Move the Program from One Computer to Another

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Move the Program from One Computer to Another

For various reasons you may need to move DONATION from one computer to another. This would include changing staff (such as Treasurers) in your organization, upgrading to a new computer, or rebuilding your computer after a hard disk crash. (That's not technically another computer, but since the hard disk has been rebuilt or replaced, it has the same effect as if it was another computer!)


Your first step is to check which version or release number and named version of DONATION is running on the old computer, with the Help ⇒ About DONATION menu option in it. The named versions are Standard or Standalone, Lite, Local Network Server, Local Network Client, and OnDemand. If for any reason that is not possible, you can contact us to ask what our records show. That information will be needed in various parts of these instructions below.


If you have the OnDemand Version, and are moving from one computer running that version to another computer running the same version, please see Move the OnDemand Version for instructions instead of the rest of this page.


Not all of the steps below are required if your old computer running DONATION is no longer available. See Reinstalling DONATION for instructions instead, in that case.


As long as you are up to date on your payments for DONATION, or are using the free Lite version, there is no charge for this - the program is licensed to your organization, not merely for a specific individual or computer. Of course, you can also do this while you are still in your initial 60-day evaluation period.


Simplest Instructions


Here are the simplest possible instructions for moving any version Standard or Lite Version to a new computer, as long as you have only one database:


1.Make sure you have a database backup from the old computer available.

2.Download and install your current version onto the new computer, from the DOWNLOAD page on the website at

3.When you run that program, choose an appropriate option on the Startup Options screen to restore that backup from the old computer, and follow the prompts to do so.

4.Unless you are using the Lite version (which doesn't need license keys) or you are still in the initial 60-day evaluation period, you will need a license key. You are entitled to it as long as you are paid up for email support and upgrades. In those cases, request the license key or follow the prompts to let the program automatically retrieve it.


Those instructions cover most simple cases, but for more details and full instructions for more complex cases, please see the following sections.


Detailed Instructions


1.If all of the following points are true on the copy of DONATION on the old computer, you should upgrade that computer before you continue:
- your version or release number of DONATION is earlier than version 3.66, and
- you are using a version other than the free Lite version, and
- you use either mail-merge receipts or letters, or you have any memorized reports.
If those three points are all true, you upgrade the old computer by downloading and running the appropriate named installation program (Standard etc.) for your version of DONATION from the DOWNLOAD page on the program's web site at (This is required to make sure that any mail-merge receipts and letters, and memorized reports, get transferred to the new computer in the following steps.)
Be sure to run that downloaded installation program to upgrade DONATION on the old computer, and also run DONATION after the install, which will pick up your mail-merge receipts and letters, and memorized reports, and save them in your database.


2.On the new computer, download the appropriate named installation program for your version of DONATION from the DOWNLOAD page on the program's web site, at (If you have a saved copy of the most recent full installation file for the program, as downloaded in the previous step, you can use that.)
Run that downloaded installation program to install DONATION on this new computer. Do not run DONATION there yet.


Note: It does not work to just copy the DONATION program directories (C:\Program Files\Donation etc.) from one computer to the other. You must do the installation on the 2nd computer.

3.Copy your most recent database backup file, which may have names such as DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.DB.GBK, DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.DB.GBK, or DONATION4.DB.GBK, from the old computer to the new computer. (The YYYY-MM-DD part of the backup filename, if present, represents the date the backup was made, and HH.MM.SS is the time.) Follow the instructions under Transfer your Data between Computers to do this, via one of the backup and restore methods. (That Help topic also gives other options, which are sometimes easier, of transferring the database between the two computers by using email backups or Internet backups.)
Note: If the old computer was running version 2.70b or earlier of DONATION, installed mid-2007 or earlier, its database file is named DONATION3.DB, not DONATION4.DB. In that case, you will need to contact us to convert the database to the current format for you.
As long as you have a regular backup or emailed backup (see below) available when you first run the newly installed DONATION program, when its first Startup Options window prompts you to answer whether you are a first time user, or you want to start by restoring a backup, you can select that second radio button option for restoring the backup, and clicking OK. Then follow the prompts to restore that backup. (See Startup Options for details.)


