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  • Ian M

Sage Backup and Error Checking – why it is important

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

I have used Sage Line 50 for ten years. it is not my favourite software but it does the job and I guess I had become a bit complacent about how to use it. We always make a backup after every use and it prompts “Would you like to check your data before you run the backup?”. Why would I want to check my data? Everything seems fine and checking data takes ages, so I had got in the habit of pressing No. As I have now discovered, that is a BIG MISTAKE.

What I had not appreciated was that small but serious corruptions can creep into the Sage database which you will not notice immediately, perhaps not even until year end. These corruptions can happen for various reasons, typically a problem writing to disk – particularly if you are saving the files on a network drive, a power interruption, etc. One part of a transaction is stored but the balancing part is n’t, and the result is your trial balance does not balance. I spotted this with my accountant when we did the year end and the problem was traced back to a corruption three months earlier.

Here’s the killer, you can not fix this type of problem yourself. You have two options, restore a Sage backup or get someone else to fix the data for you – see below for suggestions.

The Problem with a Sage Backup

Of course I had plenty of backups, but every backup from the last three months contained the data corruption so was useless.   The only solution using a backup was to restore one from before the data corruption occurred, which would mean having to do all the transactions since that point again which would have been very very time consuming.

Now you can see the importance of checking the data. If I had selected Yes at the prompt it would have reported the error at the time and I could have immediately restored a recent healthy backup and only had a very few transactions to re-enter.

Solving Sage Trial Balance Error

If you are in the same situation as I was where it is not practical to restore a backup try this approach.

First, read the very good notes on Leyburn Solutions – Sage Data Repair website. You might be lucky and find the tips on this page remove your errors.

If you still have a problem, you either need to use Sage themselves to correct the problem or use a third party. If you have Sage Cover you should be able to get this fixed as part of the cover package. You are paying a lot for Sage Cover so make use of the service. It should n’t cost you anything extra but you will have to stop using Sage for up to five days while they fix your database.

I decided to use a third party, it is cheaper and faster.

I used John Donnelly at Leyburn Solutions who is very helpful. He has a sliding scale of charges in the £150 to £300 range.

I have also used Bruce Denney at Making IT Happen in the past for Sage related support issues. He offers a range of support services as an alternative to Sage themselves and data corruption repair at a fixed price of £229 with a not fix no fee guarantee.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.

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