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Idea - A little discussion on backing up up your "stuff"! (1 Viewer)

Oct 7, 2015
Both here and on the Daybreak forums you will regularly see someone post that they had to reinstall Windows and they lost all their settings. It's one of those royal pita times to try and get all your stuff figured out and customized again! And there's really no reason for it! Backing up your EQ and MQ settings is super easy!

The basic concept is that the game saves all your customizations in something called INI files
(1,2). This is just a basic text file however it's given an INI file extension. INI usually means "Initialization", because they're normally read by the system one time at program startup and rarely or never again (3). So if you make changes to an INI file you usually have to stop and restart the program in order for those changes to be used right away.

So backing up your stuff is as simple as saving a few INI files before your system crashes, and then if necessary you "restore" those files after you download and reinstall your EQ or MQ

Three concepts then come into play for saving/restoring your INI files. Which files? How to save them? Where to save them to?

Which files can actually be very simple, save ALL files with an INI file extension in your Everquest and MQ folders. The "how" is where the fun begins, there are literally dozens of ways to do it, but the one method that is available to everyone is to use the Windows built-in program File Explorer
(6)! Now, this by necessity, means we have to answer the question about where to save them. Again, there are dozens of answers, but the best one is to save the files someplace other than your main Windows drive.

At this point Windows novices are seemingly lost because they don't know how to navigate a Windows file system using File Explorer. I could write a book here and it wouldn't help. You need to take responsibility to learn how to view and select files and then copy them to an alternate destination. That destination could be a cheap flash drive, external hard disk drive, or cloud storage like Google Drive or OneDrive or DropBox. Here's the hook, it will take you a lot less time to figure out how to use File Explorer one time than it will be to spend hours reconfiguring your EQ and MQ clients

I personally install a 2nd disk drive in every machine I build and then I use that extra drive to save a backup copy of all my stuff. But even the "free" cloud storage drives would be more than enough for all your INI files.

And then last but not least, you actually need to do this on a regular basis. If you make changes constantly you'll want to backup constantly. Otherwise once a month would be fine. Get'r done

(1) https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-open-edit-ini-files-2622755
(2) By default the Windows OS will NOT show you the file extensions until you manually change a File Explorer setting. https://www.howtogeek.com/205086/beginner-how-to-make-windows-show-file-extensions/
(3) Many programs will have a command to reload an INI file on the fly. KissAssist for example has the command /kasettings https://www.redguides.com/wiki/Command:/kasettings
(4) Like everything in life there are exceptions to the rules. For example if you have customized an Everquest map file or if you have modified an MQ macro file then you'll need to apply the same concepts to TXT files in the Maps subfolder and MAC files in the Macro folder of your MQ installation! (And now Lua files too!)
(5) You do the Restoration after the program has been reinstalled but while the program is NOT actually running!
(6) https://duckduckgo.com/?va=a&t=ho&q=how+to+use+windows+file+explorer&ia=web
(7) For example, in the File Explorer search window if you type file:*.ini it will display every INI file in the selected folder, then typing CTRL A and CTRL C will mark all those files to be copied, then you select your destination folder and type CTRL V and they will be copied for you! Or you can use the right-click context menu for the same commands!
(8) Yes, I left out the part about finding the actual path to your files! For MQ it will be shown in the Settings for the RedGuides Launcher. For EQ you can right-click on the desktop shortcut and select properties, the path will be displayed in the Target field of the Shortcut window. In the Start Menu there will be a method to right-click and choose to Open File Location, then the path will be shown in the target field.
(9) I also left out the part about manually building a folder structure on the target drive. It will be much easier doing a restoration if the folder structure matches. For example if you've saved the INI files from c:\mqnext\config to a flash drive f:\mqnext\config folder it will be brain dead simple to know how to copy files back should you need to!
(10) I also forget to mention that by using Date Codes for folder names you could actually save multiple versions of your files! I actually use a destination folder concept of f:\mqnext\config\2308 where 2308 is the 8th month of 2023.

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