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Old 09-15-2019, 07:18 PM   #1
ArmadilloPilot
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How to Restore Library from Windows Backup

I had to reinstall Win 10 on my computer. All files were lost. But, I did have a Windows Backup on a hardrive. I want to know how best to restore those Library files over to the new system. All files have a date/time added to the end of their name. So the books, metadata, etc. are not the same as original.

Any experience here? It seems, from what I have read, that you cannot simply copy the files over into the calibre folder. I also had, in the old installation, special fields I created to keep track of whether the book was read and when. I don't know how to preserve that data. Because, I assume I will install the Calibre program first (which will not have any of my unique data). Then I need to know how to get my Library over to the new installation.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:45 PM   #2
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Restore the Library folder in its entirety

FIRST
If you have added books to the existing Library, rename that folder.

Since you cant rename the current IN USE library with Calibre. QUIT Calibre and then use the OS to rename the folder (default is Calibre Library)

After you restore, you can re-link Calibre to the old ones new name:
Right click the Library icon: Create/Switch: USE EXISTING: <select the folder>
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:16 PM   #3
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Why not restore the Windows backup rather than install Windows from scratch? Isn't that the purpose of a Windows backup?
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:01 PM   #4
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No
Windows restore from your created CD or the one Manufacturer provided but a copy of Windows (the OS) configured for your hardware (as existeed at CD creation time). It is also possible to burn an Image of your system thor that moment in time. You then restore - install things that happen afterwards.

Windows backup backs up the USER files and settings. But I don't think it even attempts to do the programs YOU add, nor does it have any updates. (It may have the user settings)
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:19 PM   #5
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Could not make 'theduck' suggestion work. In Win10backup all files have a date attached to file name. And there are several versions of the file. see example.

I did try to create a new library and have Calibre just search the old directory for books. That worked okay but Calibre could not find any of the books cover pictures because the backup date stamp confused the issue.

Well....the only process seems to recreate each books folder manually. It could take some time. But...what the hay.

The lesson for me is to pay attention to the recovery process before creating a backup.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmadilloPilot View Post
The lesson for me is to pay attention to the recovery process before creating a backup.
A lesson rarely taken.


Were those files created by Windows File History?

If so, then you should be able to restore the entire library using File Explorer's Restore previous versions tool. Caveat: I've only used it to restore individual files that I 'screwed' up when editing, or mistakenly deleted, but I have never tried restore an entire library.

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 09-16-2019 at 06:32 PM. Reason: x-post
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmadilloPilot View Post
Could not make 'theduck' suggestion work. In Win10backup all files have a date attached to file name. And there are several versions of the file. see example.

I did try to create a new library and have Calibre just search the old directory for books. That worked okay but Calibre could not find any of the books cover pictures because the backup date stamp confused the issue.

Well....the only process seems to recreate each books folder manually. It could take some time. But...what the hay.

The lesson for me is to pay attention to the recovery process before creating a backup.
I don't use that (and if that is all of what they do now )
That would allow single file restores .
I expected the Daily Control log to select folders (which could include the children automatically)

Remember: Calibre is transactional, for every file, there WAS a DB entry first. The files all must match those entries.

You CAN TRY restoring ALL sof those tarting with the oldest, so that any later changes overwrite.
THEN
run the Library Maintenance (right click the Library Icon) tool and fix any issues. (like orphaned entries because you changed a name or title OR deleted the format)

In the future. Regularly Use the Export/Import feature on the Library Icon. That gets everything needed at that time. then you add any new books the traditional way.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:59 PM   #8
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After backing it up with GoodSynch, I used Previous Versions to restore my Test library, worked fine including the book I added about 30 minutes ago (I have it set to save changes every 20 minutes).

The File History folders should only be accessed with the Previous Versions tool, not directly with a file manager - bit like those folders that should only be accessed by a program starting with 'c'

BR
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:47 PM   #9
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Still not sure what to do in the future.

