Performing a full backup of your BlackBerry Curve data

In This Chapter

Performing a full backup of your BlackBerry Curve data
Restoring from backups
Selecting what data to back up
Backing up and restoring wirelessly
Imagine that you left your beautiful Curve in the back of a cab. You lost your Curve for good! Okay, not so good. What happens to all your information? How will you replace all those contacts? What about security?
Take a deep breath, and relax a bit. One thing you don’t need to worry about is information security — if you set up a security password on your Curve, that is. With security password protection enabled, anyone who finds your Curve has only ten chances to enter the correct password; after those ten chances are up, it’s self-destruction time. Although the conclusion isn’t as smoky as those self-destructing tapes from Mission Impossible, your Curve does erase all its information, thwarting your would-be data thief. Sad but safe.
If you haven’t set up a password for your Curve, do it now! For information on how to do so, see Chapter 3.
Hmm. But how do you get back all the information that was on your Curve? That’s what this chapter is all about. Vital information — clients’ and friends’ contact information; notes from phone calls with clients; and, of course, those precious e-mail messages — shouldn’t be taken lightly. Backing up this information is a reliable way to protect it from being lost forever.
If your Curve isn’t on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, BlackBerry Desktop Manager is the only way to back up and restore information to and from your desktop PC. And SmrtGuard (pronounced smart guard) offers a wireless backup and restore service if you don’t have the habit of plugging your Curve into your PC. If that sounds like you, go to the end of this chapter to find an introduction to SmrtGuard’s backup and restore solution, which can give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your data.


Accessing Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore — a BlackBerry Desktop Manager application — allows you to back up all the sensitive data on your Curve, including contacts, e-mails, memos, to-do’s, and personal preferences and options.
For most users, your e-mails are already stored in accounts, such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail. But you can still back up e-mails just in case.

To back up information on your Curve, follow these steps:

1. Open BlackBerry Desktop Manager on your PC by choosing Start All Programs BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
If you haven’t already installed BlackBerry Desktop Manager on your PC, see Chapter 16.
2. Connect your Curve to your PC with the USB cable that came with your Curve.
If everything is set up right, a pop-up window on your PC asks you to type your BlackBerry security password. Make sure your Curve is turned on.
3. Type your password.
The Curve connects to the PC.
4. On the BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen, double-click the Backup and Restore icon.
The Backup and Restore screen opens (see Figure 18-1). You’re ready to back up data from or restore information to your Curve.
The Backup and Restore screen.
Figure 18-1:
The Backup and Restore screen.


Backing Up, BlackBerry Style

Everyone knows that backing up data provides tremendous peace of mind. So do the folks at RIM, which is why backing up your information is quite easy. You can back up your Curve manually or by autopilot.

Backing up your Curve manually

To back up your Curve on demand, follow these steps:

1. Connect your Curve to your PC with the USB cable. Then, from the PC’s BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen, double-click the Backup and Restore icon.
The Backup and Restore screen appears (refer to Figure 18-1).
2. Click the Back Up button.
The dialog box shown in Figure 18-2 appears, where you can name the backup file and figure out where on your PC you want to save it.
Name and find a home for your backup file.
Figure 18-2:
Name and find a home for your backup file.
3. Name your backup file, and choose a place to save it.
4. Click Save.
BlackBerry Desktop Manager starts backing up your Curve information to your PC. Figure 18-3 shows the backup progress in the Transfer in Progress window. Depending on how much information you have on your Curve, the backup might take ten minutes to finish.
A backup is in progress.
Figure 18-3:
A backup is in progress.
Don’t unplug your Curve from the PC until the backup is finished! 5. When the Transfer in Progress window disappears, unplug the Curve from the PC.

Setting up automatic backups

What’s better than backing up your information once? Remembering to back up regularly! And what’s better than backing up regularly? You guessed it — running backups automatically. After you schedule automated BlackBerry backups, you can really have peace of mind when it comes to preventing information loss.

