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backup/restore not honoring path to favorites


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#1 akahige

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:03 PM

Doing some machine config, establishing standards for where things get stored, etc. Have run into a problem with 1008.40 (which is initially using data backed up from 1008.19).

After upgrading the FTP client and restoring the backup data to the default SmartFTP directories in the user profile, I went into the UI and changed the paths to the settings and favorites to point elsewhere (a network drive, if that's relevant). Then I physically moved the relevant files to the new locations, fiddled with some settings to that I could watch the new locations to make sure that they were being honored, then exited SmartFTP and did a backup with reset.

The first thing that I noticed was that the path to Favorites listed in the backup tool pointed to $profile\app data\. I also observed that this Favorites directory under was not cleared during the reset. Later, in experimenting with the favorites folder location in the client UI -- by first deleting the Favorites directory from $profile and then (since the Favorites path in the client is correct) opening a site from the new Favorites location to see if the act of using the new path would force a setting to be tripped in the client that the backup tool would pickup on -- all that resulted in was the backup client registering that the $profile Favorites path was dead.

The Backup Tool version is 2.0.3.3.

Has anyone seen this? If it's a bug and not something I'm doing wrong, is there anything I can do to help troubleshoot the issue?

#2 mb

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:39 PM

If I understand you correctly the favorites folder is not recognized correctly in the backup tool when creating a backup or using the reset function? Is that correct?

#3 akahige

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:48 PM

If I understand you correctly the favorites folder is not recognized correctly in the backup tool when creating a backup or using the reset function? Is that correct?

Yes.

#4 mb

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:13 PM

The bug has been fixed in the latest Backup Tool version. It's included in the latest v2.5 version:
http://www.smartftp....get/SFTPMSI.exe

Thank you for reporting it.

Regards,
Mat

#5 akahige

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:55 PM

Glad I could help.

In testing the new version, I noticed a couple of things worth mentioning:

Don't know if this is a bug, or just a one time glitch, but when I did a test backup and reset of my data, the application settings cleared out as expected, but the Favorites folder did not. It was backed up, but not deleted, and the Backup Tool reported a failure.

Once the data was backed up, I decided to restore it, and here I ran into another problem. I don't know if this is a bug, but it's certainly inconvenient... When you initiate the restore process, you choose the backup file and then the Backup Tool presents you with the location of the Application Data and Favorites folders. The "problem" is that these are the default locations and cannot be changed in the restore process.

If someone (like me, in this case) stores their data in a non-standard location, there is no one step process to restore the data. Now it becomes at least a FIVE step process. You have to restore it to the default location, open the two restore directories (which at least can be done by the buttons in the restore UI), then copy the contents of the directories to where you actually want them to be, then go into the SmartFTP configuration and change the locations of the data (which is on two different panels).

It's interesting to note that the Backup Tool will save and restore the setting indicating the location of the download directory -- even if it's been changed from the default -- but it does not do the same thing for the data directories. I didn't test this, but I assume that if the download directory doesn't exist when SmartFTP first goes to use it, it will simply be recreated.

Since it never tells you this, this selective backing up of user data is rather confusing for someone expecting typical backup behavior. The data is being backed up, but not all the settings. And then on restore, the data is put back in a different location with no reference to where it was originally.

May I suggest that the Backup Tool would be much more powerful and user friendly if it allowed you to restore your data wherever you want to, and would automatically update the paths in the Settings dialogue.

There could be three options:
1) Restore to the original locations. (This would be indicated by the paths in the backup ZIP, and the restore process would test for the existence of the path, and prompt if it doesn't exist.)
2) Restore to a custom locations.
3) Restore to the initial default locations (which is what it does now).


Best,

michael

#6 mb

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:32 PM

Hello ...

The Backup Tool included in the version 3.x does pretty much what you are looking for. It's available in this setup:
http://www.smartftp....get/SFTPNSI.exe
You can use the Backup Tool for both version 2.5 and version 3.0.

The only thing it doesn't do is reading the applicatoin data and favorites folder from the .zip.

Regards,
Mat

#7 akahige

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:36 PM

Hey... you snuck v3 in there without telling anybody. Here I've been playing with 2.5. Will there be a changelog at some point?

I'll give it a spin and see how it works.

Thanks for such a great app!

#8 mb

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:50 PM

Hello ..

The version 3.0 beta post is here:
http://www.smartftp....eta-t13918.html

The changelog is here:
http://www.smartftp....Log-t14037.html

#9 akahige

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:51 AM

Hi Mat,

Thanks for the link to the 3 beta. The backup/restore utility works perfectly! Just what I was thinking that it should do.

I'll just work with this version and see how that goes. If I find any bugs, I'll make sure to report them.

Cheers!

#10 mb

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:19 AM

Thank you for testing the new version.

We are aware that there other things that need to be improved with the backup tool. But since we do not get much feedback we assume that only a few users are actually using it. If there should be interest from other parties to work on the backup tool we are willing to release the source code.

Regards,
Mat

#11 akahige

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 05:54 AM

The only suggestion that I could make with regard to improving the backup tool would be that you might consider adding an option to sync the Application Settings and Favorites directories. This would save some steps when restoring, but wouldn't necessarily be useful for everyone.

If you keep your SmartFTP profile in a non-standard location and you're doing a restore, you have to navigate to the place you want it. Then -- presuming that you're not keeping your SFTP Favorites somewhere else entirely -- you have to navigate back to the same location (however many steps that might be) to set the Favorites. If there was a button to automatically fill the path (possibly with an appended "Favorites" directory at the end of the path) that would be quite slick.

Alternatively, you could simply cut and paste the path from one location field into the next field, and then modify it.

This would be the ultimate in userfriendliness, but I hardly think that anyone would complain about the functionality as it currently stands.


There is something that I noticed about the behavior of... I'm not sure if this is the backup tool or not, but when I did a backup and reset, I watched my profile data on the remote drive get deleted. I happened to later take a look at the default profile directory -- C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\SmartFTP\Client 2.0 -- and I noticed that there are still what looks to be a full set of default Favorites and settings files in that directory.

I guess it makes sense that the backup tool would create the settings for a default profile if you cleared out a previously established custom profile. However, when I did the restore of my custom profile, this alternate/default profile was left intact while the custom one was restored and set in the UI. There's a potential problem in the leaving of profile fragments, both in terms of confusing users who might be hunting around and stumble across it, and also in terms of possibly leaving passwords or other security data where you don't intend to.

I'm not sure if this is the best idea, but it seems like it would be a good idea to only have one set of profile data, and that during a restore, there should be some kind of option -- like the "reset" during backup -- which would have the utility clear out previous profile data so that there's only ever one set of profile data on a system.