ClipMate's database is very robust, and it can recover from many different types of problems. But you still need to make backups. If Windows crashes and trashes the part of the hard disk where ClipMate's database resides, your data will be gone. If a virus infects or destroys the database, your data will be gone. If your hard drive fails because the manufacturer engineered towards capacity instead of reliability, your data will be gone. (Note: we've recently noticed a trend in warranties from major hard disk manufacturers. Instead of a 3-year warranty, they are now changing to 1 year. What does that say about the future of hard drive reliability? Quite a lot, we think!)
We hear from customers EVERY DAY, who are rebuilding their systems due to hard drive failure, virus attack, theft, etc... You name it, we've heard it.
ClipMate's Backup Solution
ClipMate has a built-in ZIP-based backup facility, which will backup your database(s). Since the backup can take several minutes on large databases, it is not set to run automatically. Instead, it will prompt you at startup to let you confirm the location. If you don't want to backup, just click Cancel. Otherwise, click OK to start the backup. Each new backup file has the date in the filename, so you can keep several generations in the same directory. Here's an example file of the "My Clips" database, generated on October 16, 2002: D:\backups\ClipMate6_DB_My Clips_2002-10-16.ZIP
When to backup?
By default, it will prompt you to perform a backup every 7 days, when ClipMate starts up. You can change this in the Database tab of User Preferences, and also on the backup confirmation dialog. Backups normally happen as ClipMate loads - but you can also manually invoke backup by going to File | Backup Database.
You can run the backup manually, with File | Database Maintenance | Backup Database.
How do I get rid of the reminder message?
If you do NOT want to be prompted to perform the backup, set the "reminder interval" to 9999 days, or 0.
How do I have the backup run unattended?
On the backup confirmation dialog, there is an option to automatically OK the dialog. Enable the option, and set the countdown to 2 or 3 seconds. This still gives you enough time to intervene, if needed. Clicking on any control on the confirmation dialog cancels the countdown (but you can still click OK manually), allowing more time to make changes, or abort the operation.
Where to backup to?
If you back up to the same hard disk that has everything else on it, then you are still vulnerable - so you should consider backing up to another hard disk if you have one, or else transfer the resulting .ZIP file to CD-R, ZIP disk, etc.. For example, run the backup into your My Documents folder, but every month, burn the most recent backup onto a CD.
You should not perform backups on databases that are being actively written to by multiple users. And you should not have everyone being nagged about backing up the group database every week. So there is an "Allow User To Backup This Database" option in the Database Properties dialog. Turn it OFF for everyone except the one user that you designate to run the backups. Unless you have a server-based backup solution (tape, etc.), in which case you set this flag off for all users.
What gets backed up?
All database files - .dat, .idx, .blb files, located in the data directory of any given database.
What about the old files?
Old backup files are currently not automatically deleted - so you should periodically delete unwanted backup files. If you will have need for archival data, you should consider keeping one backup from every month for several months, then maybe one for each end-of-year.
What if I have my own backup solution already?
Great! Just include each database directory in your regular backup scheme. Use the "Set Database Offline" option to schedule some ClipMate "downtime" to correspond to the backup schedule, so that ClipMate's databases will be "closed" when the backup program tries to access them.
Also See: Database Restore