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The following will help you understand the ConsignPro backup and restore processes and the options you have.  Getting a good backup is the only thing that will save you in the event of a computer hard-drive crash!

Back up your data to our corporate server!

With Version 6.0 of ConsignPro you can use your Internet connection to backup your database file to our corporate web server.  This takes your backup out of your shop and saves the data to a secure location!  Off-site backups reduce your risk of data loss do to fires, floods, theft, or any other disaster which could ruin your business!  To sign up for our "Online database backup service", visit our secured order page.  The current cost is $5.95 per month.

Backing up to a USB "memory key" or "flash drive".

Perhaps the best local backp option is a "memory key" or "flash drive".  These drives plug into any free USB port on your computer and Windows automatically assigns a drive letter (ex. F: G:, etc).  Simply select the correct drive letter on our Backup screen before you click "BackupDB" button.  You can purchase a memory key from our secured order page for $30 or at any computer or office supply store.  You should choose a drive that has 64mb capacity or more.

Backing up to a CD/RW (read-write) drive.

ConsignPro is not designed to backup to a CD/RW by itself.

However, every CD/RW drive comes with a piece of software (usually pre-installed on your computer) that allows you to copy files to the drive.  This software, sometimes made by companies like Adaptec, Sonic, or Roxio (there are others too) can be used to copy or backup the "consign.mdb" file (sometimes just seen as "consign") from the \Program Files\ConsignPro folder to the CD/RW.  After you create a "backup set" using this software, you can save the set and create a shortcut to it on your Desktop.  This will allow you to backup your database file by simply double-clicking this icon after you exit ConsignPro.  This only needs to be done on the SERVER computer if you are running a network in your store.

Consult the User Guide that came with your CD/RW drive or the software for information on how to backup your ConsignPro database file (consign.mdb).  This Microsoft Access database file is the ONLY file that you need to backup on the ConsignPro system.  If you are unfamiliar with this process, it might be best to consult a local tech to setup a CD backup routine for you using the above information as a guide.

General Information on backups.

Whatever backup method you choose, you should do the following:

  • Rotate your backup disks.  For example, use one disk for Monday, another for Tuesday, a 3rd for Wednesday, then go back to Disk 1 on Thursday.  You can use more if you'd like but this ensures that even if a single disk is "bad", you'll never lose more than a days worth of data.
  • Once a week, take a backup disk/CD off-site (i.e.. away from the store).  Save it in a safe place.  This way, in case of a fire or other disaster, you will still have your data.
  • If you have a "home copy" of ConsignPro, occasionally try to Restore your database using the instructions below.  This will validate the backup and also create another location where your data is saved.
  • Do NOT try to access the backup file by going into My Computer and double-clicking on the consign.bak or consign.zip, it can corrupt the backup file which is not meant to be accessed in that way.
  • Do NOT backup to your "C" drive.  This is the hard drive on your computer and it will not help you in the event of a drive crash!

How do I know if the backup worked?

If you do not receive any error messages during the backup process the backup worked fine.  You can browse the backup disk or CD using the My Computer icon on your computer.  You should see a file named "consign" and the date / time the file was saved should match the time you did the backup.  You can also take the backup media home and try to RESTORE the database on your home copy of ConsignPro (if applicable).

Restoring a database file from a backup

Restoring database files.

  1. Put the disk, flash drive, Zip disk, or CD into the correct drive on the target computer.
  2. Start ConsignPro.
  3. Above the Main Menu click Disk / Restore old database / Password = “restore”
  4. In the Restore window, select the correct drive letter that contains your backup data.
  5. Look for a file to appear named "consign.zip" or "consign.bak".
  6. Click on that file and click the RestoreDB button.
  7. The system should restore your data and then automatically shut down ConsignPro, when you restart ConsignPro, your data should be there.

It is important that both the computer where you took the backup and the computer where you are restoring the data are on the SAME VERSION of ConsignPro.  Version information can be found at the top TITLE bar in the ConsignPro application.  Versions should be identical (i.e. Version 5.0 and Version 5.0g are NOT the same version).  If not, upgrade both copies to our latest via our Update page.

If you get a warning message when you restore the data (Warning: the database you are restoring is older than the one on your system), be SURE you have a good backup on the disk before continuing.  If you do not, you may lose data!

Restoring from backup files on your computer.

ConsignPro automatically creates a backup of your database file on your computer hard drive every time you start ConsignPro.  It keeps 5 days worth of backups automatically.  You can use these backups if your database file becomes corrupt.  To do this, do the following:

  1. Go into My Computer.
  2. Double-click your C drive.
  3. Double-click your "Program Files" folder.
  4. Double-click your "ConsignPro" folder.
  5. Look for 5 files named "backupdb.001", 002, 003, etc.
  6. Click (up top) View / Details to show the date and time for each file.
  7. Find the "best" file (latest date and time).  Write down the file number (003?).
  8. Locate a file named consign or consign.mdb, right-click on it and delete it.
  9. Find the backup file from step 7 above (ex. backupdb.003)
  10. Right-click on that file and click Rename.
  11. Type consign.mdb on your keyboard and hit Enter, the file should rename.
  12. Re-start ConsignPro and checkout your data.

You may have lost some data from this process based on the date and time of the file being restored.  That lost data can not be retrieved and you will need to re-create those transactions manually!  At the very least, you should skip a bunch of item numbers the next time you are going to Add Inventory so not to duplicate item numbers out on the sales floor!  More info on our database crash web page.

Upon the completion of the above, your new database file should be installed and working correctly.  If not, call us at 305 535 0959.

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