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Saving and backing up

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 12:33 PM

From: Sheila Hughes
Posted: Wed 22/10/2003

Having transferred from mac to PC I am very worried about saving in NVivo. You've guessed it, I have lost work in the past! I am used to the Mac way of saving where "save" means the new version overwrites the old version."Save as" means you can rename and save it anywhere else using any name you like. I can then click and drag a a back up folder into a CD burning programme, onto a USB storage "sticK" or onto my university file server.

I know I can probably do all of these in a similar way using a PC but I am unsure of it. I have found your book very useful, Pat but there is only a very short three quarters of a page on saving and backing up. In the excellent course I did at Surrey, there was also only a very rushed session on this at the end and the official documentation which comes with the application says nothing at all about it - or else in my nervous state of mind I have overlooked it. I have the following queries.

1. How does NVivo save? Does 'save' overwrite or create a new updated version?

2. What procedure should I follow when want to close the project down and save a backup on a Cd or external storage device? I am worried that I don't save all of the bits NVivo needs in order to get me back to where i left off.

3. how does NVivo name its saves. I appear to be on version
How long before it saves as version 4 or is this something i have to do from a dialoguye box?

4. How do I open a backed up version if, for some reason I have messed up with the current version?

5. How do I find the latest version of NVivo. I was a bit puzzled when I clicked on "Open project" to discover that the dialogue box defaults to the very first version of my project and the later versions were hidden below the sub menu. terror! Had i worked on a ;later version and then opened an earlier version and then worked on it - in effect working on 2 version one after the other.

6. I am also terrified to delete earlier versions in case i delete the wrong thing!

You can see that there is a lot of stress in my life at the moment!
Please can anyone help me with a simple housekeeping strategy to ensure that I am well backed up and that I am working on the latest version of my project.

From: Jenny Moffatt
Posted: Wed 22/10/2003

To answer some of your questions. I name my project by date; if it already has one project of that date/name it adds a number to the name, eg '2' or '3'. For eg my current project is: 13 Anal/ 22 9 03. I keep a hand written list of project names and dates they were created. NVivo does not list things in date order. I back up on a zip drive because of the eternal problems people seem to have with backing up on to a CD - not insurmountable problems may I add.

re Q1 - it updates the existing project. 'Save as' allows you to create a second project ie keep the earlier version.
re Q3 - explore the dialogue boxes carefully in 'save as'; much detail here.
re Q4 - close the existing version/project and go back to the earlier one and open it re Q5 - I've experienced the same terror !!! Know your project by name and by paying careful attention to the dialogue boxes, where you have put it.
On my handwritten list I also write a description of what I did with that version for eg what data was in this version, was it coding, was it early analysis.

My 'auto save' does not always save so I do it manually regularly because if it freezes which it does on occasion, you lose data. The freezing problem may be my computer.

From: Sarah Morgan
Posted: Thu 23/10/2003

I found saving stressful at first as well. I like jenny add the date to the project name and then a number 2 or 3 etc depending on how many times I merge project and have to rename. If you are just doing a standard save though you shouldn't have to rename anything. I just keeping working with the same project

and place a back up copy on my network and maybe say it to zip or CD rom (this can be problematic if you don't zip or compress it first). the only time I change the name is after merge two projects. When I do change the name, I make sure that I make sure the name of the project and the folder are the same. I used to think I had lost work until I realized that I was only able to biew the

project name and did not see the folder name until I opened the project. I'm a bit paranoid about losing work too so I have many many versions of our project which eventually I gather up and burn to CD rom to archive.

I hope you can make sense of this, if not email me privately and I can try to explain it better

From: Caroline Baum Webber
Posted: Thu 23/10/2003

Having spent most of my computer life with a Mac, I sympathize with the transition you're going through. Just to reiterate what's already been said, I, too, save by date. I have been using the American system of month-day-year, but now that I think about it, it would make more sense to save by year-month-day. That way, your most recent save SHOULD be at the top, at least until you hit October (but numbering September "09" would probably solve that problem).

I have committed the error you mention in #5, but only once. That taught me to pay special attention to what I'm doing as I am starting up. I sometimes double check by revisiting the last document I worked on.

I back up using zip disks. I have been naming the disks, so that if I save a back up copy I might "save as" 10-22-03b. That way I know that I saved onto zip disk "b".

Whether or not the machine saves your work automatically, I think it best to keep up the good habit of saving manually on a regular basis just to be sure.

From: Pat Bazeley
Posted: Thu 23/10/2003

Saving and Backing up - some guidelines (for NV2)

There are two ways in which you can back up your files in NVivo.
1. Use Save Project As for a 'running' back up on your hard drive, in case you 'stuff up' and need to back-track.
2. Use the NVivo Backup File facility to ensure you have copies of your project available in case of an emergency or catastrophe.
Backup files (which are archived versions of the project) are useful also for transferring to other media (floppy, CD) and are the only way in which a project can be emailed to someone else.