Well I have learned somethings...but I still don't know what to do to prepare for future catastophic failure. I lost my laptop system and had to completely reinstall windows and applications. Here's how I see my problem:

Calibre Program: I can always reinstall/download new version.

Books: The file history version I had were renamed by addition of date/time characters. I can't simply move these files into the Calibre Library folder and expect them to work correctly. If I use the Calibre function to switch to and import the books from the file history, the books come in okay, but metadata and covers end up with a problem.

Calibre Configurations: I have set up columns in metadata to contain custom information. Date Read is an example. This is important information to me and frustrating to lose. I do not know where these customizations are recorded and how best to have them backed up.

I must admit I have never used the Calibre import/export function. Is this the best way to have a reliable/restorable backup of my book library? Is it as simple as: reinstall Calibre, then import the previously exported file?
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:05 PM   #10
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Why are you making a simple task so complicated?

The library is stored in a folder, which you can copy, like any other folder, to a different drive , or to cloud, or to a usb stick.
Then, if you ever need to , you can copy some or all of it back to its original location.

No special tools or skills required

But if you want to regularly update your backup copy, use one of several free file sync utilities in mirror mode, so your copy is always a mirror of your life library. Those take only a couple of minutes per day to make incremental changes

Ps. All configuration data is also in a single folder, and can be managed same way.

Last edited by stumped; 09-20-2019 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:48 PM   #11
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Custom Columns IS part of the metadata.DB

metadata_db_prefs_backup.json is the (empty)DB structure recovery.
It contains everything to make an empty Library just like the real one in that folder.

And every Title folder contains metadata.OPF the metadata for the book. cover.jpg is the cover that you selected for that book

User settings, plugins, optional icons are in the configuration folder.

KISS (and take the guesswork out)
Use the built in Export/Import too. It does all (selectable) KNOWN (on the quick switch list) Libraries AND all user configuration settings.

The reason some of the experts choose other ways have a lot to do the amount of time and data for a FULL export.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumped View Post
Why are you making a simple task so complicated?

The library is stored in a folder, which you can copy, like any other folder, to a different drive , or to cloud, or to a usb stick.
Then, if you ever need to , you can copy some or all of it back to its original location.

No special tools or skills required

But if you want to regularly update your backup copy, use one of several free file sync utilities in mirror mode, so your copy is always a mirror of your life library. Those take only a couple of minutes per day to make incremental changes

Ps. All configuration data is also in a single folder, and can be managed same way.
All of the above : ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔

File History folder content can only be restored with the File Explorer Previous Versions tool, which is accessible from the File Explorer context menu or via File Explorer Properties.

IMO, keeping mirror copies (as suggested by stumped) using a folder and file synch tool is the way to go ==>> Comparison of file synch software - Wikipedia.

Free File Synch is popular, I use GoodSynch.

Calibre's proprietary Export/Import feature was developed to facilitate moving calibre (libraries and configuration) between platforms (hardware, operating system, and file system), e.g from an 'old' computer to a 'new' computer. It can be used for backup/recovery, but, because it backs up entire libraries it is slow - which is a deterrent to doing frequent backups, particularly on large (byte-wise) libraries. And you can't easily recover single items (books, formats, covers, config files) it's all or nothing.

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 09-20-2019 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
All of the above : ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔ ↑ ↑ ↑ ✔



Calibre's proprietary Export/Import feature was developed to facilitate moving calibre (libraries and configuration) between platforms (hardware, operating system, and file system), e.g from an 'old' computer to a 'new' computer. It can be used for backup/recovery, but, because it backs up entire libraries it is slow - which is a deterrent to doing frequent backups, particularly on large (byte-wise) libraries. And you can't easily recover single items (books, formats, covers, config files) it's all or nothing.

BR
that was what i planned to add but BR got there first

much depends on future usage,
if you are in the habit of messing up and needing to recover specific books, then having a simple folder copy is better

if you main reason is to move or replicate the entire library on other devices then use export import

if you are not really paranoid, but the universe is out to get you - do both
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