Troubleshoot backups

The following steps address some common problems encountered when backing up the Bp Premier database.

Best Practice Software recommend that you:

  • back up your Bp Premier data at least daily
  • store backup files off-site in a secure location
  • test restores of backup data to a test server at least monthly.

Common sources for failed backups often include:

  • Lack of disk space on c:\ drive
  • No permission within Windows to write files to the destination drive
  • Issues with corrupt storage media (for example, damaged DVDs).

Do I have enough space for the size of my backup?

  1. Log in the Bp Premier server and go to Help > About > System info. The Server data path shows the location of your data.
  2. Browse to this folder, right-click on the folder name and check the properties. You will need approximately three times this size free on the hard drive on which the database is installed.
  3. If the hard disk on the server is short of disk space, consider an uncompressed backup, or backing up to a network location.

Identify if the backup has worked

  1. Check the backup log.
  2. Each time a backup is performed, a record is written to the log file BPSBackup.log. This file can be found in the folder C:\ProgramData\Best Practice\Log.

    The log file contains a record for each backup, whether it was successful or not, and if the backup was compressed or uncompressed.

    Examples of log file entries include:

    *********************************************

    Date: 10/12/2009 Time: 12:19:44

    Backing up to H:\, Compressed

    Backup failed - There is not enough free space on the destination drive for this backup!

    *********************************************

     

    Date: 10/12/2009 Time: 12:22:55

    Backing up to H:\, Compressed

    Backed up to H:\BP20091210122218.zip

    *********************************************

     

    Date: 10/12/2009 Time: 12:39:27

    Backing up to H:\, Uncompressed

    Backed up to H:\BP20091210123908.bku

     

  3. Check that the files have been created on the destination drive.
  4. The backup log lists the location in which the backup files were created. Browse to this folder to ensure that the backup files exist.

Restore to a test server

It is good practice to perform a restore of the backup on a test server. This is recommended because backup media is often damaged in transit.

Test servers have two benefits: you can regularly test that your backups are working, and also provide a fallback should your main server fail. If the practice has only a few users, you may be able to use a medium specification PC as a test server. However, at larger practices, you would require a higher specification for the PC or even a true server machine.

Install Bp Premier on the test server with the same version as the live server, and upgrade the test server each time a drug and data update and program update are released. The test server also must have the same SQL version as the live server.

Discuss your backup process with your IT support company when you are discussing your disaster recovery plan.

Compressed and uncompressed backups

Compressed backup pros:

  • creates a single zip file containing a file for each Best Practice database
  • this one file ensures that you have the entire backup in one simple file no chance of missing data

Compressed backup cons:

  • much slower than uncompressed backups
  • requires plenty of free space on C:\drive of the server to create temporary files during the zipping process.

Uncompressed backup pros:

  • Much quicker than compressed backup
  • Good to use if you have limited disk space on c:\drive

Uncompressed backup cons:

  • creates one file for each Best Practice database so have to ensure that all files are stored together in case a restore is required