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Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:50 am
by jmuehleisen
Every once in a while, I will get an e-mail that sounds something like this:

Subject: Help!!!

I downloaded the upgrade, and when I opened the program all my records/contacts/partners and entries were GONE. How do I get them back?

I assumed the upgrade would automatically save all my existing DM entries.

I had ALL of 2006 in there and am panicked that it’s all gone for good.

What do I do?

Are you finding yourself in that situation?

First of all, don't panic! Your data is almost certainly still there.

Depending on how you downloaded and installed the update, there is a good chance that the new update simply installed into a different directory than you were using before and it can't find your older data set.

So, here's how to fix it.

First of all, look at the shortcut that you are using to start the DM. Right click on that and choose properties. Let's find out where the new version of the Donor Manager is installed.


You should get a window that looks something like this:


Now, that tells me that my copy of the Donor Manager is running from c:\donor5.

Now, some people install the donor manager there ... in c:\donor5. Other times people install it in c:\program files\donor manager. That would look like this:


I'll bet you have 2 copies of the donor manager installed ... one copy in each of those locations.

So. Try this. Find the OLD copy of the Donor Manager. Using Windows Explorer or "My Computer" navigate around the folders until you find the other, old copy. You'll know it is the older copy because if you double click the program "donor.exe" in that folder, it will start the program with all of your data in it!

For example, double click this file to start the donor manager in c:\donor5


But, double click this file to start the copy of the program in c:\program files\donor manager


So, we just have to figure out which one has your "live data".

Once you find the live data, then use the "Pack and Go" routine to make a copy of your data file that you can then transfer to the other, newer copy of the donor manager.



I'd say put the pack and go file onto your desktop so you can easily find it in the next step.

Now, once you have made a pack and go file, then quit the old version of the donor manager, and start up the newer version.

Then, select pack and go again, but this time, select the second option:


Point it to the data file that you just made (and saved on your desktop) and it should bring that data in, and you will be all set to go!

Once you are sure where your CURRENT donor manager data set is (and that you have it carefully backed up), you will probably want to delete that older donor manager installation so you don't risk keeping two, possibly out of synch installations of the program on your computer.

Now, that is a sure prescription for frustration!

A note about using pack and go for backups:

The pack and go is so quick and easy to use that I use it now for my backups. In fact, I e-mail a copy of my pack and go file to my gmail account (which I use for online backups) so I'll always have an off-site copy of my donor data.

Here's an article I wrote about that:

I hope that helps. The key thing to remember is that if you start up the Donor Manager and it can't seem to find your data, don't panic! I'll be glad to help you get things fixed up.

And, you are making regular backups, aren't you ? !

Two sets of data and two program files.

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:34 am
by Slyman
Thanks John for explaining the easy solution to "I can't find my data!" I just installed 5.41 manually as live update didn't work. So as you said, I now have two versions of the program on my computer. After doing the "pack n go" I now have two sets of data, which I'm pretty sure I can just delete the data folder that the older version uses, right? (of course after I back up!)

But what about the older version "donor.exe" file and related files? What is the safe way of decluttering my hd?

Old version is in "C\Program Files\donor5"
New version is in "C\Program Files\donor5\donor5"

I'm wondering if my "live update" doesn't work because I have not installed the program to the default "C:\donor5". After downloading it says that it must restart DM to install the update. When I click okay it comes back with "Can't find program file to update" (something like that).

Sorry, I kind of have two topics here :oops:

Thanks for any help--no hurry on this one.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:26 pm
by BinBuka
The (manual) installer always adds "\donor5" to the path you specify when you browse for a location for the install, as happened with Slyman here. I have done the same thing Slyman did more than once; now I usually notice this and remove the extra folder from the path. The next question the installer asks is, "This folder [whatever you specified] already exists. Are you sure you want to install Donor Manager [update#] here?"

Well, if you are updating an existing DM program, the answer is, "Yes, of course I do!" But the form of the question may suggest to some users that they're heading the wrong direction. Would it be possible to change the installer's behavior here?

Perhaps look for donor.exe in the user-specified folder without the extra level; if it is found go ahead and install the update. If not found then ask or add "\donor5" or something, assuming it's a new install.


Re: Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:48 am
by jmuehleisen
Let me revisit this question again as it does indeed seem to be confusing.

Part of the problem (I think) is that I recently started using a new installer, even for the "live update" routine.

The program asks you where you want to install the update, and you need to know where the current version is installed.

The default is indeed c:\donor5, but if you override when doing the initial install, the installer SHOULD remember your preferred folder the next time.

Re: Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:26 am
by drowninginblessing
I have a question related to this post. I think I must have two existing data sets, as the updates I make in DM don't seem to be showing up on reports I generate or in email distribution lists (which are a sort of report I guess). I checked my live data and it seems to be under the C drive. Any more suggestions for how I can get my data reports to reflect my DM changes?

Re: Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:13 pm
by jmuehleisen
To find out if you might have more than one set of data, do a search for files named donor.dbf (this is the main data file that contains partner information).

You should have a copy in c:\donor5\data (or wherever you have installed your DM), and another in a backup folder in your "My Documents" folder.

If you find that you have other copies of donor.dbf, then that might explain the behavior that you are seeing.

In particular, if you are running Vista or Windows 7, and have gotten the DM installed under c:\program files, then you may indeed find that Windows has set up a "virtual data folder" for you elsewhere, and this often confuses the DM. (Windows Vista and 7 don't like data folders under c:\program files ... and that is what the DM does).

Re: Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 7:45 am
by drowninginblessing
Thanks. I found an extra set of data from a previous hard drive (whose info had been loaded onto my previous computer). I'm now accessing my live data for reports, but there is still an error.

When I create a report of only donors (those I have checked as a donor), the report includes a list of anyone who has ever been a donor. In other words, it is not referencing my current donor updates. (I'm sure that this is not a problem of selecting the wrong option on reports). Could there be an extra file that refers only to this column that I have not yet deleted as a copy which might be interfering with my live, current data?

I hope that make sense. Thanks for your wonderful help!

Re: Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:45 pm
by jmuehleisen
Probably what is happening here is that the report is filtering somewhat differently than what you expect.

It's probably looking at the "how much has this person given" to decide if they are a donor ... not the "is this person a donor" checkbox.

So, try this.

Before you run the report, go to the report filters and set it like the screen image below. I think that might give you what you are after.

Let me know if that works for you.

dm-report-filter-donor-check-only-1.gif (15.65 KiB) Viewed 11549 times

Re: Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:56 am
by drowninginblessing
Huh... I followed your directions and it causes an error that often happens with reports: a report flashes on the screen for a split second, but then disappears and seems to cease to exist. (I have gotten around this problem in the past by choosing a different kind of report, but this selection seems to cause the error consistently each time).

Re: Help! I've upgraded my DM and now my data is gone!

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:49 am
by jmuehleisen
When that happens (a report just flashes briefly on the screen) that usually means that there was no data to report. It happens when the filters are set "too tight" ... and there is nothing that meets the filter criteria.

So, tell me a bit more about which report you are running, and exactly what you are trying to put on the report. That may help me give you some more specific info.