Backing of the EasyAs Data Files is a very simple and painless process, which is how it should be.
Its only when individuals have not backed up their data or when their backed up copies get corrupted that the sky starts to fall, and the roof caves in, as they scurry about with a lump in their throat looking for missing information.
This page show you an example of data management. It shows you how I managed the data files with the original version of easyas.
My process of Backing up My Accounting Data Files
I previously use to use the backup facility that comes with the EasyAs Software and copy my Data Files into another location on my Harddrive. In actual fact I have 2 harddrives in my pc and I use the 2nd harddrive as my backup location.
I understand that most clients may only have one harddrive in their machines and it will usually be labeled as C Drive – C:\
The process is exactly the same whether you have another drive or not. If you do not have a 2nd Drive in your computer then your “My Documents Folder” may be a logical location to backup your initial backups. This way you have a central location in which you can copy data to a CD or such as and external drive like the maxtor one touch.
I have created another Folder in a separate location on my PC called Accounting Backups. I advise that you also create a separate folder on your pc which is ONLY used for your accounting information. It may seem logical, but I use to backup several programs to the same folder and in the end I just confused the issue. Plus because I did this in that manner I always ran the chance of accidentally deleting the wrong file as I was using the same folder for too may tasks.
When you backup your Accounting Data using EasyAs Backup it will copy two files into the selected directory called EasyData.mdb and EasyAcct.mdb – I ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY rename these files. The reason I rename these files is so that I know the date the files were backed up.
Plus we have to remember the standard pc users guide and pc 101; You cannot have two files with the same name in the same folder (directory). If I did not rename the files then the next time I backed up it would override the original files and replace them with the new backups.
But you may be thinking, isn’t that what I want, I want to have the most current backup so wouldn’t it be ok to override the older file ? Why would I want to rename these files and have more than one backup ?
Here is why -> I don’t trust that my pc will get it right -> Do you have pure faith in your PC ?
Ok its not that bad, pc’s are fairly reliable these days. But I have no way of knowing if the data files I just backed up are good or not, I will only know this when I have a crash or some other problem which means I have to rely on my backups, so because of this I want to know that I have several backups over different periods of time to make sure I cover my butt.
There is an issue to take into consideration which many people are not aware of.. Many pc’s will fail because of power fluctuations, and it does not have to be a lightening strike or some other sever fluctuation. Power to most homes and to some businesses will not be constant and can be more or less at any given time. I have personally along with dozens of clients experienced loss of data which can be traced back to a power fluctuation.
This causes one main problem:
You may have a small fluctuation or a series of fluctuations whilst using your pc, the most obvious is that the power goes out completely, but it may be that your lights dim for a second or two and then come back bright again… Obviously lightening strikes can also cause fluctuations in power.. These power outages or fluctuations may have occurred even as far back as a week prior to your problem becoming obvious, and by now its usually too late. I have seen cases where clients have been able to trace the first occurrence of problems with software back 3 or 4 weeks to events of power failure.
What can happen is that the pc can corrupt a file during the fluctuation and you will not even be aware of it. This can then corrupt another file when the pc is switched back on, and then another and so forth.. Or it may cause a problem with the way the data on your hard drive is indexed, which is going to be the most likely of issues, which in simple terms means that your pc will not know how to get the information it wants, even though it knows where it is…
I consider power fluctuations, and of course viruses and such to be the most obvious causes of data corruption. You have to remember that if you backup a corrupted data file it is useless to you.. even though you did the right thing and backed it up, if its corrupted then its useless to you, and you only find out when you go to restore the information after a crash.
Which is why I always keep at least my most recent 10 backups. Because I have no idea of knowing if I have a corrupted file, I could have a corruption and be backing up a corrupted file, so in effect I am backing up something that is useless to me, so I might as well have not backed up at all.
Here is how I rename my Files so all my backups can all go into the same folder
I simply edit the name of file and rename it by adding the date which I backed up at the end of the file name. I DO NOT fully rename the file as I will not know which file is which if I needed to restore them at a later data.
Example of renaming: EasyData 2Feb.mdb and EasyAcct 2Feb.mdb
So in effect depending on how long you keep your backups for, I usually keep the last 10 backups (paranoia I guess) you will end up with numerous files in the directory. As the computer will always put files into alphabetical order it will mix your files together over a period of time, but because you have dated them it is easy to know what files belong together.
Remember that these files are always in pairs. You cannot use the file called EasyData which you backed up in January and then pair it with the EasyAcct file you backed up 3 months earlier, because if you do this you will end up with information which is so mixed up that you will have to start all over again… So always date each file correctly.
You may eventually have a list that looks like this:
As you can see in the above image, the data files do tend to get mixed up as the pc will sort them into alphabetical order so it can look a bit messy. You will see that they do not exist next to their pair.
The above is my older method of backing up. However I now do an extra step which allows me to have all my file pairs together. It is an extra step which does not have to be done, but I thought I would mention it.
I place a number in the front of the file names. This way when the pc sorts the files into order it will use the numbers in the front of the names keeping everything together for me… The key to making this work is to start from number 100. Do Not start at number 1, else the pc will sort the numbers and it may sort the first 9 ok, but then when you call a file number 10 it will place it back in order after number 1..
This is why I start from Number 100 as it always keeps it in order for me.
Here is an example of the same files as in the example above, except with the number in front, as you see it keeps the file pairs together, I still place the date at the end as I want to know how old my most recent backup is:
Remember that I first copy my data files to a central location on my pc, then I rename them immediately, then I do regular backups of that directory to my maxtor external drive, which could be a cd if this is what you use… Please note that I also backup to another pc in my office, which means I also have 2 backups of all my documents in two different locations.. For example it would be no good if you backed up to a cd and then misplaced it or scratched it and could not use the data on it, if you burn to a cd, then ensure you are doing this regularly or burning 2 backups at the same time..
But in the end its up to you how you manage your data backups, I hope the above helped you by providing you with an idea of how I manage my EasyAs Data.
Restoring your data files after a crash or other problem
When you go to restore a pair of files you will need to rename them back to the original name first. Because the Accounting Program is only looking for files by the name of EasyData.mdb and EasyAcct.mdb. If it cannot find these files it will tell you that they do not exist and that you may have data loss or other problem.
So before you use the restore process simply select the most recent pair and edit the names removing the numbers from the front and the date. Then you are ready to restore.