It is absolutely vital that you back up your work regularly. There are three main ways of doing this. Fuller details are in the PGdebt help files for your version of the program and your manual, but this is a brief summary of essentials.
NB. In 2002 at least 10 bureaux lost data because they did not have a backup and 2 or 3 lost EVERYTHING when the hard drive failed or the PC was stolen...be warned ! I estimate that 20-30% of PGdebt users do not back up at all, or only do it once or twice a year !
Method 1. Specialist backup software
There are many backup programs available, but Microsoft backup is part of Windows and available on most PCs. These programs can be configured to back up all your data, not just PGdebt files, or even all your PC. Most networks will be set up with a program of this sort and you should add the PGdebt folders to the backup path or list.
This is probably the best and safest backup solution, especially as it can be made to cover all your files, not just PGdebt.
Method 2. PGdebt backup solution, built into
This is a very easy system, actually built into PGdebt. It must be configured by the supervisor to know where your data files are stored, (the system files will be backed up automatically) and where to back them up to (the backup location). When these settings are finalised they will be remembered and do not need constant adjustment.
To make a backup just go to File/backup and click one button to start the backup program. This will back up your client files and system files at the same onto any disc, zip, CD or another hard drive.
This system is a little less comprehensive and flexible than specialist software, but it is well tested, and optimised to be quick and simple to use regularly. The files are compressed and for many users one floppy disc will be all that is required.
Method 3. DIY system
With this you can just copy the relevant PGdebt client and system files onto floppies or a zip disc using Windows explorer. If you are confident with your PC this can work, but it is prone to errors and both the above methods are better. See the help files for which files to back up.
Where to backup to ?
The backup should be to a separate medium, preferably a CD, zip or floppy disc. It is perfectly possible to back up PGdebt by system 2 above onto a single floppy.
There is little point backing up onto the same hard disc as the data is stored ! Whilst this does provide a solution if a file is lost or damaged, it is no use at all if the hard disc is damaged or the PC is stolen.
How often to back up ?
Well, how much are you prepared to lose ? If you back up once a year the best you can do is restore your system to the sate it was a year ago...not much use !
If you back up once a day you will only lose one day's work at the most, but run the risk of backing up a problem, if you do not notice it. If you back up frequently, keep several sets of backup sets
Multiple backup sets
If you backup tonight on to the same disc as yesterday's backup and the PC crashes or the power fails...you have lost today's backup and also wrecked yesterday's...you have nothing left.
Much better to use a different disc each time...never backup on the last backup disc, use an earlier one.
If you have three sets of discs like this you will always be safe if a problem occurs whilst actually backing up. If the PC crashes on the second Monday, both Monday backups have been lost, but you still have Wednesday and Friday safe on separate backup sets of discs, so you can restore from those if necessary.
XP has a special arrangement to revert to a previous configuration if you have problems. XP users should check how this works.
Where to keep the discs
Somewhere safe is obvious, but I suggest keeping one set of discs in a separate location. Take one set home every Friday, and change them over once a week.
With a paper based office, if it burned down, everything would be lost...disaster, but if a PC based office burned down, although it would be hard, if one set of backups was at the Manager house, you would have lost nothing.
PGdebt 6 and 7
Please read the help files for your own version of PGdebt...procedures differ.
PG7 is MUCH simpler to back up using the built in method.
PG6 requires a more complex backup of client files and system files separately, PG7 combine these into one.
Please do not postpone action on backups...there are two sorts of people who use computers
Those who have lost data due to PC problems (this includes me !)
Those who haven't...YET !
Please backup your work...Don't get caught. Remember without a backup I may not be able to help you.
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