General Housekeeping        

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From time to time (every couple weeks at the least), you should perform a couple basic housekeeping tasks to keep your ComQuest system in top shape.


Scandisk.  This is a Microsoft Utility that will find and correct any problems you might be having with your hard drive.  Collecting data, playing song hooks and questions and crunching data and printing reports creates a lot of hard disk activity on your ComQuest system.


ComQuest has an automated program named DoScan which will run on your Fileserver computer every 30 days.  When booting or logging in to the Fileserver, a screen will appear to notify you if it's time to run Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter. This reminder screen will give you 30-seconds to indicate if you want to delay running Scandisk or Defrag at this time (delay running it until the next time the Fileserver is re-booted, or you log-in again), or if you wish to run the two programs now.


These factors determine how long it will take Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter to run on your computer:


The size of your hard-drive


How much data is on your hard-drive


The last time you ran Scandisk and Defrag


How much your system's been used since the last time Scandisk and Defrag were run.


Generally, running Scandisk and Defrag will take one to two hours to complete.


Backup Data.  All the data for ComQuest (respondents, songs, scores, etc.) is stored in files with the .DAT extension. When you create a backup, either on your computer's hard-drive or to a series of floppy drives, all the .DAT files are backed up (using Express backup). If you choose to run a Full backup, the .DAT files, along with the KEY files (.K01, .K02, etc.) are also backed up.


Which option should you use when backing up?  Use the following as a guide:


Express Backup


Useful for archival/protective backups that will generally not need to be restored, unless data corruption or hard-drive failure occurs.  When you create an Express backup, the KEY files, which maintain order within each of the data files, are not included in the backup.  While this makes your Zipped backup file smaller, you would have to re-build the KEY files should you ever have to restore an Express backup.  There is no problem with this --- in fact ComQuest will automatically re-build missing KEY files for you --- however it will take some time to build the keys, especially for larger files such as History, Respondents, Scores, etc.


Full Backup


Unlike an Express backup, a Full backup includes all the KEY files for all your data files. This makes the Zipped backup file quite a bit larger; perhaps 2-3 times as much, but it's actually easier and faster to backup the KEYS rather than rebuild them all, if you know you are going to subsequently restore the backup you've created. If you're creating a data backup on one computer, and intend to restore the backup on another computer (such as your laptop, or your consultant's computer), it's best to create a Full backup, and include the KEYS along with the data in the same file.


See also

Backing Up Data