MLS Financial Data Gobbler

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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iamdavid
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MLS Financial Data Gobbler

Postby iamdavid » Fri May 01, 2009 4:48 am

Is there an underground thread revealing what is happening to MLS financial data lately? Particularly in the area of Finances and Donor Records.
I rang our Service Center and they reminded me about doing a Send/Receive every Sunday first thing. Fine but the problem lately is that each week a S/R reorganises our records by DELETING too.

Also - When is Sunday? Trap for young players !!

Today I went in and found a cheque I entered last Tuesday had been deleted. Last Tuesday I found the entire previous Sunday Donation had been deleted. She indicated that SLC are 'doing stuff'.

Is this a global glitch? For instance, I see no indication in the comments here on MLS 2.9.4 that significant financial bugs were being dealt with.

My point is that, when I first noted that all the Donor Names had been scrambled, reintroducing many MIS era donors no longer in our ward and all the MIS era donor names without Membership Numbers, I sat down and patiently merged etc., till the whole thing was tidy. I didn't dare drop my financial assistant into the mare's nest. He's been 'creative' in the past.

So all my changes were wiped after that Sunday's Send Receive, along with the Donor Report. I reentered the whole thing from Donor Slips and the Sunday Printout, which was good. We authorised and sent that on Tuesday night.

Since then I noticed tonight the missing cheque (Expenses).

Now I wonder if 'they' (hommes ubique) have finished and if its safe to clean up my financial records again - or should I wait.

Who has this hassle also?

Any Gurus on the ivory hill at Tech aware of what's happening?
Love to know.
WenU

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri May 01, 2009 6:22 am

WenU wrote:Is there an underground thread revealing what is happening to MLS financial data lately? Particularly in the area of Finances and Donor Records.
I rang our Service Center and they reminded me about doing a Send/Receive every Sunday first thing. Fine but the problem lately is that each week a S/R reorganises our records by DELETING too.

Who has this hassle also?


I have heard no such problems here in the US. I think you are on the right track in the Problems with MLS this weekend? thread. It sounds like there is a data problem specific to the Australia administration office. I would prefer not to give advice that might conflict with what they are telling you for your specific situation. You should follow up with them

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri May 01, 2009 10:17 am

Are these things disappearing after a S/R or are they gone the next time you use the computer?

The reason I ask is the normal reason for things disappearing is that someone has done a restore. Sometimes people aren't aware that there's only one MLS backup - if you restore, everything rolls back - including membership, financial and HT/VT. Your problem might be coming from another MLS user.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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iamdavid
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Postby iamdavid » Sat May 02, 2009 2:32 am

Correct!
I'm not aware that anybody else is in the habit of changing data though. Bishopric members have access to MLS and to financial records but not Membership or Admin.
In any case, I think it's specific to our Area as suggested in the other thread. That one was just a little farther down the list than I looked before I started this thread.
For the record, the matter of the MIS era Donor Names was there when I logged in on a Tuesday. The missing cheque matter was apparent when I logged in Friday. This matter has now extended through two working weeks so I am hoping someone has their act together so I can fix up all the Donor Names again. *sigh*
heh

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Sat May 02, 2009 1:12 pm

I would be tempted to do the following, just for security's sake.

At the end of a day's work on MLS, back up to a removable USB drive. At the beginning of the next day's work on MLS before doing a Send/Receive, restore from the last back up first, then do the Send/Receive, then check for errors/deletions.

Doing this would help me feel better that this really was a Send/Receive induced problem rather than someone else accessing MLS without your knowledge. But then again perhaps you have already isolated the source of the problem to your satisfaction.

Other possibilities to rule out include computer viruses/malware, and computer hardware in its final stages before complete, catastrophic failure.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat May 02, 2009 1:39 pm

jbh001 wrote:At the end of a day's work on MLS, back up to a removable USB drive. At the beginning of the next day's work on MLS before doing a Send/Receive, restore from the last back up first, then do the Send/Receive, then check for errors/deletions.


I think I'd examine the MLS log file.

C:\Program Files\LDS Church\MLS\mlslog.txt. And check the time/date on that file. That will tell you if someone else has been in the system and who. I'm not sure what it would show if a restore was done. However, I don't think you can do a restore at the MLS level without Admin privileges. However, someone could be doing them using Windows explorer.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

rmrichesjr
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Test for defective RAM

Postby rmrichesjr » Sat May 02, 2009 5:39 pm

You might want to consider testing your computer for defective RAM. There is a program called memtest86 that exercises RAM and related parts of a computer to find whether there is a defect that could cause data corruption inside the computer. The program is best run standalone from a bootable CD. Many Live-CD Linux distributions have memtest86 as an option. If you need help finding a source for memtest86, please inform and I'll try to help you find it.

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iamdavid
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Postby iamdavid » Sun May 03, 2009 5:14 am

I'm satisfied it was simply the Sydney Service Center activity making changes that had repercussions for local units.

It seems to have stabilised now - although we have also auto-updated today to MLS 2.9.4, which has nothing to do with the problems I reported above.

I still need to go in this week and re-do the Donor Names list to simply the task of finding the right person. It's not an issue.

What IS an issue is that today I found the MISSING Donor Batch from 26 April has reappeared - so now there are two copies of it on file. I expect I can delete one (not proven) but I'll ring MSR Monday and ask.

Many thanks for your comments folks.


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