Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - October 2011

We receive support calls every week from customers facing serious computer mishaps. Their troubles range from the common (our hard drive crashed), to the frustrating (our computers were stolen), to the bizarre (our computer died after a rodent used it for a bathroom). It's a minor inconvenience if you lose your time clock computer and have to restore your data from a daily backup file. On the other hand, it's a huge payroll headache if you lose your computer without a backup and have to manually recreate timecards for an entire payroll period.

Fortunately, data loss is completely unnecessary (and why we're so sad when it happens to our customers) because of the easy to use backup utility built right into your Virtual TimeClock software. In this month's Tips & Tricks, I’ll show you how to schedule automatic backups that will ensure you’ve got a current copy of your time clock data should disaster strike.

Scheduled Backups
It’s easy to schedule how often you want automatic backups to occur and where you want to store the backup file. Just make sure you don’t store them on the same computer as your time clock or a single disaster can wipe out all your data. You can also set the time you want the backup to occur and how many old backup files you want to keep around. Backups are scheduled from the Server Manager if you’re running the Network Edition and from the File menu if you’re running Virtual TimeClock Pro. Since scheduled backups happen in the background, you’ll need to check the backup logs to verify that they were successful.

Here’s a quick Tip:
You can also perform a manual backup of your time clock data anytime you need to. This is helpful when you want to take a copy of your data offsite or need to move your stand alone time clock or server to a different computer.

Backup Logs
When you open the backup log it will automatically scroll to the most recent entry, so checking the success of a scheduled backup is super easy. Get in the habit of checking those backup logs on a regular basis by choosing Program Logs from the Tools menu for the Pro Edition and from the Logs panel of the Server Manager.

Here’s a quick Tip:
All of the program logs can be exported to your desktop where they can be opened with any text editor. This makes it easy to search for keywords, user names, or dates.

Restoring Your Data
The two most common reasons you’ll need to restore a backup file are because the computer crashed or you need to move Virtual TimeClock to a different computer.  For Pro, install Virtual TimeClock on the new computer and choose Restore Database Backup from the Welcome window. For the Network Edition, choose Restore Database from the File menu.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If you’re prompted to replace or rename your database because it already exists, it’s always safest to rename it so you don’t lose the original.

Moving Your Time Clock
Most customers move Virtual TimeClock to a different computer because of hardware failure or they want the time clock in a more convenient location. You’ll need a method of transporting your database file from one computer to another (like a USB flash drive) and a copy of your most recent software license key. Otherwise, Virtual TimeClock will run as an evaluation until the free trial expires. If you can’t get a current backup because the computer crashed but you do have access to the original computer hard drive or data, we may still be able to help you move your database file to a new computer.

Here’s an overview of the steps for moving your time clock:
  1. Make a backup of your time clock database.
  2. Install Virtual TimeClock on the new computer.
  3. Restore your time clock database.
  4. Enter your latest license key.
  5. Remove Virtual TimeClock from the old computer.

We have detailed instructions for moving each edition of Virtual TimeClock at Technical Support.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Your Virtual TimeClock licenses are platform independent, so there’s no problem moving your time clock from an Apple Mac OS X computer to a Windows PC, and vice versa.

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow