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  • Protect Your Auctioneer Data!

    Last night I learned a lesson that I should pass on to my dear readers.

    Whenever you close WoW, log out, or even disconnect from the game, several important data files are saved and "put away" for next use. This includes files under the SavedVariables folder. If the game is abruptly closed, these files are not "checked out" properly and this results in corrupted data. Subsequently, the next time you open WoW, these corrupted files are replaced with new ones and configuration data is lost.

    For me, a power outage caused corrupted files. Lost data included:
    • Auctioneer price database and seen counts.
    • Bartender and PvP mod configurations.
    • Past sales records.

    Luckily my Auctioneer settings (including snatch list) and zero auctions were preserved. It hurts to lose that much data, but I was probably due for a clean start anyway. After all, I was dragging some WotLK pricing data. The worst part is that I can't do effective realtime scans because resale is all messed up. But let's look on the brighter side, /getall searches now take under 15 seconds!

    I still haven't given up on restoring the old files. If I'm at all successful in restoring them I will definitely report here.

    Meanwhile, what can you do to prevent this from happening to you? Two solutions I've come across:

    1 - Back up your files! For starters, go to World of Warcraft -> WTF -> Account -> (you account name) -> SavedVariables. Back up the files contained within. Norganna provides a very nice guide on how to do this here. You may use the automated folder backup tool as well to make sure you've got a recent backup handy at all times.
    2 - Try out CrashProofer. This add-on shares configuration settings with your guildies, and restore them if WoW is abruptly closed. I don't know if this prevents the type of data loss I've encountered, though.

    If anyone can come up with alternative solutions, I'm listening!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Protect Your Auctioneer Data! started by Sterling View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. Pliaksi's Avatar
      Pliaksi -
      Don't you actually have the last backup file each time they change (the same name with .bak extension) ? When I get such problems, I just delete the file and rename the backup one.
    1. Legs's Avatar
      Legs -
      I use DropBox to backup all my saved variables, as well as to keep my home and work computer synced. If one of my files gets corrupted I can use DropBox to restore a good version.

      The trick to get it to work well is to use junctions to make a "folder shortcut" between your wow install and your dropbox folder:

      http://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=450
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pliaksi View Post
      Don't you actually have the last backup file each time they change (the same name with .bak extension) ? When I get such problems, I just delete the file and rename the backup one.
      That's the problem. I don't have any backup files at all, in fact I had no idea data could be corrupted this way until last night.
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      I was under the impression that every LUA file had a BAK file as well. They should just "be there" in the same directory. The thing you have to watch out for is when they get replaced. So, if you find out your files are corrupted, I think you need to grab a copy of those files (or just grab the whole directory) and copy it off somewhere else. And... I would do it the moment you notice it, don't log out of WoW, don't do an auction scan, nothing. Back up that folder.
    1. RavenC's Avatar
      RavenC -
      I start up WoW from a batch file that first copies my entire account dir to a temp folder. It adds no more than ten seconds to my load time. "better safe than sorry" is my take.
    1. Sidieon's Avatar
      Sidieon -
      I use windows live mesh to keep my add ons and WTF folder synced across 2 computers. It also keeps a copy of my folders on an online server.

      Unless my backup mechanism is automated I wont do it
    1. Pliaksi's Avatar
      Pliaksi -
      Another idea... enable retention of "previous versions" for the said directory via it's properties (that's if you are running Windows, no idea for Macs). You could maybe set up to 5-6 restore points and it should keep you pretty safe.
    1. Sterling's Avatar
      Sterling -
      Seeing a lot of great ideas!

      Quote Originally Posted by calianna View Post
      I was under the impression that every LUA file had a BAK file as well. They should just "be there" in the same directory. The thing you have to watch out for is when they get replaced. So, if you find out your files are corrupted, I think you need to grab a copy of those files (or just grab the whole directory) and copy it off somewhere else. And... I would do it the moment you notice it, don't log out of WoW, don't do an auction scan, nothing. Back up that folder.
      I only see 1 .bak file and it's over a month old, and has no content.
    1. Fameseeker's Avatar
      Fameseeker -
      Also, take a look at SyncToy from MS, has other uses as well.
    1. calianna's Avatar
      calianna -
      Well, I guess that bak file won't be helping then.
    1. mekender's Avatar
      mekender -
      Doesnt Curse Premium do this automatically?
    1. Xsinthis's Avatar
      Xsinthis -
      You know what sucks more than loosing your data? Only having a really old backup. Want to know what sucks more than that even? Loosing the USB drive you had that backup on.

      Oh well, time to start backing up to the network drive from now on I guess
    1. algieba's Avatar
      algieba -
      Hey!

