Restoring Backups

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Restoring Backups

Restoring a backup means replacing your entire database (all years of data) with what is in the backup, which is what was in your database at the date and time that backup was created.


If you ever do have a problem and need to restore from a backup file on your hard drive, USB memory key or CD etc., it is very easy.


Note: Users of the Local Network Client version of DONATION cannot restore backups - that must be done from the Local Network Server version.


Restoring a backup to the same computer it was made from should only be done if you have had your computer or hard drive die, and thus lost your database, or you have taken some action in DONATION that you need to reverse, there is no other way to reverse that action, and your backup is recent enough that you are willing to go back to it.


The other time you might want to restore backups is if you have DONATION on multiple computers, with copies of the same database, and you are transferring that database between those computers. For some users of the legacy Lite or Standard versions this may be a common occurrence, if you are sharing a database between multiple computers. If that is a regular requirement, though, please consider the Cloud Storage Service which automates that process. With this Local Network versions, this will not come up unless you have to change which computer is running the Local Network Server version of the program.


Quick Way


If you are viewing the backup file in My Computer, Computer, Windows Explorer, or as an attachment in an email program, you can double-click on the file (or right-click and pick "Restore to DONATION" from the popup menu). Such files will usually be named DONATION4.DB.GBK, DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.DB.GBK, or DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.DB.GBK, where YYYY-MM-DD is replaced by the date the backup was made, in that format, and HH.MM.SS by the time the backup was made. Double-clicking on them will then start or activate DONATION, and prompt you to confirm that you want to restore the backup file.


Prior to recent releases of DONATION, the program also had to not already be running for this way to work. Now that is not a problem.


Note: If you are restoring from an attachment in an email program such as Outlook, when DONATION prompts for whether to restore the file, the filename may have been modified somewhat. That is normally not a problem - you can restore it anyways.


Standard Way


Select Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Database. It will prompt you with a "Restore Backup File" dialog box, where you select the backup file and the directory it is in. The file has to have the same extension as your current database file plus the additional backup file extension ".GBK". So if your database has the normal filename DONATION4.DB (which it will, unless you are using Database ⇒ Switch Databases to handle multiple databases), then the backup file to be restored will usually be named DONATION4.DB.GBK, DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.DB.GBK, or DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.DB.GBK (though you could have named it anything.DB.GBK when you did the backup). Again, YYYY-MM-DD is replaced by the date the backup was made, in that format, and HH.MM.SS by the time the backup was made. Once you select the file to restore, just follow the prompts, and it will do the restore.


If you are using Database ⇒ Switch Databases to handle multiple databases, you can only restore the backup corresponding to the database that you are currently using. So if you are currently on a second database named DONATION4.OTHER, the backup file you would restore would normally be named DONATION4.OTHER.GBK or DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.OTHER.GBK.


The restore is done by completely replacing your existing database file with the restored backup file. Once this has been completed, it will restart the program so that it can use the newly restored database.


The "Restore Backup File" dialog box will always initially display the last drive and directory from which you did a backup using Backup/Restore ⇒ Backup Database.


Restoring DONATION3.DB Backup Files from Previous Versions of DONATION


Database backups made with versions of DONATION prior to version 3.00 (which was released in late 2007) can not be restored directly to version 3.00 or later using Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Database, or by double-clicking on them, because a different database format was used. If you need to restore a previous-version backup (for example a file named DONATION3.DB) please contact us for assistance.


Restoring Emailed Backups


If a backup has been emailed to you, it may be called DONATION4.DB.S4B, DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.DB.S4B, or DONATION-YYYY-MM-DD.HH.MM.SS.DB.S4B. That is not restored with Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Database. Instead, use the Backup/Restore ⇒ Restore Emailed Backup menu option. (You can also double-click an emailed backup attachment to open it.)


Warning about Using Standard File Copies


Although you can also successfully back up and restore your database file (DONATION4.DB) just by using standard file copying methods (for example using Computer, My Computer, Windows Explorer, or the COPY command in a Command Prompt), or via specialized backup software, the manual for the Firebird database software used by DONATION advises that you should not do this while you are running DONATION! It says that could possibly lead to your database becoming damaged and unusable.


Doing Temporary Database Restores


In some unusual cases you may just want to look at an old backup of the database, without switching to it permanently. If you want to do that, first make a backup of your current database and save it carefully. Then restore the older backup that you want to look at. When you are done with it, restore the new backup.


Restoring Older Backups


If you select a backup to restore that is older than your current data (i.e. you have entered further donations, with later dates, since that backup was made), the program will give you a very explicit warning about this, and ask you twice to confirm that you really wish to do this. That's because doing such a restore will cause the more recent data, entered since that earlier backup, to be lost!


Restoring for users of the Local Network Version


Only a user on the computer that has the Local Network Server version installed on it can do restores. Users of the Network Client version will receive a message explaining that they cannot do restores.


Restoring from Network Drives and Paths


Backups can be restored from mapped network drives, or what are known as UNC paths (\\servername etc.).


This topic was last edited on Feb 17, 2023