Backup, restore and repair server projects

NVivo Server 11 R2

This topic explains how to create a backup schedule in NVivo Server Manager. Once created, the backup schedule runs automatically and backs up all the projects on the server. It also explains how to monitor backups, restore a project from a backup and how to repair server projects.

Schedule regular backups via NVivo Server Manager

You can view the backup schedule on the Backups tab in NVivo Server Manager—if there is no schedule, you can create one.

IMPORTANT If you do not expire backups, you should monitor disk space utilization in your backup location.

To create the backup schedule via NVivo Server Manager:

  1. Open the NVivo Server Manager.

  2. Click the Backups tab.

  3. Click Create.

The Create Backup Schedule dialog box opens.

  1. Select when you want the backup operation to run, by setting the Frequency, Time of Day and Start date.

  2. Set backup expiry options—by default, backups do not expire. If you want to automatically expire backups, select After and set the number of days you want to retain the backup files.

  3. Click Browse, and select the location of your backup files.

  4. Select the Send e-mail if backup fails check box, if you want to be notified when a scheduled backup did not complete successfully. If you select this option, you must also enter:

  • SMTP Address—this is the address of your mail server (this mail server must allow relay from the NVivo Server without authentication). You can enter an IP address or a fully qualified domain name.

  • From e-mail address—this e-mail address defines the sender of the e-mail.

  • E-mail recipients—this can be one or more e-mail addresses for recipients (separated by a semi-colon).

  1. Click OK.

Once your backup schedule is created, you can check that the backups are running successfully via the History tab on the left.


  • You can modify the backup schedule after you have created it. For example, you might want to change the frequency from weekly to daily or change the location of the backup files. To change the existing backup schedule, click the Modify button and change the required options.

  • You can delete the backup schedule—for example, if you decide to back up projects via SQL Server Management Studio, you may want to delete the backup schedule you created in NVivo Server Manager.

Monitor project backups

If you have created a backup schedule in NVivo Server Manager, you can check that scheduled backups are completing successfully:

  1. Open the NVivo Server Manager.

  2. Click the Backups tab.

  3. On the left, click the History tab.

Scheduled backups are listed in chronological order. You can see when a scheduled backup started and finished and whether it completed successfully

If a backup failed, you can click the View Details button to find out more information.


  • If the most recent backup failed, a notification is displayed on the Home screen when you open NVivo Server Manager.

  • You can set up e-mail notifications to alert you if a backup fails, refer to Schedule regular backups via NVivo Server Manager for more information.

Restore a server project from backup

If you have set up a regular backup schedule via NVivo Server Manager, you can also restore a project via the Server Manager. When you restore a project, you can choose to restore to the existing project or restore to a new project.

TIP  If a user has accidentally deleted content from their project and wants to see if a backup has the missing content, it is a good idea to restore a backup copy to a new project. If the new project has the missing content, the user can import the missing content via the NVivo client. This approach ensures that the user does not lose any work they have done in the existing project since the backup was made.

To restore a project:

  1. Open the NVivo Server Manager.

  2. Click the Backups tab.

  3. On the left, click the Restore tab.

  4. Under Destination for restore, choose where you want to restore to. You can restore to:

  • An existing project—select the project from the To Existing Project list.

  • A new project—enter a name for the new project.

  1. Under Source for restore, select the project that you want to restore from the From Project list:

  2. Select the backup you want to restore from—each backup is identified by the date and time it was created.

  3. Click Restore.

NOTE  If you are managing backups via SQL Server Management Studio, you will also need to restore the database via SQL Server Management Studio.

Back up projects via SQL Server Management Studio

NVivo Server Manager allows you to create a simple backup schedule, but if you want to back up an individual project or create special schedules for particular projects, you will need to do this via SQL Server Management Studio. For more information, refer to the following MSDN articles:

Each NVivo Server project is stored as a separate database in NVivo Server’s SQL database instance. This means that these project databases can be backed up and restored on the same server device or a different one.

Alternatively, a project database can also be detached and re-attached into the same machine or a different one. Refer to the following MSDN articles:

Repair a server project

You can use the Repair facility when projects become fragmented and are using server space inefficiently. When you repair a project, the project format (for example, 11.1 or 10.0) is not changed.

It is a good idea to warn users before you repair a project as they will be automatically disconnected.

CAUTION  If you choose to ‘repair with possible data loss’, you should back up the project before repairing. Individual projects can be backed using SQL Server Management Studio—refer to Back up projects via SQL Server Management Studio for more information.

To repair a project:

  1. Open the NVivo Server Manager.

  2. Click the Projects tab.

  3. In the Projects list, select the project you want to repair.

  4. Click Repair.