Backup, Restore and Compacting in MYOB PowerPay (Windows)

Answer ID 9346   |    Published 06/06/2006 05:20 PM   |    Updated 05/05/2015 10:43 AM
How do I backup, restore and compact MYOB PowerPay data files in Windows?

With any computerised system, especially one which stores a great deal of data over a period of time, it is vital to make backups of the data on a regular basis. MYOB PowerPay is no exception. 

To be certain that your data file is kept to the minimum possible size for backups and to maintain file integrity, it is suggested you regularly compact your data file. Compacting your data file is something you should do at least on a monthly basis. 

This Support Note explains how these tasks are done.

What do I backup?

When you back up, you only need to back up your data files in the MYOB PowerPay program folder. You do not need to back up the MYOB PowerPay application itself, as this can be easily re-loaded onto your computer from the CD.


When do I backup my data file?

You should plan at the outset to make copies of your data at certain intervals, for example every time you have completed the preparation of a pay and before you have finalised the pay run.

At 'Finalise the Pay Run' some data is modified or deleted, so it would be good to have a backup prior to this point. The same is true of the end of the pay year, when it is essential to make a backup prior to printing Group Certificates and performing 'Start a New Year'.

The basic rule is to take backups as frequently as possible (within reason), at an interval for which you are prepared to re-key data. In other words, if something goes terribly wrong and you need to restore data from a backup, how far back are you prepared to have to go? If you are prepared to go back a week, backup each week. If you would only like to lose a maximum of a day's work, backup at the end of each day.


How do I plan my backups?

You should develop your own backup rules, using carefully labeled and stored disks. You should maintain multiple sets of backup floppy disks, so that if one set becomes faulty, you are still able to restore from an earlier set. It is best to have a minimum of three backup sets, perhaps labeled Set A, Set B and Set C. Today you would use Set A, next time you made a backup you would use Set B, Set C the next time, then Set A again.


How do I backup my data?

  • Go to the File menu and choose Backup.

  • Specify the File Name and location of the backup data file. If you want to back up your data file directly to floppy disk, select your floppy drive (A:) in the Save in field.

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Note that no progress bar is displayed while the backup process is running, and that no confirmation dialog is displayed when the process is complete. Simply check the contents of your floppy drive to see when the file has been copied.

If the compressed data file is larger than a single disk, you will be prompted to insert the next disk.

  • Click Save. If you are saving the backup file with the same filename as a previous backup file, a warning will be displayed; either rename the file or overwrite the file with the same name.


Where should I store my backup?

Storing your backup file in another location on your computer's hard drive offers very limited security. If anything was to happen to the computer on which you backed up your data, the data would be lost.  

We strongly recommend the following rules when backing up your data:

Back up your data to a separate medium, such as floppy disk, CD, etc.

Store your backup file away from your business premises, to ensure that your business' data is secure from threat of theft, fire, etc.


How do I restore my data file?

  • Go to the File menu and choose Restore.

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  • Choose the data file backup you want to restore. The data file will have a '.zip' extension, highlight this file and click Open.

If restoring from a floppy disk, change Look in field to the floppy (A:).


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  • Choose the destination folder and drive for the backup. Destination refers to the folder where you would like the newly restored *.4DD MYOB PowerPay company file to be stored. Typically this would be your MYOB PowerPay folder.

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When restoring from floppy disk(s), change the destination drive to avoid saving the file back onto the disk.

  • If you are saving the restore file with the same filename as an existing file, a warning will be displayed; either rename or overwrite the file with the same name.

Note - If name of the file being restored is the same name as that which you are currently using, a "DynaZip Unzip" error is displayed and the restore aborted. You will need to choose another name for the de-compressed file.

  • Open the restored data file in the same way as you would normally open a new data file, by restarting MYOB PowerPay and holding down the Alt key. Choose the restored data file and click Open.


How do I compact my data file?

Compacting your data file is something you should do at least on a monthly basis, or whenever you restore a backup of your data file, to ensure that the size of your data file is kept to the minimum possible size. This will in turn improve the overall performance of MYOB PowerPay.

Follow these steps to compact your data file.

  • Start up the 4D Tools utility. Go to the Start menu choose Programs then MYOB PowerPay 8 and click MYOB PowerPay 4D Tools


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  • The Open dialog appears in a 4D Tools window.


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  • Open the 4D Tools structure file.  Hold down the Option key, highlight the MYOB 'powerpay.4DC' file (the MYOB PowerPay program file) and click Open. If a "File already opened" warning displays then MYOB PowerPay is open, close the MYOB PowerPay program and continue.


  • The Open which data file dialog appears, displaying your data file in the list. Highlight your data file and click Open.


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  • Compact your data file.  Go to the Utilities menu and choose Compact.  The Create a data file dialog appears.


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4D Tools is about to create a new compacted copy of your data file. We strongly recommend you save this new data file with a different file name. If you decide to compact your data file on a monthly basis, you might choose to incorporate the month in the file name. You can now regard your previous data file as a backup copy of your data file.

  • Enter the new File Name and click Save.    

  • When you click Save, a progress bar and 4D Tools logo briefly display. When these disappear and the 'Utilities' menu option is no longer highlighted, the compact process has been completed. Go to the File menu and choose Quit.      

  • Your new compacted data file should now appear in the Open dialog when you open your data file in MYOB PowerPay (holding down the Alt key).  

Disclaimer: This information is of a generic nature. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, please seek assistance from your Accountant, the Australian Taxation Office or your IT Consultant as appropriate. 
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