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Consignment Software End-of-Year Backups

Peeps' Consignment Software

For ConsignPro consignment software users, you’ve been told for years, “Make sure you do your end-of-year backup!” Stores would call us, ask us how to do this, and every year it would be an ordeal as stores tried to accomplish this task.

I figured, why not just write our own software that does this for ConsignPro software users. 🙂 So every year, Peeps’ Automatic Backup Software for ConsignPro, automatically creates your end-of-year backup if you’re on Peeps’ Support:

ConsignPro software end-of-year backup by Peeps

Now, the reason ConsignPro wants this, is because ConsignPro deletes/purges data every day when you close it. As you roll into the new year, your consignor account history, is deleted. To be able to ‘prove’ to a consignor that they used store credit last year, you’d have to have a backup to restore.

For those on Peeps’ Consignment Software or Liberty consignment software, we also do an an end-of-year, but not for the same reason. Over the years I’ve learned that having an end-of-year backup, has come in handy when a store is audited, or if the storeowner decides to sell.

So if you’re on Peeps’ Support, we do an automatic end-of-year database backup for you, regardless of consignment software. 🙂

Free Hard Disk Health Monitoring Software

Acronis Drive Monitor

Why is hard disk health important?  Your hard disk is an integral part of your computer.  It’s where your operating system resides — e.g. Windows — as well as your programs and files — e.g. your consignment software, your consignor/inventory database, etc.  Your backups might also be stored on a hard disk, albeit external.

Hard disk health can be tested and monitored.  Acronis Drive Monitor is free hard disk health monitoring software from trusted backup software developer, Acronis.

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Acronis Drive Monitor

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With ADM, you can configure email alerts when your hard disk’s health declines, if it reports errors, or overheats.

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Acronis Drive Monitor Notification Options

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CrystalDiskInfo is another free utility, which can be utilized to test your hard disk’s health.

We wanted consignment and resale storeowners to know they can be in a more-proactive position, by actively monitoring the health of their hard disk(s).  By monitoring hard disk health, you can minimize down-time and be proactively alerted to potentially catastrophic issues.

Tropical Storm Isaac Is On Its Way

Tropical Storm/Soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac
Soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac

Consignment stores in Florida – how’s your backup/disaster recovery plan looking?  Isaac is currently a Tropical Storm and it’s looking like it will be classified as a Hurricane come tomorrow night.  If your store flooded, do you have your consignment software’s database backed-up off-site?  Have you read our article on CrashPlan yet?

This is a good time It’s always a good time to discuss backups, regardless of your location.  Do you know for certain if your backups are even functioning properly?  When you close your consignment software each day and click ‘Yes’, do you feel extremely confident that your backup is being sent to at least one external disk and at least one off-site location?  What if you didn’t click ‘Yes’, did you still get a backup anyway?

With backups, you should know that your important consignor and customer data is being backed-up on a daily basis.  If you are holding your one and only backup on a USB drive in your purse right now, then your backup plan is not cutting it.  Think of all the items you’ve entered.  Think of all the consignors whose balances are still outstanding.  It’s easy to sweep backups under the rug, because it’s just bits…but it’s not.  Your backup is your livelihood.

If you have a backup of your database, how quickly can you get back up and running?  Do you have a temporary system at home you can bring in to get you by until a new system is configured?  It’s important to have a backup/disaster recovery plan.

Here’s a quick checklist:

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  • Make sure your consignment data is backed-up to a removable drive – e.g. External USB drive, USB flash drive, etc.
  • Configure a supported, automated backup of your consignment software’s database.
    • These backups should take place in addition to and regardless of whether or not your daily shutdown backup takes place.
    • Liberty users – know what RWMaint is?  Do you know where it stores those backup files?
    • ConsignPro users – Do you know what the shadow backups are?  Know how to automatically copy those to another location?
  • Utilize a compatible online/off-site backup solution – e.g. CrashPlan.
  • Have a home computer or secondary store computer that can function as a stand-in, should your primary database server go down.

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It’s not difficult to implement a solid, reliable, compatible backup system which provides you with a redundant set of backups.  Even using an online file-sync program such as SugarSync or Dropbox provides you with an off-site copy of your data.  The issue with programs such as Dropbox is, if you (or someone or something) accidentally delete your backup, it deletes it from all computers.  You can dig through the delete history to see if you can recover the file, but your data isn’t kept forever once deleted.

Hopefully this storm just blows right by, but we wanted to take this opportunity to make sure backups & disaster recovery are always in the back of your mind.  If you don’t have time to worry about that sort of stuff, then ask The Computer Peeps why so many consignment stores rely on The Computer Peeps’ Monthly Support Services.

Stay safe, everyone!

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