      I tohught I'd share the backup batch file I have, I simply run this instead of the WoW-shortcut, and it copies it all over to a safe location in a matter of seconds!

      Quote Originally Posted by code View Post
      @echo off

      :: INPUT YOUR FILENAMES AND YOUR ACCOUNTNAME HERE (It won't work else!)
      :: Simply needed in order to find your variable files
      set accountname=Winston
      :: Needed to find the variables and the WoW.exe
      set wowfolder=C:\WoW
      :: This is where you want to save your files
      set backupfolder=C:\Backup

      :: The following code will sort out variables for time and date
      set hour=%time:~0,2%
      :: Fixes the space when the hour has one digit
      if "%hour:~0,1%"==" " set hour=0%time:~1,1%
      set minute=%time:~3,2%
      set second=%time:~6,2%
      :: And make it into one, cause I'm lazy
      set tida=SavedVariables%date%(%hour%_%minute%_%second% )

      :: Uncomment (remove the two colons) the two following lines if you'd like a confirmation before you start the copying.
      :: echo Press a key to start the backup process
      :: pause

      ::Here does the actual backup:ing start!
      echo Backup of %wowfolder% starting!
      xcopy /s /c /e /h /i /k "%wowfolder%\WTF\Account\%accountname%\SavedVariab les" "%backupfolder%\%tida%"
      echo Backup done!

      :: Uncomment (remove the two colons) the two following lines if you'd like a confirmation before you start WoW.
      :: echo Press a key to start World of warcraft
      :: pause

      :: And when the backup is done, we start World of Warcraft! (Modify this to Launcher.exe if you prefer to see the launcher.
      START %wowfolder%\Wow.exe
      Pastebin for easier access:
      http://pastebin.com/vTxuA7Bk

      Outputs a copy of the SavedVariables folder in the mentioned backup target, looking something like "SavedVariables2011-04-09(01_53_23)", where both date and time is in the folder name. This means that each time you start the game using this batch file, a copy of the SavedVariables is made, and this copy won't be overwritten unless you travel in time, or mess something up. Either way, a lot safer than without it. =)

      It might seem a little fishy that you input your account name and all, but there is no way that I could retrieve the information that you put inside that file.

      It could easily be modified to copy to more than one location.
      Example:
      http://pastebin.com/7fe86SLh

      Enjoy!
    1. Groschen's Avatar
      Groschen -
      Quote Originally Posted by algieba View Post
      I tohught I'd share the backup batch file I have, I simply run this instead of the WoW-shortcut, and it copies it all over to a safe location in a matter of seconds!
      This works great, thank you.
      I've only made a slight modification to the batch file. I basically just copy all the contents of the WTF folder. Any reason not to do this? In my case there is nothing much in there except for the Saved Variables anyway. And in addition I don't have a folder with my Account name but one consisting of a string of numbers instead.

      So here is what I now use:
      Code:
      @echo off
      
      :: Needed to find the variables and the WoW.exe
      set wowfolder=C:\World of Warcraft
      :: This is where you want to save your files
      set backupfolder=C:\Backup
      
      :: The following code will sort out variables for time and date
      set hour=%time:~0,2%
      :: Fixes the space when the hour has one digit
      if "%hour:~0,1%"==" " set hour=0%time:~1,1%
      set minute=%time:~3,2%
      set second=%time:~6,2%
      :: And make it into one, cause I'm lazy
      set tida=SavedVariables%date%(%hour%_%minute%_%second%)
      
      :: Comment (insert two colons) the two following lines if you don't like a confirmation before you start the copying.
      echo Press a key to start the backup process
      pause
      
      ::Here does the actual backuping start!
      echo Backup of %wowfolder%\WTF starting!
      xcopy /s /c /e /h /i /k "%wowfolder%"\WTF\ "%backupfolder%\%tida%"
      echo Backup done!
      
      :: Comment (insert two colons) the two following lines if you don't like a confirmation before you start WoW.
      echo Press a key to start World of warcraft
      pause
      
      :: And when the backup is done, we start World of Warcraft! 
      :: (Modify this to Launcher.exe if you prefer to see the launcher.)
      "%wowfolder%"\Wow.exe
    1. algieba's Avatar
      algieba -
      Quote Originally Posted by Groschen View Post
      This works great, thank you.
      I've only made a slight modification to the batch file. I basically just copy all the contents of the WTF folder. Any reason not to do this? In my case there is nothing much in there except for the Saved Variables anyway. And in addition I don't have a folder with my Account name but one consisting of a string of numbers instead.
      Well, the only reason that I could think of for not backuping the whole WTF folder is that the resolution options are stored there, which could cause problems if you were to use the backup on another computer, but of course, it works just as fine to backup the whole WTF folder.