Centre Manager has a built-in data backup system, allowing you to quickly and easily make a backup copy of your Centre Manager data file. Backups are crucial to ensuring that your centre's valuable information is protected from harm caused by power fluctuations, computer failure, computer theft, fire, and other perils. The backup system also allows easy Restoring of the data backup, in the event it is necessary.
Be sure to backup the system.mda file regularly as well. The file stores security information in conjunction with the cm_data.mdb file and must be backed up any time that there are changes made to the Centre Manager security. It is particularly important to back up when users are added or removed in Security Setup or when passwords are changed (should do this regularly i.e. quarterly). This file is directly involved in running the software and is needed along with the data file backup in case Centre Manager must ever be reinstalled following a computer failure, a data file failure or when moving Centre Manager to to a new computer. See the Help in Centre Manager for more information (topic: Backup).
As part of the backup process, you may also choose to perform a Repair and Compact process. This process should be run regularly to keep your data file in optimum working order. It can also repair minor damage to the data file that may cause Centre Manager to show error messages or exhibit other unusual behaviour.
Here are some tips for ensuring your data's safety:
- Even if your centre does not use a computer, ensure that all critical files and information are properly protected in the event of a disaster. Even minor disasters can pose a serious threat to your centre's ability to continue operating should your information be lost or temporarily unavailable.
- Perform regular backups of all data on your computer's hard drive. If you use some software daily for accounting or other vital functions, do it on a daily basis. Consider setting up an automatic system to back up your computer to make it easier. Hard drives fail and if it has not happened to you, it is probably only a matter of time.
- Take advantage of built-in backup systems like the one in Centre Manager if setting up an automatic system is not feasible. Centre Manager and many other programs create compressed backup files that are suitable for storage on 3.5" disks or other removable storage media (e.g. Zip or Jazz drives, CD-ROM...).
- Remember that the system.mda file is not automatically backed up for you. This must be done separately from the data file backups, and must also be done on a separate floppy disk.
- Replace 3.5" disks regularly and purchase high-quality replacements. These disks are inexpensive and you can easily create a library of backups for each of your applications in the event any of the disks becomes unusable or damaged.
- Use a Grandfather, Father, Son backup strategy. Keep monthly (Grandfather), weekly (Father) and daily (Son) backups to protect your data and help you recover from data loss.
- Store some of your data backups away from your centre, such as at your home or the home of a trusted employee. This minimizes the risk of total loss of data in the event of a disaster.
- Keep your computer healthy - consider using one of the available software utilities that can detect and repair many hard drive problems, reconstruct damaged files, and keep your computer operating a peak performance. Locate the computer where it will not get too hot and away from very dusty or humid locations.