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Old 05-22-2016, 07:44 PM   #1
battists
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PSA: Back up your leagues!

Hey folks,

Just a quick public service announcement:

EVERYBODY, PLEASE BACK UP YOUR LEAGUE FILES REGULARLY!

Listen, we all want the game to be flawless, but it's not. No piece of software ever is. There is always the chance it's going to crash, or your game could get corrupted, and it could be at any time. If you're like most of us here, you spend a LOT of time on your OOTP games. It's always so frustrating for me to see people coming here for help because their save got corrupted or something messed up, and there's nothing we can do to help.

In-game Backup Functionality
The in-game functionality is a great option for those of you who aren't particular technical. It does what is called an "incremental" backup, meaning it only backs up files that have changed since the last backup. That means that the first such backup takes a while, but subsequent backups are usually very quick. Here's how to do a backup with the in-game system:
  1. Load your saved game in OOTP.
  2. Select File | Backups | Backup Current Game.
  3. By default the backups will go in the backups folder in wherever the game installed your data directory. You can select Select Folder if you wish to change the default folder.
  4. Click on Start backup. The first time you do this, it could take some time, depending on how large your league is. Subsequent backups should be much faster. (The less you have simmed since the previous backup, the shorter the backup.)
  5. Note that the OOTP backup is strictly backing up your saved game files. So, if you have done any custom work that placed folders in other directories, such as jerseys, logos, player photos, views/filters, world.xml, etc., these will NOT be backed up. Consider using one of the "out-of-game backup functions" listed below if you wish to back these up.

Out-of-game Backup Functions
I believe all current operating systems now have built in compression functions. This means that without any special software, you should be able to easily implement a backup routine outside of the game.

Backing up with Windows
  1. Close OOTP.
  2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to your OOTP data/saved_games directory.
  3. Right click on the league folder you wish to back up, e.g. "New World Baseball.lg".
  4. Select Send To... >> Compressed (Zipped) Folder.
  5. This will create a single, compressed .zip file in the saved_games directory, with the same name as your league, e.g. "New World Baseball.lg.zip".
  6. Rename the file to whatever you wish, and move the file to wherever you wish.

Backing up with Mac
  1. Someone help me out here.

Third Party Backup Utilities
There are a NUMBER of freeware or shareware backup utilities on the market, most of which have greater flexibility or functionality than the built-in OS functions. Many of these include incremental backup capabilities, scheduling, greater compression (resulting in smaller file size), and more. Some recommended products include:

Where is my Data?
OOTP installs a data directory that contains all of the important files, including your saved_games folder. Where that is varies depending on how you installed the game:
  • If you installed on Windows using the default settings, the data directory will be in XXX.
  • If you installed on a Mac using the default settings, the data directory will be in XXX.
  • If you installed with Steam, the data directory will be in XXX.
  • If you installed on Windows using a custom installation path, the data directory will be in your custom installation path.
  • If you installed on a Mac using a custom installation path, the data directory will be in your custom installation path.

Backup Approach
I personally recommend a multi-layered approach to backing up OOTP, to ensure both your saved game and any customizations you might have made are saved. My personal approach is this:
  • On the first day of every season, I zip up my entire saved game folder and label it something like "New World Baseball League 2017 Season Start".
  • On the first day of the offseason, I do the same thing.
  • Before every time I quit the game, I use the in-game functionality to do an incremental backup. (Because I sim one day at a time, sometimes I will backup after each in-game day.)
  • If I EVER want to do something drastic to a league - delete data, import data, mess with schedules, change league structure, etc., I do a one-off zip of my entire league.
  • Periodically, I put at least my most recent zip file onto an external backup hard drive. It's always a good idea to put a backup somewhere that is not in the same physical location as your computer. A hard drive you keep somewhere else, the cloud, etc. That way, if something awful happens like you have a fire in your house, at least your OOTP will be saved!

Now, I'm a slow simmer, so I only go through a few seasons per OOTP version. My approach might not make sense for someone who sims years at a time. So, tweak it to suit yours! Or describe your league to us and we can recommend an approach!

This does mean that I have a bunch of really large zip files lying around. It also means I have some "overhead" in time required to do the full backups. They do take a while. But sometimes problems in an OOTP league can play out over several seasons, and it's SUCH a pain and disappointment when something goes wrong with your files.

And here's the thing: with this approach, my worst case scenario is I have to go back to the start of the season. And that's only if for some reason both my main file AND the incremental backup become damaged. To me, the peace of mind is worth it.

Just my two cents!
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Last edited by battists; 05-23-2016 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:50 PM   #2
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:17 PM   #3
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Yeah, I regularly backup - say twice a calendar month. I copy the saved game folder to my iCloud backup as well as my local hard drive - just to make sure I have redundancy.
I actually made the mistake of copying over an earlier backup over current saved game once!
It pays to take a half second and double-check.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:20 PM   #4
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this should be stickied
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:23 PM   #5
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How can I zip my game file or folder? Wondering since I back up my game using the OOTP options pretty often, but have never used anything outside my game to store my files.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGC View Post
How can I zip my game file or folder? Wondering since I back up my game using the OOTP options pretty often, but have never used anything outside my game to store my files.
Well, first off, let me state that this is for non-Steam versions of the software. I'm not sure if anyone who runs on Steam can offer an alternative.

