It is important to backup your data file on a regular basis. Unfortunately computers are prone to suffer problems which can result in the loss of your valuable data. Problems may include failure of a hard disk (the device in your computer that stores your data) or power failures that may result in corruption of files being used at the time of the failure.
The Data File
Parts Tracker stores all of your data in a file on your hard disk. The name of the file is PartsTrackerData4_0.
- Note: The numbers “4_0” depend on the version of Parts Tracker.
- Note: The filename includes an extension “.mdb” on the end which may or may not be visible depending on your Windows settings.
Typically this file found in the following folder: C:\Program Files\Parts Tracker\ but you may have re-configured Parts Tracker to store it elsewhere (e.g. on a network drive).
Previous Copies Kept By Parts Tracker
Parts Tracker automatically creates copies of your data file in a sub-folder called “Backup” within the folder where the data file resides. It does this daily as well as when certain major operations are performed: compaction, parts import, database update.
The daily copies are pruned (deleted) when older than seven days.
Back-up Your Data File
You should copy the data file and the previous copies to another storage device on a regular basis. This is important to allow you to get (most of) your data back if your computer hard-drive fails and unreadable.
You can use a 3rd party backup tool, a cloud drive, or any other mechanism you currently use to backup your personal files (e.g. copying files to an external hard drive, or a flash drive).
The Parts Tracker data file is often quite large (typical sites range from 5 to 20MB). Cloud drive synchronisation of a large file can be slow when the file is in use (i.e. when Parts Tracker is open).
To improve performance, you can limit the cloud sync to only the Backup folder and not the actual data file. The cloud will contain a backup no older than one day, but performance will be better. Check your cloud service’s settings and documentation for details on how to specify which folder gets synced to the cloud.
IMPORTANT: You should not use a cloud drive service as a way to share the data file with multiple users who might use Parts Tracker at the same time. This WILL cause data loss when users make changes at the same time – they will overwrite each other’s changes, or will only see their own changes (and if you operate like that for a long time you’ll end up with two very different sets of data).
Restoring a Previous Copy
To restore a previous backup copy of the data file, do the following:
- Close Parts Tracker.
- Move your current data file somewhere in case you change your mind later.
- Copy the file you want to restore from the Backup folder to the folder where the current data file resides.
- Rename the backup file to PartsTrackerData4_0 (since Parts Tracker expects to find a file of that name).
- Open Parts Tracker and check that the data is what you expect (i.e. you’ve restored the data you want).
- Repeat with a different backup file if necessary.