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  1.    #1  
    I've been experimenting for a while with various freeware and shareware backup utilities to determine whether I could do a thorough backup without actually having to spend $30 for BackupBuddy. My experiment involved
    (1) installing BackupBuddy and using it for the 30 day trial period,
    (2) uninstalling BackupBuddy,
    (3) copying the Backup folder to another folder,
    (4) completely removing the contents of the Backup folder,
    (5) tinkering with other backup utilities,
    (6) comparing the new contents of the new Backup folder with the archived one.

    In the end, I found a combination of utilities that seem to let me accomplish what I did with BackupBuddy.

    First, I ran BackupAll (freeware) and executed the "Force" command, which should theoretically set the backup bit of every application and database and set its modification time to the current time, causing everything to get backed up. Second, I ran BackupBitster (shareware $15 with unlimited free trial) and turned off the backup bits for UnsavedPreferences (which I have read should NOT be restored) and AvGoDocsMQ (AvantGo's latest documents, which tends to be large and is updated on every HotSync anyway). I also made sure that all other backup bits were turned on. I found that at least one of my apps was still not backed up, so I used AppView (freeware) to set the backup and dirty bits for that app. Voila! A complete backup!

    Conclusions:
    1. It is not enough to simply set the backup bit for a database. If you have done a HotSync since installing or modifying the app or database, it will not get backed up, regardless of whether it is or isn't found in your Backup folder. The modification date must be changed and/or the dirty bit must be turned on.

    2. BackupAll would almost do the trick except that there are likely a few things you don't want to back up.

    3. BackupBitster would be much easier to use if the databases were listed alphabetically. Adding a second checkbox for the dirty bit would make it a complete solution.

    4. AppView could also be a complete solution if it listed databases as well as applications.

    5. If you have a nearly full VDx and are using a serial cradle, the first backup will take a LONG time.

    6. If you use the free trial of BackupBuddy and then decide to go with another backup solution (including these I have mentioned) MAKE SURE YOU UNINSTALL BackupBuddy. If you don't, nothing will ever get backed up again! BackupBuddy sets a key in the Windows registry that tells HotSync Manager to use it for backing stuff up.

    7. Once you have done the initial backup, you don't need to worry about anything except for setting the backup bits of new applications and databases you install.


    Wow! That was long, but I hope it will be helpful to someone else. If anyone knows of a freeware single-app solution, please let me know. I am thinking about getting into Palm software development, and this may be one of my first apps if nothing else comes along.

    BTW, I believe all of these applications are available at PalmGear HQ.
  2. #2  
    Good report Ron! What was the one application that you needed AppView for?

    I don't have a Visor, I have a Palm IIIx. Since upgrading to 3.3 with HotSync manager 3.0.4, I've found that I don't need any additional backup software. All of my databases and applications are backed up without any intervention. According to Palm, v3.3 along with 3.0.4 fixed many of the backup issues, but I'm wondering if there are still any problems. I'd like to try the one app that gave you a problem to see how it handles it. Thanks.

    --bob
  3. #3  
    UPDATE: The latest version of BackupBitster sorts all databases and apps alphabetically.
  4.    #4  
    Originally posted by bregent1:
    What was the one application that you needed AppView for?
    I believe it was ThinkDB, but I'm not 100% sure.

  5. xjx
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    #5  
    I tried BackupBitster today. It works like a charm. All the files are backuped, inlcuding ThinkDB. Here is what I do:

    (1) move all the files in folder Backup to another directory. Those files are created by BackupBuddy.

    (2) In HotSync Manager's "custom" menu, set the behaviour of the "System Conduit" to be "Handheld Overwrite Desktop". It was previously set to "Do Nothing" (maybe by BackupBuddy? because I didn't change that setting before)

    (3) Run BackupBitster on my visor, tap "All", then manually turn off the backup bit of "Unsaved Preference"

    (4) Perform HotSync. I can see all the files are being backuped.

    (5) Then I installed a new app, set the backup bit for that app manually in BackupBitster, and do hot sync again. This time only this new app and SavedPreference are backuped. (Just as BackupBuddy will do)

    Before the test, I have uninstalled BackupBuddy. I don't know if the above procedure works well when BB is intalled. Personally, I don't think BB will write something in the Registry to prevent the System Conduit from doing backup, it just change the setting of System Conduit to "do nothing". You can always change it back manually.

    It seems that there is no need to use BackupAll or AppView to help BackupBitster to perform a complete backup. Maybe the new version of BackupBitster has corrected some bugs in previous version.


    [This message has been edited by xjx (edited 02-19-2000).]
  6.    #6  
    FOLLOWUP:

    I downloaded the latest version of BackupBitster and tried it again, basically following the same procedure as xjx. Everything got backed up, and I didn't have to fiddle with the "dirty" bit. So I guess either the latest version fixes some problems or some setting was not right when I tried my previous experiment.

    xjx, I know BackupBuddy changed or created a key in the registry, because I did a "custom" uninstall and it asked me whether to change the registry setting or not. It's possible that that key affects the System Conduit setting as well.
  7. #7  
    A freeware alternative to BackupBitser is Z'Catalog (Zarf's Catalog). It gives a list that can be sorted by one of several columns (name, type, creator, size), and filtered. You can look at individual files and change many different flags, including backup bit, dirty bit, prevent beam, etc. No mass changes though, still need BackupAll or something like that too.

    BTW I have followed basically the above procedure *including* backing up and restoring the Unsaved Prefs with no problem encountered. Not saying this is kosher, but I have had to restore a couple of times and didn't have problems from this either time.

    Does the backup module restore the Unsaved Prefs?

    [This message has been edited by ss@rr (edited 02-18-2000).]
  8. #8  
    I performed the "cheap backup", but did something wrong, I think.....
    I don't have a "system"-conduit in the list!?
    All others are there , but no "system".....
    How do I get it back??
  9. #9  
    Could you direct me to a website that has BackupBitser? Thanks!
  10. mc9
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    #10  
    riverweb:

    You can get it at PalmgearHQ, try: http://www.palmgear.com

    Search the Archive for "Backup Bitster"


    [This message has been edited by mc9 (edited 02-19-2000).]
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by ridder:
    I performed the "cheap backup", but did something wrong, I think.....
    I don't have a "system"-conduit in the list!?
    All others are there , but no "system".....
    How do I get it back??
    I've lost mine a few times too. The way I've gotten it back was to insert the CD and run setup. Do a custom setup and only select HotSync manager. This will add your System conduit back in, and is nice enough not to mess with any existing conduits.

  12. #12  
    Thanks bregent1, everything works fine again.

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