the backup file from start to finish.
Click OK to start the test operation.

Once the test completes, the system displays the backup log. You can print the log by clicking the Print Log button.

If an error message of any sort displays it usually terminates with a question:
Abort, Retry, Fail?

If this happens, press A to abort. Your backup has not completed correctly. You should format another flash drive and attempt to back up again.

 

Restoring a Pastel company database

Use the restore option carefully as you are overwriting data, which destroys the live data on your hard disk. I repeat, the system will overwrite your existing data.

Open the company database you wish to restore.
You need to be a Supervisor to use this option.

The following procedure works with backup files you create with the Windows system's own backup function.

  1. Click on File…
  2. Click on Restore...
  3. Place the USB stick into the computer
  4. Find a company database backup .zip file on the USB stick that you can use
  5. Click (highlight in blue) the company
  6. Click on the process
  7. You will be warned that you are about to overwrite files
  8. Select YES
  9. This will allow the data files to overwrite what's on your Local C:// drive

 

If you cannot open the company because its data is corrupt:

PART 01

  1. If you are using a SAAS provider, you can open up your backups and restore from one of your older backups using the method that the SAAS provides.
  2. If you only have copies of backups on USB sticks...
  3. Open up Windows Explorer (My Computer) on the computer or server that has Sage Pastel Partner installed on it, and holds the company database.
  4. Make sure no-one is in Pastel
  5. Double click the Local C:// drive
  6. Double click the Pastel or Xpress folder that holds the companies
  7. Click (highlight in blue) the corrupt company
  8. Right click and select copy
  9. Again, Click (highlight) the Pastel or Xpress folder itself
  10. Right click and select paste
  11. This will make a copy of your company

PART TWO

  1. Once you copy the company, Again, double click the corrupt company folder
  2. Delete all the files in this original company folder

You do this, as the system keeps batches in separate files that may not exist in the backup data. These files could remain when you restore, which can cause problems.

 

  1. Place the USB stick into the computer
  2. Find a company database backup .zip file on the USB stick that you can use
  3. Double click this folder to start the extraction option
  4. You will now be asked where you would like to restore these files to
  5. Look for the Local C:// drive and double click
  6. Look for the Pastel or Xpress folder
  7. And double click this folder
  8. You should now see the original company folder (the corrupt one)
  9. Double click this folder to open it up
  10. And click on OK or process
  11. All the company files should be copied into this empty folder
  12. Once the operation is complete, click on close

Try to open up Sage Pastel now. Remember that your data will be restored back to a prior point in time, as per the backup time stamp.

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