Follow these steps to set up an automatic backup:

1. From the PC’s BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen, double-click the Backup and Restore icon.
2. In the Backup and Restore screen, click the Options button.
The Backup Options screen appears, where you can schedule automatic backups (see Figure 18-4).
Set automatic backups here.
Figure 18-4:
Set automatic backups here.
3. Select the Back Up My Device Automatically Every xx Days check box.
Choosing this option allows you to make more decisions (check boxes and options become active), such as how often you want BlackBerry Desktop Manager to back up your Curve.
4. In the Days field, enter a number of days between 1 and 99.
This interval sets how often your Curve is backed up. For example, if you enter 14, your Curve is backed up every 14 days. Go figure.
5. Select the Back Up All Device Application Data radio button.
This option backs up all the data on your Curve each time autobackup runs.
Although you can exclude e-mail messages and information (such as from Contacts, to-do’s, and memos), we recommend that you back up everything each time. That way, when it’s time to restore to a new BlackBerry, you get everything where you left off, including e-mail.
6. Click OK.
Now you can go on with your life without worrying when to back up.
To run a backup, you must have your Curve connected to your PC. Make sure that you plug your Curve into your PC once in a while so that autobackup has a chance to back up your information.

Restoring Your Data from Backup Information

We hope that you never have to read this section more than once. A full restore means bringing back all your BlackBerry information from a previous backup stored on your PC.

The steps to fully restoring your backup information are simple:

1. Connect your Curve to your PC using the USB cable. Then, from the PC’s BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen, double-click the Backup and Restore icon.
2. In the Backup and Restore screen, click the Restore button.
An Open File dialog box asks where the backup file is on your PC.
3. Choose the desired backup file, and click Open.
A warning window appears when you’re about to do a full restore (see Figure 18-5), alerting you that you’re about to overwrite existing information.
4. Click Yes to go ahead with the full restore.
A progress bar appears. It might take a while for the full restore to finish. Don’t unplug your BlackBerry from your PC during this time!
5. When the progress bar disappears, unplug the device from the PC.
Be careful when overwriting existing info.
Figure 18-5:
Be careful when overwriting existing info.

Protecting Your Data, Your Way

A certain burger joint and BlackBerry both say that you can have it your way with their products. Just like you can get your burger with or without all the toppings and condiments, you can choose to not back up and restore things that you know you won’t need.
For example, say you accidentally deleted all your Internet bookmarks, and now you want them back. Don’t restore all the information from your last backup, which could be more than 90 days ago (depending on how often your autobackup runs, if at all). You may unintentionally overwrite other information, such as e-mail or new contacts. You want to restore bookmarks only.
If you lose something in particular or want something specific restored on your Curve, use the selective backup and restore function in BlackBerry Desktop Manager to restore only what you need. The same goes with backing up. If you’re a big e-mail user, back up just your e-mails, nothing else.
In the following sections, we use the term databases. Don’t worry; this isn’t as technical as you think. Just think of a database as an information category on your Curve. For example, saying “backing up your Browser bookmarks database” is just a fancy way of saying “backing up all your Browser bookmarks on your Curve.”

Backing up, your way

To back up specific information — selectively — follow these steps:
1. Connect your Curve to your PC using the USB cable. Then, from the PC’s BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen, double-click the Backup and Restore icon.
2. In the Backup and Restore screen, click the Advanced button.
The advanced Backup/Restore screen appears, as shown in Figure 18-6. The right side of the screen shows different information categories, or databases.
3. In the Device Databases list on the right side, Ctrl+click the databases you want to back up.
4. Click the left-pointing (backup) double arrow.
This step merely transfers the databases onto your PC; it doesn’t save them. That’s next.
A progress bar moves while your Curve is backed up. When the backup transfer is finished, you can see the databases on the left side.
The advanced Backup/ Restore screen.
Figure 18-6:
The advanced Backup/ Restore screen.
5. Choose File Save As.
A file chooser appears.
6. Name your file, specify where you want to save it on your PC, and click Save.
Make sure to name the file something specific so that you know exactly what is in the backup.
You need to manually save the backup file on your PC even after you choose a location for the file in Step 6. Remember that a selective backup doesn’t automatically save your backup on your PC.

