It is important to periodically make a Backup of your GiftWorks database file (.gds). It is said that there are two types of hard drives: those that have failed, and those that are going to fail. For this reason, and for many others, it is important to back up your GiftWorks database file.
You can create a Backup of your database file from within GiftWorks. Go to Settings/Importing, Exporting and Data Management /Manage Your GiftWorks Database/Backup the Database/choose the location for the Backup file.
It is generally a good idea to back up either to a different hard drive or computer than the regular database location, or to copy the backup file to a CD or some other portable medium.
Your backup files will provide a safety net in the case a hard drive failure or other catastrophe occurs. The frequency with which you perform regular backups should be determined by your comfort level with losing recent changes to your database.
If you change your database very often and would not want to lose changes, you might want to back up weekly or even daily. If you make changes less frequently, monthly backups might be sufficient for your organization.
Another time that backing up is important is when you are making significant changes to GiftWorks. For example, if you are about to import a lot of new data, or if you are about to delete a large SmartList (perhaps to archive old records or inactive donors).
Any time you make such a significant change, it is a good idea to backup BOTH before and after the change. The before backup will allow you to revert to the pre-change database if something goes awry with the import or other change. The after backup gives you a new starting point in the case that anything goes wrong after youve made the change (preventing you from having to re-do the import or deletion).
Restoring a Backup File
In the case that something does go wrong you can restore a backup. Go to Settings/Importing, Exporting and Data Management/Manage Your GiftWorks Database/Restore the Database
Better safe than sorry.