I use freeware called "WinRar". With that utility installed, I just browse to my saved game folder in Windows Explorer, right-click on my game's folder, and select one of the options like "Add to New World.rar". Then I rename the file to something that makes sense to me when it's done.

I don't have time right now, but I will try to add this info to the OP when I get a chance.

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:13 PM   #7
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As one who has lost my EBL vs MLB twice due to PC crashes and lost years and once 14 seasons of a league backups are something i do twice a season. I tend to put them on Mediafire or my Xdrive so i can get access to them if i need them. The majority i delete after 3 seasons. I tend to use the in game backup function at OD every season then make a zip file of the completed season. i always make a backup for league changes and stated above. I have not had to use a backup in 2 years since i bought my current PC but it's nice to know i have them if needed.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:55 PM   #8
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Backing up .. always such a good idea.
I've learned, or should I say was taught, to always backup everything, going back to IBM 3420 tape drive days.
I run OOTP in a Windows Virtual Machine under Linux. I have multiple ways of backing up OOTP to make sure there is not data loss of any great proportion.
I do a full backup of the game itself after every playing session.
On a set period, I back up the virtual machine, to an extetrnal drive.
On a set period, I back up my main hard drive, that stores my Linux OS, and the self-contained virtual machine(s), to an external drive.

I'll plug a good peice of software here .. multi-platform Clonezilla.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:06 AM   #10
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Listen to battists, guys and gals... this is wonderful advice.

All of us are aware of it in general... the problem is people like me... I'm a perfectionist that rarely backs up my dynasty league... yeah, I get lazy about backing up... and consequently have lost THREE beloved dynasties because of it.

Yeah, I'm a really, really slow learner... after 14 years of OOTPB, I have finally learned my lesson.

I will regularly, diligently and religiously back up my new dynasty league weekly on an external hard drive.


Thanks battists for posting the Sticky and reminding us to back up our leagues.

Last edited by Eugene Church; 05-23-2016 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battists View Post
Well, first off, let me state that this is for non-Steam versions of the software. I'm not sure if anyone who runs on Steam can offer an alternative.

I use freeware called "WinRar". With that utility installed, I just browse to my saved game folder in Windows Explorer, right-click on my game's folder, and select one of the options like "Add to New World.rar". Then I rename the file to something that makes sense to me when it's done.

I don't have time right now, but I will try to add this info to the OP when I get a chance.

Thanks!
Another freebie is 7zip which can be used from your file manager (right click). The archive can be set to synch so your back up is incremental and takes less time. WinRar is probably the same.

The biggest advantage of zip archives is they are a single file. When you move it to external storage it takes only a fraction of the time to transfer.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battists View Post
Well, first off, let me state that this is for non-Steam versions of the software. I'm not sure if anyone who runs on Steam can offer an alternative.

I use freeware called "WinRar". With that utility installed, I just browse to my saved game folder in Windows Explorer, right-click on my game's folder, and select one of the options like "Add to New World.rar". Then I rename the file to something that makes sense to me when it's done.

I don't have time right now, but I will try to add this info to the OP when I get a chance.

Thanks!
Dola, I'm running steam v17 and there is no difference AFAIK because the league files are on the local drive. I can run either version of v17 and they both point to the same data folder.
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“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” Frank Wilhoit

So much for personality. Albert Belle, a complete nut job was never traded and was the highest paid player in the game, twice!

#Alternativefacts=lies
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:04 PM   #13
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Total noob question: how do you zip up a file

Edit: nevermind I missed the post where he explained it
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:28 PM   #14
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Windows comes with its own zip program as well. If you don't want to download a third party software, you can just go to your backed up league folder, right-click on it, roll over "Send To" and choose "Compressed (zipped) file".
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:58 PM   #15
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the in game backup option is the easiest way to back up. It's definitely smart to backup before doing anything in settings.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:36 PM   #16
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It has been a long time since I have seen a battists PSA in these precincts.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:56 PM   #17
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Very good advice, but when you use the in-game backup function, does that also preserve jerseys, logos, etc.? I'm not sure it does. When I back a league up I usually just copy the saved game itself and write it to DVD.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyVotto View Post
Windows comes with its own zip program as well. If you don't want to download a third party software, you can just go to your backed up league folder, right-click on it, roll over "Send To" and choose "Compressed (zipped) file".
To each his own but 3rd party software is very likely to be better and more secure than any MS utility. Just my opinion though.
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“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” Frank Wilhoit

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#Alternativefacts=lies
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:25 PM   #19
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Guys, I updated the OP with a lot of helpful info from this thread. I highlighted in red a few things I'm not clear on. If someone wants to pitch in and help out, I will update the OP again!

Thanks all!
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:29 PM   #20
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It might be smart to set an in-game reminder note to yourself on Jan 1st or something to backup your game...
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