Looking at backup BlackBerry files

Whether you use the one-button backup method or manually back up your files, backup files are saved on your PC as IPD files. Are you asking, “Can I read these backup files without a BlackBerry?” The answer is yes! With the third-party product ABC Amber BlackBerry Converter, you can view any nonencrypted IPD file. What’s the point? Suppose you lost your BlackBerry but need to read an old e-mail or get contacts from your backup files. This tool allows you to convert anything in your backup file (e-mails, SMS messages, PIM messages, and contacts) to PDF or Word documents. For more information and to try ABC Amber BlackBerry Converter for free, go to www. processtext.com/abcblackberry. html.

Restoring, your Way

When you’re restoring selectively, you must already have a backup file to restore from. Although this may sound obvious, the point here is that you can selectively restore from any backup — auto or manual.
For example, say you have autobackup running every other day, and you want to restore only your e-mail messages from two days ago. You don’t need to do a full restore; that would overwrite that new contact you put in Contacts yesterday. Rather, you can use the selective restore method and get back only your e-mail messages.

To restore your way, follow these steps:

1. Connect your Curve to your PC with the USB cable. Then, from the PC’s BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen, double-click the Backup and Restore icon.
2. In the Backup and Restore screen, click the Advanced button.
The advanced Backup/Restore screen appears (refer to Figure 18-6). The right side of the screen shows your different information categories, or databases.
3. Choose File Open.
A window opens so that you can choose which backup file you want to restore from.
A BlackBerry backup file has the .ipd extension.
4. Select a backup file.
5. Click Open.
The different information categories, or databases, appear on the left side of the screen. You are now ready for a selective restore.
6. Select the database(s) you want to restore.
You can select multiple databases by Ctrl+clicking the databases you want.
7. Click the right-pointing (restore) double arrow.
You see a warning window asking whether you want to replace all the information with the data you’re restoring (refer to Figure 18-5).
If your Curve has the same categories as the ones you’re restoring (which is likely), you’ll overwrite any information you have on your Curve.
You can confidently move on to Step 8 (clicking the Yes button) if you know that the database you’re restoring has the information you’re looking for.
8. Click Yes.
A progress bar appears while the selected databases are being restored. When the progress bar window disappears, the information categories that you selected are restored on your BlackBerry.

Clearing Curve information, your way

You can also selectively delete information on your Curve from BlackBerry Desktop Manager. Suppose you want to clear only your phone logs from your Curve. One way is to tediously select one phone log at a time and press Delete, repeating until all phone logs are gone. However, you could instead delete a database from the advanced Backup/Restore screen by using the Backup and Restore function.

To selectively delete databases on your Curve, follow these steps:

1. Connect your Curve to your PC with the USB cable. Then, from the PC’s BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen, double-click the Backup and Restore icon.
The Backup and Restore screen appears.
2. In the Backup and Restore screen, click the Advanced button.
The advanced Backup/Restore screen appears (refer to Figure 18-6). The right side of the screen shows your Curve’s databases.
3. Ctrl+click the database(s) you want to delete.
The database is highlighted.
4. Click the Clear button on the right side of the screen.
A warning window asks you to confirm your deletion.
5. Click Yes.
A progress bar shows the deletion. When the progress bar disappears, the information categories you selected are cleared from your Curve.

Backup and Restore Wirelessly

You can even back up and restore wirelessly without being on the BES or going through the trouble of plugging your Curve to your PC via BlackBerry Desktop Manager. However, you do have to pay a little bit for this service.
SmrtGuard (www.smrtguard.com/smrtguard.jsp) offers software you can install on your BlackBerry that can wirelessly back up your data. Currently, SmrtGuard supports backing up contacts, memos, calendar items, call logs, to-do’s, SMS, and e-mails.
In addition to its backup and restore capabilities, SmrtGuard has features to help you locate, recover, and destroy data on your device. SmrtGuard has a BlackBerry tracking feature (a similar concept to LoJack for cars), which helps you determine whether you simply misplaced your device or your device was stolen. If you determine that your device was stolen, you can send a signal to have your data destroyed via the SmrtGuard Dashboard on the SmrtGuard Web site.
SmrtGuard has three pricing plans:
Monthly plan: $3.99 a month 6-month plan: $22.99 12-month plan: $44.99

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