3 months of data lost

I started Manager a few minutes ago to file the VAT declaration of the last quarter and 3 months of data is missing. I haven’t updated Manager so I’m still using v20.8.67 because I wanted to file the VAT declaration first. The data is stored on my 4-bay NAS. I’m glad that I made a backup on 2020-09-19 in which all data is present. The curious thing is that the original data file is 4 KB bigger than the data file of the backup.

Anyone else has encountered this problem?

If you are using Desktop or Server version you could face such issue as Manager usually get back to the default location. In case your system has updated you could face such problem too. It is good to keep backup of your data periodically of not daily.

Are the transaction records lost, or is a report transformation lost? Reports do not contain the data, only the definitions needed to create the report from the data.

As for file size, files are compacted during the backup process. I am surprised the difference is not larger than 4KB.

All transactions of the last 3 months are lost in the original data file. They are present in the data file of the backup.

Have you ever changed the location of your application data folder? Have you ever worked on a backup file or any other form of standalone file and re-imported it? This sounds like what happens when someone accidentally works on a separate version of the data file, thinking it will be linked to the primary file.

Other possibilities include a problem during a batch update. Or even a mistaken Undo in the History file, although you would likely have had to undo many transactions, so that does not seem very probable.



I’ve never done a batch update.

I’ve never used the History.

I appreciate you trying to help me @Tut but if noone else has encountered this same problem, then I’ll just use the backup and keep on performing regular backups.

Of course, that’s why frequent backups are so important. But your report is worrisome. I am curious what is in your application data folder. I am wondering if there is any way the program is calling the wrong data file.

Loss of months of data is most easily achieved when Manager uses an old version of the business data file.

Is the NAS used to backup your working computers or is Manager configured to store it’s data files on the NAS?

If using the desktop version of Manager, have you always used the same computer and same computer user login when running Manager?

Are you using the server version of Manager and configured the data file location at something other than the default.

Are you using the desktop version of Manager and configured the data file location at something other than the default.

Contents of the local folder:


In preferences Apllication Data points to the folder on the NAS in which the data files are present.

Now I am confused, @Mark. You answered my earlier question by telling me you had never changed the location of your application data folder. But you originally said your data is on NAS. The first time I read that, I thought you were referring to the location of your backup files. Rereading it, it seems as though your primary data is stored there. That isn’t the default location, so you must have changed at some point.

You have also provided a screen shot of what look like default application data folder contents. But the only business in there is named Sample business. I doubt that is the business for which you claim transactions are missing. And it hasn’t been modified since August 12th. The screen shot does show, however, that the data file was modified July 22nd, suggesting that the application data folder location might have been changed on that date. This reinforces the idea that you did, in fact, change the application data folder location.

When I said I was curious about what was in your application data folder, I was referring to the one pointed to by the application data path set under Preferences. That seems to be on your NAS device, not the default location.

So can you please clarify the situation?

Search your NAS for all copies of .manager files

Have a look inside “data” file in the screenshot above, it should be the same as what appears in Manager.

Confirm that is in fact the correct location of your data, go to that folder and look at the dates on those files. If you haven’t made any changes to the one that has three months of data missing, the date should be three months in the past.

You can even duplicate the business database in that folder, give it a new name to indicate it’s a test, duplicate or backup and be notably different to your active version) and when you revisit the “Businesses” tab within manager you should see both the original database and the one you just created.

That’s correct @Tut. All Manager Desktop Edition’s data is stored in a folder on my NAS for which I created a mapped network drive on my laptop, which is indicated as the program’s Application Data location in Preferences. I thought you asked for the local application data folder on my laptop, hence the screenshot.

I see that the contents of the file called ‘data’ mentioned by @d3mad on my laptop is different from the one on my NAS in that the one on my laptop indicates the path to the application data folder on my NAS (the same as indicated in Preferences) and the one on my NAS indicates the path to the local application data folder on my laptop. Is this normal?

The contents of the application data folder on my NAS:

The contents of the Trash folder:

As you can see, there’s a data file that ends with (2). I added it to the application data folder on my NAS and Manager automatically added it as business (isn’t that strange?; I thought all businesses had to be imported) but it’s also missing the data of the last 3 months.

Well, as it seems that noone else has encountered this problem, I just leave it be and continu with the backup data file. Thanks to all for your comments.

Not if understand you correctly. It sounds like you have created a circular search for your data. When you open the program on your laptop, the data file there is supposed to tell the program where to look for business data. But the data file on your NAS tells it to look on your laptop. So you would get different results depending on where you opened the application (including whether you opened the application directly from its normal installation location on your laptop or by opening a file on your NAS).

You have files there that you should not, including backups (unless you have purposely imported a backup as a business), files not created by Manager, and completely unrelated file types. You need to clean up that folder. One file is an old default business that probably has no data in it (the 28KB file). See https://www.manager.io/guides/8394.

It isn’t clear what you mean. If you are referring to adding a file named data, that is not what happened. The data file was not added as a business. It would have changed the application folder data path. If you are referring to moving the first file in your Trash folder that ends in (2), that is, a copy of another file at the time it was made, then this is expected behavior. Since the change to plain-language file names (instead of hexadecimal strings), businesses can be imported, but they can also be added by moving their files. See the last topic in the Guide linked above.

I don’t think so because I always only launch the program on my laptop. I guess the data file on my NAS contains the local application folder on my laptop as I copied the complete folder from my laptop to my NAS before changing the path in Preferences. What does happen is that after launching the program at the end of the update process there are no businesses listed. They appear after shutting the program down and restarting it. (An annoying side effect of removing shortcuts during the update process is that I have to pin the program to the taskbar after each update).

