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  • A general and stupid question

    I am a bit confused as to just what is a database in Ultimate9 language. At the present time I have oodles of descriptive work which orders and describes my pictures in various ways on my computer but I don't know what is stored where other than my pictures themselves. When I am urged to back up my DB I have no idea what is going where. My pictures are backed up outside of ACDsee. Whatever default DB that exists on my machine (win10) seems to "know" about every picture anywhere on my system. I have a feeling that this eventually will be a bit much and would like to have a secondary DB for things having to do with my life and genealogy. As it is I have ordered mostly orchids. I can't make heads or tails out of the manual when it comes to DB. I wish I could take a class in ACDsee DB design. It's such a wonderful program and does everything I've ever wanted to organize pictures but keeping things separate on different databases accessing my files leaves me lost. Is there a quick lesson anywhere from anyone? Or should I not worry about a separate DB and simply keep adding new categories and sub-categories in the same DB?

  • #2
    ACDSee has been remarkably silent on their database infrastructure so much of what I am about to say is what I've tried to figure out on my own, and it just MIGHT be wrong. Use it at your own risk! I am now retired, but before I retired, I was a Teradata DBA, so while my conclusions might be wrong, those conclusions are still based on logic and database knowledge that is reasonably sound. (I just might have come to the wrong conclusions based on the info I used. Hey, that can happen)

    Everything created by, or is an artifact of, ACDSee itself, seems to be considered "in the database". That means the XML files, hidden folders, everything except the images themselves. is backed up by the database. When you do a backup from within ACDSee, you automatically backup the ACDSee database. When you backup just the database the backup is reasonably fast, but ACDSee only backs up the stuff it has stored or has created, not the photos themselves.

    If you are trying to recover from a disastrous loss of data, to restore everything so that you can continue to operate ACDSee with the least amount of loss as possible, you not only need to back up the ACDSee database, but you also need to back up the photos AND the folder structure they came in as well.

    In the ACDSee database, the location address of the photos are stored so that when you click on a thumbnail in ACDSee, ACDSee knows not only where to find the database stored information on that photo is, but where the photo itself is. That means if, in disaster recovery situation you restore your ACDSee database that assumes your photos are stored in a folder hierarchy that looks like "My Photos|Year|Month|day", but you restore your photos into a folder structure that looks like "Photos|Glens Photos|Year" then ACDSee will not be able to find the photos and you will have to take extra steps to link the new photo location to the address stored in the ACDSee database. So the ideal thing to do is backup the photos in their proper location at the same time as your database back up.

    Consider this screen shot. This is NOT the default backup parameters in ACDSee. The default has the section "Backup files of type:" greyed out (not selected). By selecting Image option, I am telling ACDSee to back up the photos as well as the database. "Media" allows you to back up audio and video files that ACDSee supports, and "Archive" allows you to back up existing backups that ACDSee knows about and can find on disk. (a proper backup routine should not need this, but it's there if you need/want it, but talk about SLOW, and BIG, backup files!)

    Click image for larger version

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    Look at the next screen shot which appears when you click "Next" on the screen above:

    Click image for larger version

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    Above, This is where you specify the backup location. Note the two different locations, one is a location within the hard disk's ACDSee infrastructure. And it is not an ideal situation in that a back up here, is as likely to be lost as the original data if you have a hard drive crash. Of course you can MOVE the backup to off line storage, (But sometimes people forget.). I would use the ACDSee internal backups for quick temporary insurance backups, not to insure against a major disaster.

    The other location is on an external hard drive location. This is a slower database backup as a rule, but is the most secure of the two. It is going to off line storage from the start. When the backup is complete, remove the external drive and place it somewhere safe separate from the computer you use for photography. (abank vault storage box is not out of the question).

    One thing that isn't clear though when it comes to ACDSee backups, is that ACDSee stores a LOT of information in the Windows registry, I assume for speed of access reasons. I assume that lies outside the control of the ACDSee backup (but it might not - I just don't know). So if you've got presets and keyword lists, to play it safe, you should back up the registry and store it with your ACDSee backups. Actually you should do that occasionally even if you don't have ACDSee.

    You can buy an inexpensive Registry backup program that makes this sort of thing EASY and safe. However you can also just run Windows' RegEdit program and do a "File|Export" and select a location to store it to if you are adventurous. (Warning! RegEdit is not for beginners and people who have issues with following rigorous procedures. If you do this, it's on YOUR head if you mess something up!)

    Remember, when it comes to disaster recovery, paranoia is NOT an unfortunate character flaw, it is a survival skill! In my former profession, it allowed me to continue to last long enough to retire!

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    • #3
      Thanks Glen. I am in the process of moving my pictures to a server in a single hierarchy location that is regularly backed up rather than have them scattered all over the place with duplicates and all. Anything I import from a card already goes into a logical place but all those things from the past are all over the place. I re-read the manual and found where a new DB can be created and how to switch back and forth, so that is covered. My fear, as you surmise, is losing all the work in describing and organizing my life in pictures. I would be devastated if something happened and the backup thing is always on my mind.

      ​Still, as you say, ACDsee treats the whole DB scenario and backup rather casually as if they were still a little program with a few dozen pictures to catalog. The whole process should be reviewed and treated in a more professional manner. The software itself is great but backup is never a big concern to a programmer. Management needs to get involved. They should have a whole writeup on this issue.

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      • #4
        There are hundreds of backup programs out there. Why would they reinvent the wheel. Just use one that automatically backs up everything you need. There is no reason to rely on an application to to back-ups.

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        • #5
          Deleted, my post was too presumptuous.

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          • #6
            I have just sent the email below to support, it has been always my greatest worry some day I may loose my data.



            Dear Sir/Madam,

            All of a sudden I can't restore a database from one computer to another.

            Generally I backup my database, I then transfer the database directory to a usb stick and then restore it on my other computer.

            When restoring it to the other computer it uncompresses the database, restores the thumbnails then it seems to miss restoring the files and the database files?

            This leaves me with all of my 30,000 images not cataloged.

            I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the software.

            Can you please help.

            Kind regards,

            John

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