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Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
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Chapter 25

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Disaster Planning

Backup?  What does that mean.  An old, standard joke XE "disaster planning"  in Tech support describes a dire situation.  A Backup is a reserve copy of an important file, in this case, your company data file.  Backups are emergency equipment.  If they dont work when needed, it is too late!  Like buying insurance only from a sound company, care and knowledge when backing up provide security.

Blank disks are the foundation for backups.  Care will provide a solid foundation. Pre-formatted disks may not be a good investment.  An error in alignment of read-write heads can result in a backup disk XE "disk:backup"  that is not usable.  This problem is rare, especially in new equipment.  If it does happen, it is too late when you find it out.  The more solid alternative is to buy non-formatted disks, and format them on the very same drive which will be used for backing up.  If you try to open a blank disk in My Computer or File Manager, you will get the opportunity to format the disk.  If you format from DOS, the command FORMAT A:  /U should be used to start.  The /U will erase any previous data, but assures that the drive used can write to every bit location on the disk.  This gives the best confidence in the floppies. 

Fire insurance, and protection XE "insurance"  from malicious damage, come from making a second backup disk, and storing it at a remote site.  On rare occasions, employers find that a former employee was working with concealed anger, and left their mark, such as files erased or locked with an owner password. If they are aware of backups stored remotely, they will know that they can cause only a minor inconvenience.

Backup starts from the File menu, and takes considerable time. Most of this time is in compressing the data.  The working form of the file is fluffed up about five times the size of the backup file.  (For people uncomfortable about compressing files, the compression was designed by the people who wrote the program.  They know where the empty space is.  If a file is converted from the DOS version, the Windows file is expanded about five to one.)  Although backup may be done directly to a floppy, the procedure below saves time when two copies are made.  It works as stated if the working file is smaller than seven megabytes.

If using Windows 3.1, set up verify on copying.  This can be done by adding a line in AUTOEXEC.BAT that says VERIFY ON XE "VERIFY ON:command" .

Click File|Backup to start backup.

If, and only if, QuickBooks is running correctly, select the hard drive and the directory qbooksw for backup location.  This puts the backup on the hard drive.  QuickBooks will object, but do it anyway.  In QuickBooks 4.0, this choice is always the default, due to a bug in the program.  If any problems have appeared, back up to a floppy.  When first learning backup, you may want to use Test.qbb as the name of the backup.  Note the filename, which should have .qbb on the end.  Go ahead with the backup.

Close QuickBooks and view the Qbooksw folder (or directory.)  Insert the floppy in the A: drive. 

These files should be visible (company being the base file name:)

company.qbw

is your QuickBooks company working file

company.qbb

is the backup file, about one-fifth the size of the working file.   Using the above suggestion, it may be Test.qbb instead.

company.qbi

should not be there.  It is an image file, created when a QuickBooks company file is opened, and deleted when the company file is closed.  Its presence would indicate that QuickBooks was still running, or had crashed.  (You can run File Manager with QuickBooks also running, and see the .qbi file, but dont touch.)

 

Copy the .qbb file to the floppy disk, as described in Chapter 23 or Chapter 24, then remove the floppy.

Insert another floppy into A: and copy the file again.

If the working file is over seven megabytes, the .qbb file will not fit on a 1.44 megabyte floppy, but can be backed up with the backup program included with your operating system.  Note that if this is done, the file would first have to be restored to the hard drive by the operating system.  The restored file would be a backup , which QuickBooks could restore to become a working QuickBooks file.  Cumbersome, but not often necessary.

Testing your backup is a good XE "restore"  idea, and is done in QuickBooks with File|Restore. QuickBooks does not like overwriting on restore, so use a different file name, test being a good candidate.  After restoring, run a balance sheet in the test file.  If the balance sheet is OK, go into File Manager and delete the test file. No need to clutter up your hard drive. For larger files on multiple backup disks, use the operating systems restore function to restore the backup file on the hard drive.  Until you are familiar with the process, it is safer to use test.qbb for the backup file. Then restore from the hard drive, using test.qbw for the restored file.

 

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Last modified: May 21, 2004