Such as? I haven’t touched the folder’s contents. I checked the SBSE____.VX5 file and it is a SQLite format 3 file. (The files with a forbidden icon are deleted files that are shown in the list on my NAS as I ticked the option to show deleted files). And logically there’s the 2020-09-19 backup file of my business I copied to the folder as this one contains the 3 months of data that is missing in the standard business file.

That was your problem. The Guide on moving your application data folder specifically says,

Copy (or move) all files from the current application data folder to the new one.

It also tells you to establish the new destination folder first. It does not tell you to copy or move the entire folder.

Wherever it came from, it isn’t supposed to be there and Manager will not use it. Likewise for the other files not described in the Guide I linked you to.

OK. So that is real. It was not clear whether you took your screen shot before or after importing the backup you found in Trash.

OK, that may be true but it doesn’t explain this week’s loss of data, does it?

No, and this is a side effect of your update and running process. I’ll come back to this.

Don’t worry about things in the Trash Folder, they’re not relevant; just worry about the main databases (.manager files).

There are at least two ways to get manager to see your data:

  • import the business through the interface
  • copy an old .manager database file into the ApplicationData folder. This is handy for re-importing old/backup databases into manager, you copy the database file into the location, renaming it in the process to reflect what it is. Restarting manager, or simply refreshing the “Businesses” tab will populate that tab with the files in that directory.

That’s good, remain consistent. Don’t change that now.

Ok, ^^ that ^^ is the start of your problem.

  1. You don’t want to be having multiple database folders laying around. This is what’s happened, at some point you’ve started using the wrong one
  2. What you are effectively doing is copying the original data (preferences location) file (not database data file) and making a backup of it on the NAS.
  3. You are then changing the Preferences location, which will only change the the preferences data location in the original Application Data folder. That’s how manager works. Without passing explicit command line arguments, manager will always create and use a data file located locally in that exact folder.
  4. When you restart manager, it is loading the Preferences location from the local data file (as long as that is pointing to your NAS, that should be ok)… The location stored in that file on the NAS is the old location before you copied it to the NAS, so what you have there is correct. It will be pointing back to the local folder.

That’s exactly what it sounds like, or conversely, on this occasion you’ve opened the older file thinking it was the primary file.

No, that is most likely from entering into the wrong business in the business tab and not realising it.

It looks to be you have 3 main database files in there, the top one being the backup. (with the 2020-09-19 date in brackets). What are the other TWO? Services 2020 and Services 2019? I’m guessing 2020 is the one you were using as your current database (which has the data missing).

Do you have a screenshot of that folder before making any changes in the last day or two? Because you’ve been in them and editing, they are all now dated today, if you can check the dates on those files a couple of days ago, you will see one of them should be about 3 months old (and I guess it would be the 2020 version) and you’ve unknowingly been running from the (2020-09-19) version. That’s just a hunch, but a screenshot or dates from a couple of days ago will verify that.

Do a scan of your laptop and just make sure there are no .manager files floating around you’re not aware of.

Again, this is part of your problem too, I’m not a windows user and so take this with a grain of salt. But windows does funny things to shortcuts, depending on who created them where and if you change one that it initially created, it will always try and remove/modify/edit that on repairs/reinstalls/whatever.

  1. I would suggest not letting the update/install process install those shortcuts
  2. I would manually create your own persistent shortcut that you control (for this exact reason)
  3. I would even go the extra mile and (as long as your network connection ALWAYS exists) and edit the shortcut to include the -path switch and force it to the NAS. I would then remove the local copy.

I’m not a huge fan of working from a laptop to a network share.

If it was a PC that never moves and would never leave the network, that’s no problem.

But what if you decided to work from a different location? When you try to access manager, the share won’t be available.

If your laptop NEVER leaves the network, then there is no real issue, but personally I would rethink your working and backup process.

I do use synology as well, but I ru my manager within a VM located on the box, so it’s a bit different again.

I’d be more inclined to (if as you say, you only open manager on your laptop) run the database locally on the laptop and have a cron job setup to periodically copy the database files only over to the NAS.

I have a cron setup that hashes my database every 12 hours and if there’s been a change in the database file, it rsyncs the database to a seperate NAS (I have two synology boxes). So the cron runs a hash on the manager server application data folder and if there’s been any changes, it makes a backup onto the other NAS.

I say cron because I’m coming from a linux and MacOS background. You would use TaskScheduler, or whatever it’s equivalent is today.

I don’t believe any of us will ever be able to explain exactly what you experienced, for several reasons. First, there was no loss of data. You just did not know where it was. Second, you’ve been moving files, backing up businesses, importing businesses, and copying folders without fully understanding what you were doing at the time. So I don’t believe you are able to accurately describe what you havee done. I don’t say that as a criticism, but just to observe that when someone does not understand what is going on, they often do not recognize and remember important steps along the way, simply because those steps seem irrelevant at the time. Third, you have files in the NAS application data folder that would not, under any circumstance I know, have been put there by the program. Yet you do not seem to know where they came from.

I completely concur with @d3mad. You would probably be better off, according to what you have described as your work practices, to limit use of the NAS to backups. But that is a decision for you to make.

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I don’t think so because on my previous laptop I used a backup program (SyncBack Pro) to backup the complete folder stored on my laptop to my NAS but remained using the businesses data files as indicated in Preferences to C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Manager. On my current laptop I installed Manager and changed the application data path in Preferences to Manager’s folder on my NAS, of course only after the installation completed. There are no businesses in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Manager. Here’s the contents of that folder again (see also my previous post):


Nope, that’s impossible 'cos I’ve never ever opened a data file from outside of Manager.

Correct. The 2019 one is of the year 2019 and the 2020 one is of this year. The problem was with the latter. The other one of 92 KB is just a test business.

It doesn’t.