What Do I Need to Include in My Backup?

16 Mar

(reading time < 10 minutes – these few minutes can save you hundreds of dollars!)

In the last few weeks we’ve had a few clients (and us too) fall victim to different variants of an encryption virus. This virus encrypts files on your machine and leaves behind messages explaining how to pay to get the files back.

In more than one case, we are finding that critical files are not getting backed up!  In more than one case, the database was part of the backup job but no one was monitoring it to make sure the backup was actually finishing.

Obviously, the databases need to get backed up and the job needs to be monitored to make sure it is running every day.  This is not a set-it-and-forget-it thing.  Think about how much money it would take to reenter one day of work let alone a week or more.  There needs to be an offsite copy of the backup as well.  What if your server gets stolen (has happened)?

In addition to the databases there are a few critical files that need to get backed up as well. The easiest thing to do is backup the entire Shared Data Directory including sub-directories.  You can see where this is by going to Help | System Information.


In addition to critical folders, this folder (root) contains your license files and possibly some custom macro configuration files.  Here are the specific folders you need within the Shared Data Directory:

COMPANY – this folder contains mainly log and temporary information.  Not so critical.  Although it may contain some custom macro configuration files.

DATA – unless you are on the Pervasive.SQL database platform this folder is probably empty.  If you are, this folder probably contains you Pervasive.SQL databases although it is not required for them to be within this folder.

SITE – this folder has your company and user lists.  Very important!

USER – this folder contains all of your user customizations – shortcuts, column ordering, printer selections, etc.

CUSTOM – this folder is one we typically create (or have you create) to store all custom forms, reports and macros.  This folder represents a huge investment for your company.  It is not required that you have this folder but nearly all of you will have it.

Financial Reports – you may have a folder within the shared data directory or within the custom folder that contains your Financial Reporter specification files. Being Excel workbooks these are especially “tasty” to these virus programs.  However, you need to verify on your system where these files are.  I know of more that one client who stores these files outside of the Shared Data Directory.  This is fine.  Just make sure they are getting backed up.

Payroll, ACA, Aatrix Folders – if you run Payroll 7.2 you will have some folders related to form filing.

I recommend just getting the whole Shared Data Directory tree to be sure!  Also, many think about what to do in case of fire or earthquake.  You need to have a disaster plan for your server and your data.  This really is a case where “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: