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I think we’ve all been there before.  You come into work turn your computer on…. waiting ….. waiting…. Oh… that’s nice!  A bright blue screen to welcome you and start your day off right.  UGH!  Nothing like your computer dying when you have the most work to get done.  That big important account that you just landed with a huge mailing that has to get out the door today.  Who has time to wait for their system to get restored, then go through recreating all of your settings!!!! 

We always have the best intentions in creating a back up but have you done that yet?  And what files should you back up?  Where are your settings stored?  Don’t forget all those fun design files that you spent so much time perfecting!

Below is a list of common files that can be moved to a new machine or backed up incase you have to restore your system and want to get some of your defaults back.  

When moving these files to the new machine it is recommended to place them in the location specified (unless installing on a different drive on the machine). Please note, there are several program defaults that cannot be moved to a new machine, they must be set up again within Postalsoft after installing (e.g. By Job Postage Statement, Container Label Printing Options, etc.).

Postalsoft jobs:
The jobs used in Postalsoft are commonly stored in the C:\Postalsoft\Data directory. When moving the files you will need both file types:
– .mdf (mailing description file stores settings for that particular job)
– .dbf (database file contains the actual customer data)

Settings Library:
The Settings Library files are stored in a file called pstlsoft.mdb located in C:\Postalsoft\System. This file can be moved to the new computer or you can export and reimport only the files you need by doing the following

To export saved components from the Settings Library, do the following:
1.  Open any Postalsoft .mdf file and click Tools > Options
2.  Under General, click Settings Library
3.  Select the component(s) to be exported
4.  Click Export
5.  Browse for the location to export to (this can be directly to a CD or to the hard drive)
6.  Type a file name (all selected components from step 3, will be saved in one .xml file)
7.  Click Save
8.  Click OK
9.  After exporting, transfer the .xml file to the other computer
10. On the new computer copy the .xml file into a directory that is easy to access

Note: A settings.xsl file is automatically created and saved in the same location as the .xml file exported above. This file is created to allow the .xml file to be viewed in Internet Explorer, or a web browser if desired. Both the .xml and .xsl files must be in the same directory location in order to view the .xml file. For example, open Internet Explorer, click File > Open. Browse for the .xml file.

In order to reuse the exported Settings Library (.xml file) the .xml file must be imported on the other computer. To do this:
1.  Open any Postalsoft .mdf file and click Tools > Options
2.  Under General, click Settings Library
3.  Click Import
4.  Browse for the .xml file
5.  Click Open
6.  Click OK

DO NOT open and modify the pstlsoft.mdb file in any other application because it can easily be corrupted.

Intelligent Mail:
Unique serial numbers are stored in the IMTracking.mdb file in the C:\Postalsoft\System folder. This could be transferred over so that duplicate numbers are not used.

Permit Numbers:
There are two files located in the C:\Postalsoft\System folder that can be moved if they contain permit information. These are text files, so if you open them and they are empty, no need to move them. The file names are AddlPermitNo.txt and PermitNo.txt.

Extended Services:
If jobs have been processed by Extended Services, and those jobs are moved to the new machine, the Service reports can be moved as long as they are moved to the exact same path (location). For example from C:\Postalsoft\Data\Services\ to C:\Postalsoft\Data\Services\. When opening the .mdf file it should then be able to preview the reports through the program. You can also copy over the ExtSrvc_*.mdb (e.g. ExtSrv_Lorton.mdb) files from the C:\Postalsoft\System folder to the other machine’s C:Postalsoft\system folder. This will bring over the history of the Services.

Printing files from Label Toolbox:
– Design files (.ltd) are found in C:\Postalsoft\Design Files.
– If any generic text driver printer (.ltr) files have been created or modified, they are found in C:\Postalsoft\PrinterFiles.

Merge/Purge rulebooks:
– If any custom Merge/Purge rulebooks (.mpr) have been created, they are found in C:\Postalsoft\Rules.

Original (old) printing method:
If still using the old printing method, the user-defined forms and templates for printing are as follows:
– Forms (.frm) are found in C:\Postalsoft\Forms
– Templates (.tpl) are found in C:\Postalsoft\Templates

If any ACS keylines have been created and logged within Postalsoft, it is recommended to move the following files that are stored in C:\Postalsoft\System:
– ACS_log.mdf
– ACS_log.dbf
– ACS_log.cdx

If you move any of the above files to a new computer, to the default location, when prompted to overwrite the files, click Yes.

It is also a good idea to create a back up of your database files while you are working on them.  To create a back up database file:

1. With Postalsoft and the job open, click File > Backup Database
2. Browse for the path to store the backup file (if other than the default)
3. Click Save to accept the file name or type in a new name (backup files will have a .dbk extension)
4. Click OK

Note: There is also an option to create a backup during address correction.

To use the back up file to restore a database you can do the following:

Warning: The .dbf file that is open will be permanently replaced with the backup file (.dbk) that has been previously created in Postalsoft.

1.  Select File | Restore Database
2.  Browse for the backup file (a .dbk extension)
3.  Click Open
4.  Click Yes to restore the backup
5.  Click OK

Don’t have time to get this all done today.  Set a reminder for your self in your Outlook Calendar … give yourself a couple days or weeks but be sure to get this done before it is too late!

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