If your file is corrupted, you will need to take immediate action to recover your invoice data. This will involve two things:
- Regaining access to your Invoices program.
- Restoring your Invoice data
If you can successfully open your program to get a choice to open an existing file, or to create a new file, then you would skip step 1 since you already have access to your program.
However, if you cannot open the program at all because it is repeatedly trying (and failing) to open a corrupted Invoices file, then you need to perform some maintenance on your system to prevent the program from recognizing your existing invoices file.
Regaining access to your Invoices program.
Our Invoicing programs are built to automatically try to open the last invoice file you were working on the last time you closed the program. This is so you do not have to manually locate and open your main file. If this file has become corrupted, though, you will have to prevent the program from recognizing this file so it stops repeatedly trying to open this file and then crash.
To do this, you will need to RENAME the folder in Windows that contains your corrupted data. This changes the file path that program is looking at so it cannot find the file anymore. If you used the default Data folder that the program automatically chooses as the invoices file directory, locate your Data folder as follows:
Once you find it, RENAME the "Data" folder to "Data Old" - to do so, right-click the "Data" folder and select "Rename." Type "Data Old" (without quotes) and then press the Enter key on your keyboard one time.
After you rename the existing Data folder that contains your corrupt file, you need to create a new blank "Data" folder in the same directory. To do so, go to the "File" Menu, choose "New", then "Folder" and a new folder (called "New Folder") will appear. Type the word "Data" (without quotes) for the name of this new folder and press the Enter Key on your keyboard.
Now that you have renamed the folder and made an empty replacement, you should close all the open Windows Explorer windows and attempt to open your program again from the main Desktop shortcut (or from the "Programs" folder in the START Menu). You should come to a little screen that says:
An Invoice file must be open for (Program Name) to continue
And you would have options to Create, Open, Cancel or Help. If you get this message, you have successfully accessed the program again and you should proceed to step 2 (Press "Cancel" here to close the program for now).
If the program still crashes after performing this "Renaming" function, then your file that the program keeps attempting to open is in a folder other than the "Data" folder. To proceed, you will have to find this invoices file somewhere in a folder on your hard drive and then relocate it.
Restoring your Invoice data
If you are able to access the program, you will want to see if you can recover your data. This is best accomplished by restoring a Backup file. Ideally a user makes a Backup file no less than once a week, when prompted by the program whenever the program is closed.
If you have a recent Backup to restore, follow this process:
- Place your disk with the Backup file on it in your floppy drive (if your Backup is on floppy)
- Open your MyDeluxeInvoices or ProVenture Invoices program
- Create an invoices file with the SAME name as the filename you used from which you made your original Backup (for example, if the file you were using was originally called "yearly accounting", use this same exact filename again here) and then "Open" it
- Click "Cancel" on the Invoices Setup Wizard
- Once you have your file open, click on the FILE Menu and choose "Restore from Backup"
- Click "Browse"
- Change the "Look In" selection at the top of the window to say "3 1/2" Floppy A:" (if your file is on floppy, otherwise, point it to browse to the location on your computer of your Backup)
- Find the Backup file itself in the browsing window underneath and "left-click" on it once to highlight it, then click "Open"
- Click your checkbox entries for "Invoices", "Customers" and "Products" according to what you want to restore
- Click OK
- You will get one of the following messages on your screen:
"Restoring from backup will replace the contents of your current files and could result in lost data. Are you sure you want to continue?"
This means that you have successfully identified the proper filename and Backup file. Click "Yes" to proceed with your Restoration and you should see your invoices, customers products on their appropriate program tabs. The data will be as current as when the Backup was made.
"The selected file does not contain valid information for **file name 1**. However, this file does contain valid information for **file name 2**. If you want to restore **file name 2** you must first open the file."
This means that you have not exactly matched the file name of the currently open Invoices file with the stored Backup's Invoices file name. The program can only restore a Backup if the file names match exactly. To try again, start at step 10 and make sure that you are creating or opening an Invoices file that matches the name you received in the message for what appeared for **file name 2**.
"No .inv files found in backup file"
This means that the file path is wrong for where you have chosen to restore a file from, or the Backup file itself is corrupted, or the floppy disc was corrupted/damaged. You will need to restore a different Backup file.
If you do NOT have a Backup file you will need to start a new invoices file from scratch in the program to resume invoicing. There is no way to recover a corrupted file for use in the program again.
If you have no Backups of any kind, you can still, however, recover the "raw data" from the Invoice listing to view it in a program that can read DBF ("*.DBF" extension) file types. A common program that can do this is Microsoft Excel (version 97 or higher). If you need to view the raw data in order to retrieve your information, do the following:
- Close all open windows and programs running on your system.
- Go to the START Menu and choose "Find" or "Search"
- Do a "Find" or "Search" for files or folders on the hard drive and specify the following search string (you might want to "Copy" and "Paste" this to make sure you get it right):
- This will pull up a specific set of files from our invoicing program. If you recognize the name of one of them as the file you used to use before your corruption, Right-click on it once and choose "Copy"
- Minimize your Searching window and then Right-click on a blank part of your Desktop to choose "Paste". This will "Paste" a copy of that file on the Desktop.
- Open Microsoft Excel (or any program that can read "DBF" files)
- Choose the "File" Menu and select "Open"
- Change the "Files of Type" option at the bottom of the window to say "All files or folders"
- Change the "Look In" option at the top to say "Desktop"
- Now find and double-click on the "DBF" file you just copied and pasted to your Desktop in step "v)"
- The raw database table from your corrupted file should now be displayed.
This file was NOT designed for readability by human eyes, but rather for a database to read and interpret. As such, it is not easy at first to determine what the various pieces of the database are. However, know this about the file you would be looking at:
- Each ROW all the way across is information for ONE invoice
- The top row is a "header" row that contains the field names of the database
- some rows will have a "T" or "F" for each record row - these are "True/False" fields
- All the information that would be displayed on the "Invoice" Tab in the program for an invoice is present in the entire row, EXCEPT for the Line Item information.
- This file CANNOT be "rebuilt" or "re-indexed" to import back into the program; you would have to manually re-type any information back into a newly created file
- Once you have this DBF open and visible, it is up to you what you want to do with it - whether you want to re-format it, save it as a different file type, print it out, etc.
At this point, you have done all you can to recover your data. Be sure to browse our other KB articles about specific errors and other problems you may encounter along the way if you are trying to recover a file from file corruption in one of our Invoicing programs.
If you do not feel comfortable performing any of the operations or troubleshooting steps described here, please contact Technical Support. Our technicians can fully explain the errors and procedures that you will need to navigate in identifying a corruption, re-accessing your program, and recovering any data that is possible.