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Making backups

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    Making backups

    I find it strange that nowhere in Alpha help is there anything about making backups!
    I have tried to put the dbf files on to a floppy but the won't open ... and yes, tried the "read / archive" buttons.
    Any ideas.

    I used to do it on the older versions .. but again, very often I would lose the layouts. Why doesn't Alpha build in a nice neat way of doing this most important thing.


    RE: Making backups

    Hi Ferg!

    >>Why doesn't Alpha build in a nice neat way of doing this most important thing. (backups) .



      RE: Making backups


      One very nice thing about keeping all of the files for a single database inside a single folder is that you can simply copy that folder to a backup disk or cd. I frequently use pkZip to compress the entire folder and store it elsewhere as a backup. WinZip will do the same thing.

      As others have noted, if you backup to a CD the files will be stored there with the readwrite attribute set to readonly. So you have to remember to re-set the attribute before using the files.

      -- tom


        RE: Making backups

        This is the problem .. I use copy in the "my computer" and it won't read when I try to open it.

        I have 5.4

        Would Alpha consider a download for this rather important action or do I have to go out and buy a new one! Agree that if there is a hard way to do something Alpha has managed it ... but it is still the best around.

        We have sold the camp so I will no longer be on hand to fix computer glitches ... am trying to make my program idiot proof. There is a program on the market for camps built on Acess but it costs about $4,000.00 Those who use it think it is great - but my Alpha program works well and is taylored for us -- only problem is the new owner can't make back ups and now neither can I.




          RE: Making backups


          Don't know about vers. 5.4

          You probably know this already, but DBF tables alone cannot be accessed with Alpha Five. You must create the database (which has an adb extension), and 'add' the tables to it. Then you open the database, not the tables. Can't tell from your messages whether you are copying the complete database folder including all files, not just the DBF tables. If it's the latter, that may explain your problem.

          There are basically two different approaches here, I can't tell which you're trying.

          1) Your data is stored in files with three extensions. If you copy the DBF, CDX and FPT files to a backup diskette, and nothing else, you won't be able to run them on the floppy. The database doesn't exist on the floppy since you omitted all the other supporting files and indices. (The database, and all data dictionaries) Nevertheless, this can be a good backup technique since it minimizes the size of the backup media required. However, to use it, one would have to copy the files back to the database folder and run the database there. Not from the floppy. See?

          2) Alternatively, you would copy all the files in the database to the backup media. This takes longer and requires more space... but you can run the backup there by opening the database on the backup diskette.

          If this doesn't get you going, describe your backup process in complete, excruciating, detail.

          -- tom


            RE: Making backups

            Thank you ...

            Just to make sure I understand. If I copy the .dbf, .cdx and .ftp files on a floppy and then need to reinstate them, all I do is pull the files back to my PC through "my computer" and overwrite the old ones that "have gone bad."



              RE: Making backups

              Wish #1 for Adaptec or Nero. When one of them finally developes a
              burner driver that will span disks. I know this won't allow using the
              backups directly because of the RO attr., but sure will provide one
              heck of an archive when coupled with Winzip or equivalent. Currently I
              do this in an app for a union. When it is necessary to review one of
              the archives, I unzip it back to the hard drive, remove the RO, then
              open the DB, when I am finished, I just delete the folder. Fortunately,
              in my case, a full year of data (not just data, includes the entire DB)
              will zip down to fit on one disk.



                RE: Making backups



                However, a word of caution is appropriate here.

                Floppies are not 100% safe. In fact, they're more susceptible to corruption than your hard disk, in my experience.

                So, I advise making more than one backup set.

                And, when I prepare to restore data from a backup set (by copying over the actual data files with copies from my backup set), I take the extra precaution of making yet another backup of the actual data so that I can at least get back to where I started if the restoration screws up.

                And, "My Computer" opens Windows Explorer, and it's Windows Explorer you're actually using to copy the files. "My Computer" is just a folder on your hard drive. When you double click the icon for the folder it loads Explorer automatically.

                -- tom


                  RE: Making backups

                  check out PowerQuest Drive Image
                  Cole Custom Programming - Terrell, Texas
                  972 524 8714
                  [email protected]

                  "A young man who is not liberal has no heart, but an old man who is not conservative has no mind." GB Shaw


                    RE: Making backups


                    Can't believe that Tom didn't direct you to his program
                    on www.learn


                    He has an excellent program based on PKZip for Windows (I think
                    its a command line program) However, I couldn't get the windows
                    version to work (not his fault) so I converted it over to the
                    DOS version of PKZip and have a button in my utilities menu that
                    I use to back up and a restore button that will restore my files
                    from the last backup. I understand that ver 5 will have all this
                    built in and you may want to wait for that.

                    Good luck



                      RE: Making backups

                      I have a recent copy of almost everything that Powerquest has
                      developed except Drive Image.


                        RE: Making backups

                        I have a recent copy of almost everything that Powerquest has
                        developed except Drive Image.


                          RE: Making backups

                          I picked up a USB hard drive at circuit city for $150 (10 gigs) Just plug it in and go. Copy whatever you need and then recopy it backas needed. It came in very handy after a major crash


                            RE: Making backups

                            Backup exec (from for user or Veritas for enterprise) Will allow backup to CD and will span CD's. For the price (around 60$?) this is the easy way to go. A cheaper alternative is use the backup provided with windows, it's a crippled version of the same thing. You may not have it on your install but it's on the CD. With this you can back up to floppy easily and even configure it to do a one button backup of selected files.
                            I find that for the most part third party backup programs are easier than the built in ones. The one above is great for doing incremental backups when doing development as backup to a cdRW only takes a few seconds and you're covered. (Not that I would ever Make a mistake and screw up my work- I recently spent MANY hours doing A5 work and my notebook HDD quit-NO backup--I learned my lesson, and I'm usually good about backups)

                            At least try the windows backup, this should solve the problem



                              RE: Making backups

                              The best things about your technique with the external USB drive is:

                              1. The application can be run from the USB drive.
                              2. The USB drive can be transported to another location and still use
                              the application if A5 is loaded on the machine it has been
                              transported to.
                              3. It is not RO.
                              4. There are numerous other benefits that concern the size of the DB
                              app vs the size of the USB drive,(multiple copies of the app from
                              different dates) all of which are beneficial and make the price of
                              the USB seem very inexpensive.
                              5. Plus being much faster than a burner.