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Backup and Restore Your InterBase Databases

backup restore

All Database backup software reduces time, money and data loss due to corruption or system failure. With InterBase server, you get the same level of protection built in at no additional cost to you. Database backups can be stored locally or in a shared environment as part of your disaster recovery plan. There are several reasons why you would want to back up your InterBase databases, they are as follows:

  • Preserves data by making a copy of both the data and the data structures (metadata).
  • Improves database performance – balances indexes and performs garbage collection on outdated records.
  • Reclaims space occupied by deleted records.
  • Gives you the chance to change the database page size and of distributing the database among multiple files/discs when restoring.

Backup your database

With InterBase, you have two options to backup your database:

gbak (command-line tool)

Use the InterBase gbak command to specify and execute backup and restore operations from a Windows or Unix command line. Familiarity with isql, InterBase version of SQL is recommended. isql provides a number of options to help tailor your backup and restore to suit different circumstances and environments.


A user interface that has a series of option boxes for specifying the type of backup and restore you want to perform.

Restore your database

The process to restore an InterBase database is quite simple. You have many options available to alter your database; you can change the page size, restore or create the database, etc.

One note to add: When restoring a database, do not replace a database that is currently in use.

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Database Validation

There are several reasons why you should validate your databases.

  • Whenever a database backup is unsuccessful.
  • Whenever an application receives a “corrupt database” error.
  • Periodically, to monitor for corrupt data structures or misallocated space.
  • Any time you suspect data corruption.

InterBase makes it easy to validate your database. With a few clicks or keystrokes you can check on your database. In IBConsole,

  • Select a disconnected database in the Tree pane and double-click Validation in the Work pane.
  • Right-click a disconnected database in the Tree pane and choose Validation from the context menu.
  • Select Database -> Maintenance -> Validation.

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To validate database:

  1. Check that the database indicated is correct. If it is not, cancel this dialog and re-initiate the Database Validation dialog under the correct database.
  2. Specify which validation options you want by clicking in the right column and choosing True or False from the drop-down list. See the table below for a description of each option.
  3. Click OK if you want to proceed with the validation, otherwise click Cancel.

When IBConsole validates a database, it verifies the integrity of data structures. Specifically, it does the following:

  • Reports corrupt data structures.
  • Reports misallocated data pages.
  • Returns orphan pages to free space.

Check out this short video on how to quickly backup and restore an InterBase database.

Of course, when you choose to backup your databases is based on your specific needs. In some cases, it could be daily, so check out how to use Incremental dumps to maintain your databases over time.

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