Lesson 17-- Backing Up

This lesson shows you how to make a backup copy of your company data for Goldenseal small business software.


The Goldenseal software keeps all of your business management records in one file. Unless you enjoy retyping, you do not want to ever lose it!

This lesson explains how to make backup copies, and describes some backup strategies that will help keep your data safe and secure.

Make a Local Backup

It's a good idea to keep at least one extra copy of the company file on your local hard drive. Then if you accidentally make changes that you regret, you can go back to the spare copy.

Goldenseal Backup

To make a backup copy of your company file while you are running Goldenseal, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Save a Copy from the File menu.
  2. Choose a location for the backup copy-- you can save it anywhere on your hard drive, or on a different drive.
  3. Enter a name for the backup file. You might want to include the current date in the file name.
  4. Click Save.

Copying Files With Macintosh

To make a copy of your Macintosh accounting file using the Finder, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the dock, and choose Finder.
  2. Locate the Goldenseal folder on your hard drive, and open it. NOTE: If your company file is in a different folder, open that one instead.
  3. Find the icon for the company file, and click on it just once.
  4. Choose Duplicate from the File menu.
  5. If you want, you can rename the new duplicate file. You can also drag it to a different location, if you'd like to store it somewhere else.

Copying Files with Windows

To make a copy using Windows Explorer, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click on My Computer.
  2. Locate the Goldenseal folder and double-click on it.
  3. Find the icon for the company file, and click on it just once.
  4. Choose Copy To from the File menu, then choose a location for the backup copy.

Extra Backups

Computer storage space is cheap, and data entry is expensive. Because of that, it is a good idea to make multiple backup copies of your Goldenseal business management file. It can really help if more than one file is damaged, or if a file contains bad data and you don't notice it right away.

There are many backup strategies-- you might want to make a local backup copy every day, and include the date as part of the file name. You can then throw out files when they are a week old, or a month old-- depending on the space that is available.

Since storage media is not that expensive, you may just want to keep daily copies of your company file indefinitely. For example, if you have a CD burner, one CD can store 10 to 100 copies of your company file for less than $1.

Second Drive Backup

Put a copy of the company file onto a second drive at least once every few days (once a day is best). Then you will be able to replace the file from the second drive if your hard drive dies or if the file is damaged or deleted.

The company file is usually too big to put on a floppy disk, but you can use a second hard drive, a Zip drive, recordable or rewritable CD's or DVD's, tape backup, or any other storage medium. You can also use a local network or the Internet to send the file to a different computer.

HINT: We won't be too specific about backup options, since there are so many different choices, and they change so quickly!

Off-Premises Backup

At least once a week, store a copy of the company file at a different location. That way you'll only lose a week's work if your computers are stolen or if a flood, fire or alien invasion destroys your computer. You can send files through the Internet, or carry a Zip disk, CD or backup tape to the other location.

HINT: If you have a time machine, send a copy backwards in time for even more security. Then you can fix mistakes before they happen, and the actual cost data will make your estimates much more accurate.

Finishing Up

When it comes to backup, paranoia is cheap! Most people experience some form of data loss at least once every few years. When that happens, a few dollars in backup media will save you hundreds of hours of data entry.

Before you move on to the next lesson, you might want to take a break, and make a backup copy of all your important files right now. Or call us, and we can tell you about the calls we've received from people who didn't have backups, and lost all their business records. Poof!

In fact, this idea of backup copies is a good one. How about a backup copy of your car? Your pet? Your DNA?

And how about an extra social security number and birth certificate under some other name? One can never have enough backup identities.

HINT: Having spare identities means you can have several birthday parties a year! They also make it easier to 'undo' if you make a serious life mistake.