quietriot1983 (16th March 2011)
Run system manager from SIMS now, and choose the backup option. This should save it locally, but i think there is an option to change path.
Do this NOW!
Focus | System
[you need to have system manager rights, oh how i hope you have these.]
Close the pop up window.
Click on Tools | Backup Path
Enter something local, or just record what is has as it should be on the local drive, and you can browse there later to extract the file.
Click on Tools | Create Backup.
You can do this now even with people logged in. You need to make sure you have at least one file you have access to. Zip it up with a password, put it on an encrypted drive and take it home with you tonight.
Also, talk to RM as they can't remove your access to your backups, they have to give them to you as it's your data, or destroy it, but that's not legal as you need to keep it.
quietriot1983 (16th March 2011)
It's no RM yet, it's Salford authority, I already burnt our bridges with them as they wouldn't set up simple email forwarding for us (long story).
I will try that backup method as soon as the secretary gets up for a brew!
OK, it seems that everything was held locally. So I've backed up C:\program files\SIMS and all its contents, and bundled the drive into a safe.
If you are sure the full sims and sql are on the client computer you could do a vmware capture to get a full working version of that computer you can then run from any machine if needed. Vmware capture is free.
I meant to say that I did it that way because the Focus > System option is not there. And if I did it through dbattach, the credentials were not correct :/
Where might I find the SQL directory structure?
Look for something like program files\microsoft sql server\MSSQL.??\MSSQL\Data. The database file should be SIMS.mdf and there will also be the log file SIMS.ldf. However if you just back up these files and try to restore from them later you may have trouble logging back into SIMS as the user password data is saved elsewhere (I think in the master database but I'm not absolutely sure) If you back up and restore using dbattach the user credentials are saved and restored as well. If you can't find focus system it would appear you don't have administrator permissions and if you don't have the sa password for the sql database you are storing up all sorts of problems. It is possible to reset the sa password but you really need to know what you are doing. If you can't ask your Local authority for support can you find someone at a nearby school who has SIMS experience?
I think everyone here has iterated to the correct course of action. My 2 pence here is just to mention on that last point from OP: You will not be able to copy and manipulate the core database files (mdf/ldf) while SQL is on and active. Not that copying the database etc from there gets you far, but just as a warning. dbAttach is the way.
stpauls' - someone at your school must have system manager rights, or there must be someone that creates new users when they join. Who is this person? They have the ability to do this backup, and also to grant you those rights. Try and get that sorted. Hopefully they aren't offsite support, but even if they are, someone on site has the right for this level of permissions.
If you get really desperate, i should have somewhere are really old .exe file that will backup sims, but haven't used it for a while, it was from my old LA, it just replicates the system manager backup.
To get around the problem GREED mentioned you can just stop the SQL services on that machine. Obviously warn any users sims will be down, though i suspect that machine is the only user...
You need to copy the full C:\program files\ folder if you don't want to go hunting, though again, services will need to be switched off for you to be able to take the database file.
You also need the docstorage and sims share, as i mentioned before, both in different locations.
If you're really desperate for help, i'm sure someone will be willing to speak to you on the phone and talk you through it. I'd offer, but i'm only in synch 40% of the time and the phone bill will be more than Capita would charge to come out and do it for you!
Last edited by vikpaw; 19th March 2011 at 12:43 PM. Reason: major typos
If it'll help I do have a script that will reset the SA password. The SA username and password can then be used with DBAttach to correctly detach the DB (or just back it up).
Also, a word of caution: I've had schools backup the SIMS DB by just stopping the services then backing-up the raw files; .mdf and .ldf. At more than one school this failed when a restore was needed and Capita (with a healthy charge) had to fix it. As GREED said; "DBAttach is the way".
@stpaulscrompton, you haven't mentioned FMS. Do you use this? If so, it has it's own DB and it's own version of DBAttach.
One final thing. @stpaulscrompton I do know someone who works with schools in the Manchester area. I've worked with him in the past and this kind of thing is his bread'n'butter. Drop me a PM and I can send you his details. He would almost certainly be able to sort you out.
If you have a Windows administrative access to the SQL server, you can change the sa password without knowing the old one. You can use either the SQL Management GUI, or, if that isn't installed, an OSQL command line. It's fairly simple, I won't post it here, but PM me if you want the instructions.
As for backing up SQL, you can't assume anything about where the database may be. On a simple system, it is likely to be C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\etc, but it's not guaranteed. It could be on a separate volume or disk, for instance.
To find out where the files live, this SQL code will show the physical file names used by a particular database:
As for backing up, you must use a proper SQL backup, either from a script, DBAttach, an SQL scheduled task or a third party SQL backup solution. Stopping the server and copying the physical files is not the way to do it.Code:use [name_of_you_sims_database] select filename from sysfiles
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 21st March 2011 at 08:54 AM.
Here's a good article about SQL backups from the Petri website. If you don't know about Petri, bookmark it now. Essential website for all IT.
This steps you the the basics of DIY SQL backups.
Backup Job in SQL Server: How to Create for Single/Multiple DBs
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 21st March 2011 at 09:19 AM.
Thanks for all the offers of help, it is much appreciated!
I've successfully got System Admin details off the outgoing support desk, so will try a dbattach backup ASAP.
Good point about the FMS!
Probably shouldn't share the script about resetting SA, though i'm sure the code is easily downloaded from any other forum. You have to have rights to access and run code on the server to do it anyway.
I wonder what was wrong with a stopped service backup. The only fancy thing that dbattach does that i can recall is keeping hold of the logins, and possibly shrinking the log file too, in the old days.
re: manchester support: It's not that john howarth guy is it?
Last edited by vikpaw; 21st March 2011 at 01:43 PM. Reason: clarity
Resetting SA is easy, you start SQLServer in Single User mode and it uses the Windows login to authenticate you instead. After the password is reset you put it back into normal mode. Had to do this myself on my Green Abbey test server.
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