This article describes our encounter with a critical case of Peachtree data corruption and shows the steps needed to ensure a reliable bookkeeping system. We were working on a multiuser network that had been experiencing problems. The time required to access data on the server was usually long, though somewhat erratic. Peachtree entry screens were slow to come up and users of other software programs around the office also found server repsonse times to be slow.
We had already encountered and corrected a minor instance of Peachtree data corruption that we suspected was caused by server problems. Our experience with this error is described in our article, Peachtree Data Corruption Involving the Audit Trail.
Once this minor data error was corrrected, but while the repair technician still had not corrected problems related to the network, the following message appeared in Peachtree - “Error reading JRNLROW.DAT”.
Like the error message discussed in the previous article, this message is also related to data corruption. While the error message from the previous article discussed an error message related to a fairly insignificant file, this time the error message involved the most critical file in the Peachtree accounting system: JRNLROW.DAT. JRNLROW.DAT is Peachtree's primary data file. It contains a reference to every accounting transaction in Peachtree.
Similar to the error condition described in the article mentioned above, Peachtree Data Corruption Involving the Audit Trail, “Error reading JRNLROW.DAT” means there is major damage to the referenced data file. However this time, because we are dealing with an important file, we have no choice, a restore from backup is required to proceed. JRNLROW.DAT is of such a critical nature that it must be reloaded from a backup and, as always when restoring because of data corruption, the backup being restored must be one that was made before the data became corrupted.
Because of this new error message, all bookkeeping had to stop until we 1.) found a reliable way to run the accounting and 2.) restored from our most recent backup. Because this was the second data error within a short period of time and we had suspected network problems anyway; we decided not to continue running Peachtree on the network until we were certain that network repairs were complete.
Because the technician was having trouble repairing the network, we reinstalled Peachtree on just one computer and configured it for single user operation. This isolated us from network problems and gave our network expert time to get reliability issues resolved.
Of course it was less convenient for the bookkeepers to use Peachtree from a single workstation. After all, there were two bookkeepers who wanted to share access to the accounting; but the aggravation of two bookkeepers sharing one computer was small compared to the risk of encountering additional data loss while the network was in disrepair.
The story ends well.
Network issues were eventually solved. Peachtree was able to be reinstalled - once again in a multiuser configuration. No more data errors were encountered and both bookkeepers again were able to access Peachtree from their respective work stations.
Though Peachtree errors vary in their severity, and generally will not indicate Peachtree data corruption, they should all be taken seriously - any errors encountered will have been displayed for a reason. Take the time to determine the reason for error messages you encounter, correct the underlying situation that caused the error, and then take appropriate measures so the error will not occur again. The result you'll have will be a more reliable bookkeeping system.