4.If you are using the Database ⇒ Switch Databases menu option to handle multiple databases on the same computer, you will also have to transfer backups of all of your other database files, named DONATION4.something.GBK, DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.something.GBK, or DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.something.GBK, to the new computer.
In addition, you would first have to copy the file databases.txt from the Data Directory on the old computer to the Data Directory on the new computer, because it lists your databases. Alternatively, use Database ⇒ Switch Databases to set up new databases on the new computer with your additional database extensions, and then you can restore the transferred databases.
5.If you are using a paid version of DONATION (not the free Lite version) and are not still in your initial 60-day evaluation period, you need to retrieve or request the license key(s) for your database(s), if you don't already have current one(s), and install them. See below for details.
6.If you are using a paid version of DONATION (not the free Lite version), and you plan to do any emailing from the program, e.g. of backups, or receipts or mail-merge letters, do the following. Go to the Maintenance ⇒ Email Sending Configuration window, and if the configuration isn't already there and correct, configure it appropriately (the same on the new computer as on the old computer if it's for the same person, using the same email address, or as appropriately for the new program user's email if not).
7.If a new user is taking over the program, they should email their full name, email address and phone number to us at, so we can update the mailing list. Please also let us know whether the new user should replace the old one on the mailing list, or be added as a 2nd contact. When the program prompts you to register, as long as your organization has ever registered before (i.e. someone is on our mailing list), you can answer "Already Registered".
8.If the new user will also be the new person signing the charitable receipts, they need to change the Receipting Person field in the Maintenance ⇒ Organization Info window to show their name. If you wish to use a bitmap signature on the receipts (required, if you will be emailing receipts), and it is for a new person, follow the instructions under Logos and Signatures to install a new scanned signature for the new user.


That's it. The new computer should now have a copy of DONATION that is identical to the one on the old computer. Just continue your work on the new computer.


Note on Software Licensing


When you have DONATION installed on two computers for the same organization, you can apply the same License Key to both of them. See the section on Software Licensing and Evaluation for more details on License Keys. Alternatively, you can copy the file donsl.txt from the Data Directory on the old computer to the Data Directory on the new computer - it contains your licensing information.


If you don't have a copy of your license key saved, and copying over the donsl.txt file seems complicated to you, just re-request your license key from the Evaluation and Licensing window that comes up when you start the program. We will send it to you, as long as you have paid in the last 12 months. In some cases the program will prompt you to automatically retrieve the license key. If it does that, there will be no need to separately request the key. There is no additional charge for this license key, because as mentioned above, the license is for your organization, not per user or per computer.


The free Lite version does not use or need a license key.


If you are using a paid version of DONATION and have not paid within the last 12 months, you will need to first pay in order to be eligible for your license key. Starting on January 1, 2022, that will be an Annual Fee payment.


Prior to January 1, 2022, if your support has been expired for no more than 6 months, an Annual Renewal payment will be sufficient to obtain your license key. Otherwise, if you wish to pay before then and your support has been expired for more than 6 months, you will have to make another Initial Purchase payment. Full details are on the PRICING/PAYMENT pages on the web site.


Using Emailed Backups


Instead of using regular backups, created with Backup/Restore ⇒ Backup Database, and bringing them to the new computer on a USB memory key or in some other way, you can instead email the database backup to an email account that you can access on the new computer, via Backup/Restore ⇒ Email Backup. You then restore it with either a checkbox option on the initial startup window (under the radio box for "I want to start by restoring a database backup ...", or after your initial setup as a new user, by using the Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Emailed Backup menu option.


Using Internet Backups


If the only backup you have access to is an Internet backup made from the other computer, it is possible to restore it, as long as you have a copy of the Unique ID that was used for those backups, and you know the Internet Backup Encryption Password that was used. If you do not have the Unique ID for Internet backups, contact Support to ask for it - as long as the previous user accepted the suggestion made when they configured Internet backups to email it to us, we will have a copy of it. We will not have a copy of your password!


You can restore an Internet backup on the initial window that comes up when you run DONATION for the first time (see Startup Options), by choosing the 3rd radio button option, "I want to restore an Internet backup ...". If you miss that chance and instead start up as a new user, then once you get to the main window of the program, with its menu, you can select Backup/Restore ⇒ Backup Frequency and Options to configure Internet backups with your Unique ID and Internet Backup Encryption Password. After that, you can restore the latest Internet backup with Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Internet Backup.

This topic was last edited on Dec 16, 2021