MLS and backups

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
nano-p40
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MLS and backups

Postby nano-p40 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:35 pm

Hi, regarding MLS backups. Floppy disks are not 100% realiable to make backups or restore MLS. Some of the clerks in our Stake are using flash drives and we were thinking to get flash drives for our Stake and put some type of software security in the flash drives. Can somebody suggest us flash drives(brands) and the software? or there are other alternatives that I don't kow?
I would think that somebody already made this change in their Stake or Ward.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Fernando

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:40 pm

Greetings Fernando, and our warmest welcome to the forum.

I believe if you follow the same procedures for a flash drive that you already did with the floppies, you wont need the encryption software. Namely, it should be locked in a secure place when not in use.


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SmithGW
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MLS Backups

Postby SmithGW » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:18 pm

In the instructions for MLS and on the messages that pop up when you do backups, we don't talk about floppy disks or floppy drives any more. We now refer to the backup media as "removable media." This could be a floppy disk if you have an older computer. It could be a flash drive. It could also be an external hard disk used for backing up. Whatever it is, when you're not using it, LOCK IT UP. (And please don't carry it around on a lanyard around your neck all week.)

clerker-p40
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Postby clerker-p40 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:45 pm

Please make sure you're making regular backups. The Church Handbook of Instructions says that a backup should be kept off site as well as locked in the clerk's office.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:21 am

clerker wrote:Please make sure you're making regular backups. The Church Handbook of Instructions says that a backup should be kept off site as well as locked in the clerk's office.


But doesn't MLS send a backup to CHQ every month? Does that satisfy the off-site requirement?

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leimana-p40
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Postby leimana-p40 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:40 pm

There usually will be a backup that will come into headquarters, however it doesn't guarantee that it will come in for every month and also it's not always the most recent. So usually headquarters can send out a backup to units but it's not the most recent and usually the units would still have to reenter deposit batches and/or expenses that were already done that was lost due to not having a current backup. Then end up either emailing or calling headquarters to delete the duplicate batch.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:42 pm

leimana wrote:also it's not always the most recent.


Understood, but most backup systems I"m aware of have a lower frequency for off-site backups. If everything else is being done right, off-site shouldn't be needed except in cases of fire, flood or otherwise very large problems.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:49 pm

One thing I noticed about the backups in MLS 2.9 (at least in our unit) is they have more than doubled in size since 2.8.3 causing them to exceed the capacity of a standard floppy disk. This could be a real problem for units still using floppies, since AFAIK, MLS doesn't have any provision for multi-floppy backups.

USB flash drives seem to be the preferred alternative, so stakes without them might want to investigate getting a few. No need to spend a lot of money either. IMO, a 1GB drive is more than enough, although the 2GB drives are very near the same price. Both are <$10 each with some smart shopping. ;)

Mike
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:57 pm

The new Dell 740 that we've been getting have NO floppy drive and come with a 1GB SD card/reader combination.

Our stake backup out-sized a floppy some years ago.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Postby ffrsqpilot » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:20 am

As a ward clerk I had no problem backing up MLS with one "floppy" disc. When I became the stake clerk I was also able (for awhile) to backup MLS with one floppy. Soon however the backup file became too large for one floppy. Although it was a pain, I was able to use two floppy's to save the backup so it can be done - you sort of lie to the computer and just take the first disc out and put a second one in and continue the backup. However, I always worried about losing one or the other of the discs. Not being the most tech savey computer user, I talked with our stake technology specialist and he convinced me that a flashdrive was the way to go. We now use two flashdrives. During the month I use one flashdrive to backup and then lock it in the filing cabinet in the stake office. I use the second flashdrive at the end of the month or 1st of the next month and make a backup which I take home with me for safekeeping. I highly recommend that all stakes use flashdrives as the preferred method of backup - a whole lot easier than using floppies and much better means of keeping the data safe. I don't think it is possible for any stake now to keep a backup with just one disc - I noticed the jump in flile size also! At least in our stake, we have briefed the Bishops and clerks to seriously consider using flashdrives as the preferred method.

Just my .02 worth.

Jim


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