Backing up your Databases ??
by Mark Kaprielian

I've run into a lot of people who use Chess Base, Fritz or some other chess program who don't seem to have thought of "backing them up".  By backup I mean make a copy such that if their working version should be corrupt, lost or even more typically, screwed up by their trying to organize it, they will have something fairly recent to go back to recover their stuff.

What needs to be backed up is really only "original content".  By this I mean that if you got a DVD or CD with millions of games, you don't have to worry about losing those because you can easily recreate them.  Just load them in again.  What is important to back up is your own games and anything you have entered yourself, such as book lines and notes you may have entered for studying.

Chess Base has an archive function.  This will create as special file which CB or Fritz will be able to quickly open up later.  This archive function is what CB and Fritz use when you email a game or a database.   The Archive function will do only one database at a time.  You may have created several databases with content you want to back up so you would necessarily need to do a back up of each one individually.

To help you do backups more quickly and easily, I recommend that you create file folders on your computer to create collections of different types of databases.  A folder for each is really overkill though.  For example, put all your personal games into a folder called "personal games".  In that folder you might also want to put any other databases for games you've entered by hand.  For things off of CDs and DVDs put them all into a folder called "from CDs"  or something like that.  Continue dividing things into folders that make sense to you.

By putting all your personal games and other hand entered related databases into the same folder, you can now quickly and easily create a back up copy doing a Zip on that folder and then date stamping it.  Now and then you toss out the older zips.

I highly recommend that you use a "date stamp" approach to naming your backups.    Regardless of what you may call the zip file, appending a date and time to the file name will help keep it clear when the backup was done.  Yes, you could use the file date and time but then you would need to number your files and keep track of what number is next.   If you accidentally number files wrong and you go to recover from it, you'll end up with the wrong version.  When you go to recover is not a good time to discover you screwed up the file names accidentally.

On this site you should be able to find another page I have written describing techniques and a tool to help you date/time stamp your backups or any other files which may have revisions.  Click here to jump to that page