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Backups

The main advantages of using a hard disk drive are its speed and high storage capacity. The main disadvantage is the vast amount of information that may be lost in the event of a malfunction. Because of this it is imperative that information stored on a hard disk be saved on other (external) media frequently. This is known as backing-up the disk.

Although easyACCOUNTING itself is easy to use and forgiving of mistakes, it cannot reconstruct data that has been damaged by an equipment malfunction or another program. Even though computers made today are more reliable than those made a few years ago, don't bet your business on it. According to Murphy's Law the day will always be payroll day. Ayer's Corollary adds, "The likelihood of computer failure is directly proportional to the importance of the data stored on it". Will you have a backup (usable) of yesterday's files? The only absolute protection from lost data is to back it up methodically. How often should you backup? The answer is simply how much time are you willing to spend re-entering lost data?

For additional insurance, you should use multiple, rotating sets of backups. If you have only one set which you overwrite each time, you may inadvertently place corrupted data over good, or your backup set may land under someone's coffee cup.

Data loss can occur for a number of reasons other than equipment failure, namely theft, fire, coffee spills, vandalism and power failures. Accidental file deletions are probably the major cause of data loss.

If you are serious about preventing data loss, you'll backup onto five sets, one for every day of the week. Likewise you will have a set for every week, month and each year. This assures that you will never lose more than a day's work under normal circumstances. In an extreme case you can bring everything back to the last known good week or month. Remember to back up your programs as well as the data just before updates are being installed.

Should you use backup tapes or DVD-R? The simple and more expensive answer to this question is to use a tape backup system. They may cost more initially, but they are faster, more reliable and everything can fit on one tape. DVD-Rs are a great secondary backup medium. If you choose to use DVD-R backups, purchase only top quality media. DVD-RW (re-writable DVDs) are not recommended.  Note: Use only marking pens designed for DVD-R media; inks in many generic markers & pens contain an acid that will eat the media over time making it unreadable.

Periodic testing of your backups is a must. A crisis is the wrong time to find out your backups are no good.

We recommend that you keep your backups off-site in a safe and secure place. Backups can't be stolen or burned with your computer if they aren't anywhere near it!
 
 
IMPORTANT:
  easyACCOUNTING must not be running while you are performing a backup otherwise the data files will not be backed up correctly.  If you are using the  network or enterprise editions, ALL users must exit easyACCOUNTING.
 
 

What to Backup

Ideally, you would backup your entire computer onto tape, so that in the event of a catastrophe you could restore your entire computer system (programs and data) in short order.

If you would prefer to simply backup your easyACCOUNTING system, backup the contents of the "x:\EZA" folder and it's subfolders using the backup software that came with your tape system, or Microsoft Backup that comes with Windows. (Replace "x" with the drive letter that easyACCOUNTING is installed on, for single-user systems this is typically "C").

Microsoft's Backup utility may be found by navigating: 

Windows 2003 and XP:

Start All Programs Accessories System Tools Backup

Windows 7 and Vista:

Start Control Panel System & Security Backup & Restore Center

Windows 8:

Control Panel System & Security Save backup copies of your files with File History

We recommend that you enable the "verify data after backup" option that compares the contents of the tape to what is on disk to make sure that the backup was successful.  In Microsoft Backup, this may be found by clicking the "Advanced" button on the "Backup Job Information" Dialog.  Please see the topic "Using Backup" in Windows Help for more information.

Important

easyACCOUNTING's data must be backed up or restored as a complete set (i.e., every file in the x:\EZA folder must be backed up or restored together).  If new & old files are "mixed-and-matched" the results are unpredictable and unrecoverable data loss will occur.

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