Help and Information Centre - GA4

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Backups

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Garage Assistant is a traditional desktop application, all of your data is stored locally on the machine where Garage Assistant is installed. As such you are in complete control and responsible for your own data.

Backing up your data is important and GA4 will usually nag you about this on a regular basis, especially if you are not currently performing regular backups.  But just as important are regular external / offsite backups.

Mechanical and electronic devices can go wrong and fail.  If you only backup to the default GA4 backup location or don't backup at all, then you are at risk of losing your data should the worst happen, such risk is often not considered until its too late.

It is also a misconception (but not a common one) that we hold and / or have access to your data or backup files for Garage Assistant.  Put simply, we do not and never have, nor have we given the impression that we do. 

 

All backups with GA4 by default get stored to your local disc;

  • PC Users - C:\GA4 User Data\Backup Files
  • MAC Users - Macintosh HD/Documents/GA4 User Data/Backup Files


Backup Options


Admin > Data > Backup Options & Maintenance

Within GA4 you can now have an automatic secondary backup location as well as the default location mentioned above, as above we highly recommend making offsite backups and using this functionality to do so.

There are numerous solutions for performing an offsite backup, although the list below should not be considered a recommendation from us and is only provided for inspiration:

  1. Backup to a network attached storage device (NAS Drive)
  2. Backup to a secondary physical hard drive (not a partition on the same physical disk)
  3. Backup to a USB storage device (*additional care required)
  4. Backup to a cloud storage solution, such as 
    Microsoft One Drive 
    Google Drive
    Dropbox 
    iDrive
    or one of many other cloud storage solutions available, many of which offer free accounts with various storage space available.

Cloud storage solutions in particular will usually create a new folder on your PC, when a file is saved within this folder (such as a backup file) it will then be uploaded/synced and stored on the cloud providers system, making it a hassle free option.

If backing up to external USB storage device, ensure you eject the USB device using the correct methods for your operating system, do not simply remove the USB device.
Failure to remove a USB device using the proper methods can cause file corruption.  
Backup files may not be written completely and will therefore fail should you need to use it in future.  This is due to operating system features such as Delayed Write on Windows and similar on MacOS .  
Info on Windows Delayed Write

Performing A  Backup


You can perform a backup in few ways;

  • Admin > Data > Perform Backup

  • File > Backup

  • There is also an unattended backup which can be setup via Admin > Configuration > Unattended Settings - By using this feature you can have GA4 perform a backup every day after a certain time.

  • If a backup has not been performed within a day, a notice will also appear on the login screen to indicate this and GA4 can be configured to perform a backup automatically.


Cleanup Of Old Backups


This is to keep old backups from taking up space unnecessary. We recommend keeping at least the last couple of months depending on your own preference, of course. Each backup is a complete system backup, so there is no reason to keep every single backup file ever created.

You can also specify maintenance options to automatically delete old backups from the secondary locations based on your preferences / requirements.  
This can be particularly useful when using cloud storage, to keep your space usage low.

The cleanup process will only delete files that are older than the time frame you specify, also as added protection, if your backup folder only contains a small number of backups or the backups are all old, the cleanup process won't remove any files, just in case.


Restore From A Backup


If you need to restore data perhaps due to moving your install to another machine, follow the instructions below. However be careful as this process cannot be undone (If a backup prior to this action was not performed) the backup you are restoring will overwrite any existing data that exists in GA4.

  • Admin > Data > Restore From Backup
  • Enter - Administrator Password to authenticate
  • Choose Restore


If a backup is already on the computer it will display that a file has been found.
Choose one of the following;

  • Cancel - Aborts the import
  • Select Another - Manually Locate the correct Backup file you wish to restore from
  • Start Import - This imports the backup which has been found as stated on the screen which shows the backups date and time

The data will now begin restoring.

 


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