Note: NVivo always reads the Project name, not the folder name, but the folder name is what you see in Windows. If you change the folder name, it will not change the project name, and when you go to open a project, NVivo will try to find the last known copy of the project.
To tell NVivo to look for a different copy, you will need to select Choose in the Open a Project dialogue, and then deliberately choose the folder for the copy you wish to open.

Save Project As
From the Project Menu, choose to Save Project As. NVivo will open a new dialogue, showing that the project will be saved with a new name (the current one with 2 added).
The default options are that NVivo will close the current project and open the new one. If you are going with the numbering system for backing up, Uncheck this option (click to remove the tick) so you always work on the un-numbered version, which is the one that shows at the top of the list. If you prefer, change the number to the date, and go to the new version (leave the tick there).
Click OK. NVivo will make a copy of the entire project folder, as it currently is, and locate it in the QSR Projects folder (as C:\QSR Projects\your project 2).
You can, if you want, copy this project to other locations.
Note: It is possible to direct the copy to be located in another place. If you wish to send it to another drive, ensure that it is being sent to a folder on the other drive, otherwise the program will freeze.

Backing up a project
This operation must be conducted from the NVivo Welcome window, with your project closed.
From the Project menu, choose to Backup Project.
From the drop-down list under Project Name, choose which project you wish to back up.
Click Backup. You will be taken to the Backups folder within the QSR Project folder, as the default location for storing your backed up file. You can choose to store it there, or elsewhere if you want.
Recommendation: Remove the word Backup from the File name for the new file, and replace it with a date.
Click Save. Your project files will be archived into a single file, suitable for storage on CD, or emailing, or simply storing on your hard drive, zip disk, or network.
Restoring a backed up file
In the NVivo Welcome window, from the Project menu, choose to Restore Project.
In the first slot of the Restore dialogue, identify which project is to be restored by choosing the location of the project and then the file you want.
Indicate where you want the restored project to be located.
Provide a folder name for the project.
Note that next time you open the project, you will have to deliberately choose the folder from which to open it.

From: Jen
Posted: Tue 28/10/2003

You mentioned the NVivo Backup File facility, which is something I am very interested in using. I began to follow your instructions for backing up a project only to find that I do not have "Backup Project" as an option from the project menu. Any suggestions?

From: Pat Bazeley
Posted: Tue 28/10/2003

If you can't see the option, there might be two reasons:
1) You have a project open, and so it is not available. Backing up in done from the launch (welcome) window.

2) You are using version 1 of the program, which didn't have a backup facility. The option then is to use WinZip instead.

From: Irina Vodonos
Posted: Tue 4/11/2003

I'm trying to email my project to another NVivo user in my office so that she would have it stored on her computer in case mine crashes. I've tried emailing it to her as per instructions below (backed it up and sent it as an attachment), but when she tries to open it from email, or save it on her hard drive and then open it, she is told that it is not a valid Win32 application or that "there is no project file." Has anybody had this problem before? How should I proceed here? Thank you!

From: Paula Sabloff
Posted: Tue 4/11/2003

I keep shifting my NVivo project between office and home computers by simply using a microvault device (USB). I go into Explore, copy the project folder, and then download it the same way. Of course my project isn't fancy (yet) -- it's simply files and the coded documents. The codes transfer with no trouble. I don't know if other connections would.

From: Pat Bazeley
Posted: Tue 4/11/2003

As indicated at the bottom of the file you were reading, you need to restore the file from the NVivo launch window - it can't be done simply by double clicking the file.

From: Sheila Hughes
Posted: Thu 6/11/2003

I was wondering about using a USB mass storage device, flash drive, stick whatever they are called too. I am wondering about how you are saving it tho'. What do you mean when you say you go in to "Explore"? Is this the same as going into "Project" after you have closed your project and choosing "Backup"?

By the way many thanks for all the really useful advice. This forum has been one of the most useful I have encountered.

From: Paula Sabloff
Posted: Fri 7/11/2003

By left-clicking on the Start button, a menu pops up. The second item = 'explore.' Open that to get a list of all your programs/files. There is a separate header, 'QSR PRojects.' Under that header is a folder of all your NVivo projects. I simply copy and paste it to my microvault or a CD. I use the microvault to transfer the folder to my home computer. The microvault (USB) is really neat. It is the size of a cigarette lighter but very light. It holds a ton but I don't consider it permanent storage.

From: Allan Reese
Posted: Fri 7/11/2003

I won't add here to the technical advice, but I always warn students to make copies of important files and store them separately from the computer. Last week I used my PC one evening and left it running. The next morning it would not boot. Support services assure me the hard disk is completely unreadable. I have a new hard disk, am rebuilding the system, and lost a few files from recent weeks that had not been backed up.

It CAN happen to you ...

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