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The Basics of Backing Up Data

The most valuable component of your computer system is its stored data. Guarding it against loss due to a natural disaster or a database corruption is important, especially when you must access your data as quickly as possible. We recommend backing up your data each day and storing it in a secure, off-site location.

Planning a Backup Strategy

To help you plan a backup strategy, we recommend the following:
  • Commit to a plan that includes a schedule for making daily or weekly backups.
  • Test your backup process and restore your data monthly or quarterly.
  • Store at least one month's worth of data on multiple sets of backup media for extra protection.
  • Keep a log to record dates and details about your backups. Include when the backup happened, who made the backup, and which backup set was used.
  • Each month, run the Test the Program and the Fix Data Discrepancies processes to identify and repair small problems.

About PDS Backups

You can create backups of your data both automatically and manually. With the Automatic Backup feature, your current data is backed up on the days you select. You can also create a manual backup of your data at any time.

About Internal Archive Folders

You can manage the number of automatic and manual backup files stored in internal archive folders on your hard drive. Your hard drive contains the following internal archive folders: Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly.

When a backup file is created, it's stored in the Weekly folder. Depending on your automatic backup setting, the old backup files are automatically moved or deleted when a backup is complete.

The files are moved from one folder to another in the following ways:
  • Weekly to Monthly
  • Monthly to Quarterly
  • Quarterly to Yearly

About Data Compression

The backup process compresses your data files into a compact archive. Compression reduces the file size and the amount of time required to copy the files to a disk. Backup files have a .pds extension. Although standard compression programs can read the backup files, we recommend using the integrated restore feature of the PDS program to restore lost or damaged data.

Rotating Backup Sets

We don't recommend using the same set of storage media each time you create a backup. To reduce or eliminate the chance of data discrepancies and corrupt data, use different sets every time you back up your data.

For example, if you back up your data each Friday, use at least four backup sets in order to provide better protection. Label your flash drives or other media as "Friday 1", "Friday 2", "Friday 3", and "Friday 4".