View Full Version : Backing up data

June Pelo
07-04-07, 22:01
Here's a tip from Roots Magic who supplied my genealogy program:

When people ask what the most important thing they can do to protect their data, we always say "make sure you have backups of your database". We then usually go on to tell them that they should keep backups of their databases off-site so that if something happened to their home they wouldn't lose the backups they stored there.

There are a number of ways to do this; put a backup disk in a safe deposit box, mail a backup disk to a family member, upload a backup to your server (if you have one), etc.

Here's another way to save an off-site copy of your backup (or multiple backups), and still have instant access to them if you ever need them.

First, create a free email account with a dependable web-based e-mail provider like GMail or Yahoo. Both of these let you save received emails online with the ability to easily search for archived emails.

Second, create a backup in RootsMagic (File > Backup from the main menu).
Just save the backup to your hard drive in a folder you will remember (like My Documents).

Third, log into the gmail or yahoo mail account, and create an email to send. Enter your own gmail or yahoo email address as the recipient (in other words send the email to yourself). Enter a subject like "RootsMagic Backup". Then click the link to attach a file to the email. This is where you will select that RootsMagic backup .zip file you just created. Then click Send to send the email with your backup attached to yourself.

Finally, when you receive that email with the attached backup, just archive it.
You now have a backup copy of your database archived in your email account. You can do this on a regular basis without really making a dent in the large amount of space the email providers give you.

If you ever need to restore a backup, you can log in to your email account, search for "RootsMagic Backup" and you will see all the emails you sent with the backups attached. Select the one you want, download the attachment, and restore that backup.


07-04-07, 22:32
June is right - backup is important. But please remember that free-of-charge email accounts aren't 100% either. There is no guarantee that the data will be kept.

The main thing is to store a copy "off line" and preferable in another location.
In my opinion one good idea would be to send a copy to one of your relatives and ask them to keep it in a safe place, of course preferably to one that understands the value of the material.

Of course submitting your material to Talko is also a small extra security. As long as the database stays intact I can download the gedcom and return it to you.

Jaska Sarell
08-04-07, 00:50
I've used gmail backup method for some time, but when news about loss of emails there came to my ear, I rethought a bit.
I have a standard email account that can also be used with browser (convenient when not at home). The storage space is somewhat limited to gmail (200 MB vs. nearly 3 GB), but the latest backup zip-file takes less space than three weeks' spam :eek:
The trick is that I use my account as webmail, send the zip to gmail account. Then one copy stays at my ISP mail server, another goes to gmail. When I normally get mail home, the Send folder at the ISP remains intact, mail comes in only from the Inbox folder. "Killing two birds with one stone"!
While gmail can keep several back-ups, the latest one is sufficient for the other.

Remember to back-up also your digital photos and scanned images!

:) Jaska

08-04-07, 20:28
I keep all my data scanned onto disks, which I keep at the office and a 2nd set at my bank.

I also keep all the emails I have on gmail as well.