When bad things happen, a recent backup can be the difference between simply copying a few files to re-entering hundreds of specimens. This is not an overstatement. Every year, inevitably, several laboratories experience a hardware failure and their most recent backup stored off of the computer is outdated.

To help avoid this painful scenario, LDMS automatically creates a backup of your database once per day. By default, these backups are generated every day at noon and placed in C:\fstrf\backup. Since this backup is stored locally on the same computer as LDMS, you'll need to copy it to another location. If you want to change the time that auto backups are created, contact LDMS User Support for assistance.

LDMS backup filename format



LDMS only keeps its automatic backups files in C:\fstrf\backup for seven days. After that, the oldest backups will be deleted to help conserve hard drive space.

Frontier Science strongly recommends that laboratories copy the latest backup file in C:\fstrf\backup to a safe location at least once each week. It is a good idea to keep backups on removable media, such as a tape or CD-RW, since backups that are on the same computer as LDMS will not be helpful if you experience a computer failure.

In addition to back-up files that are automatically generated every day at noon, it is possible to manually generate a new backup file. This is useful if you performed a significant amount of work in LDMS in the afternoon and want to ensure that you have a backup file for that work.

Manually generating a backup file:

  1. Click Administration > Backup Tracking from the LDMS menu bar.

  2. Click the Create backup button in the upper-right corner.

    A Windows command prompt window will open. This is the backup tool in LDMS.

  3. Wait until the backup tool finishes creating the backup.

The backup file will appear in the same location as backup files automatically generated by LDMS.

Verifying the integrity of a backup file:

  1. Make a copy of the backup file

  2. Open the backup file with a ZIP archive program.

    If you want to open the backup file using Windows, change the file extension of the backup file from .BK to .ZIP. This will allow you to open it using Windows Explorer.

  3. Open the backup log file.

    The log file will have the same names as the backup file, with the file extension .export added. For example, if you open a backup file named 999_20140418120001.bk, the log file in it will be named 999_20140418120001.dmp.export.

  4. Look at the last line of the log file.

    If the last line reads as follows, the backup was successful:

    Job successfully completed at [time backup ran]

    If the log file ends with anything else, the backup was a failure and should not be saved.


Do not retain the copy of the backup file that you opened. If the backup is confirmed to be complete, save the original instead.

LDMS has a mechanism for manually tracking when you have copied a backup file to a safe location, and will show a list of automatic backups.

Using the Backup Tracking tool:

  1. After copying the most recent backup file from C:\fstrf\backup, click Administration > Backup Tracking from the LDMS menu bar.

  2. Enter the date that the backup was created by LDMS into the Backup Date field.

  3. Enter the initials of the person who copied the backup into the Tech Initials field.

  4. Enter how you copied the database backup into the Method field. This might be an external filesystem location, removable media, etc.

  5. Enter any additional information into the Comment field. This could be used, for example, if your laboratory has a system for uniquely identifying backups.

  6. Click the button from the LDMS toolbar.