Tips and Tricks

The Bat! 4.1, or There and Back Again

This guide is written for the users whose license key works with The Bat! versions 3.x - 4.0.38, but does not work with the new versions starting with 4.1. Thus, you decided to try the new version of the program, and you need to do this in such a way that would keep the data existing in your current version. Before starting any actions of this kind, as well as before making any important changes in the program, a backup must be made. Enter ToolsBackup:

You will see the following box:

Pay attention to the underlined items that are not marked. Let me specify the folder list – mark it, if you want to select some of the folders instead of making a full backup. Store external attachments in message bodies – mark it, if external attachments are stored in a separate folder on the hard disk, not in the message body. If you hadn't modified any settings related to separate storing of files and letters, you don't need to mark this item. After you name the backup file and confirm the chosen folders, the backup file creation starts. This will take some time, depending on the volume of the information that is stored.

After the program finishes the backup file creation, you can start the update. The most recent version of the program can always be downloaded from the following webpage:

Start the program setup. When selecting the setup mode, mark the Custom item:

You will see the following box:

Select the components to be installed. Check if the path that was detected by the program corresponds to the actual path. After this, the program installation starts. On the initial launch, the program will propose you convert the message base indexes:

This message box gives an express notice about making a backup, if you suppose that you'll continue using the previous versions of The Bat! We made this backup in the very first part of the guide.

Now we'll present some useful information about the new format for all users. It'll be especially helpful for those of you that declined to make a backup, and fulfilled the conversion of the message base indexes to the new format. How to get back to the previous versions of the program that use the old message base index format? Here's a piece of information on what has happened.

The Message base (bluntly speaking – the messages located in one of the program's folders) includes two files: message base file (MESSAGES.TBB) and index file for this message base. The old format of the index file is TBI, the new one is TBN (it's being used starting with 4.1). Thus, the second file is MESSAGES.TBI in the older versions and MESSAGES.TBN in the new ones. After the new version was installed over the old one, the program detected the old indexes and proposed to convert them. What was really made – the program builds a new index file that permits the use of new possibilities and simply deletes the old index file. The message base format remains intact, nothing happens to it. The new index format opens up new possibilities, not modifying the message bases.

What to do if you need to get back to the previous versions of the program, keeping all the information after you converted the indexes? It's simple. Install the previous version over the new one. Check the components and the installation path, as it was described above. The program will launch successfully. When the new version converts the message indexes, the old ones are deleted. That's why now, when a previous version is launched, the program detects no indexes and just creates them once again. The information is not lost. The letters which were received since the new version was installed, will be now considered unread. These are the only consequences.

It's worth mentioning that the backup files that were made in the new version of the program can't be used to restore in previous versions. It's also important that the same database can't be used in the old and new version at the same time.

Users can ask us – Why had we made the backup file, if we didn't use it in this example? The answer derives from the axiom – before starting any actions of this kind (installation of any other version of the program, etc.), as well as before making any important changes in the program, a backup must be made.