need Chemstation macro to add second datapath

Discussions about chromatography data systems, LIMS, controllers, computer issues and related topics.

5 posts Page 1 of 1
Hi,

I need a way to backup all our chemstation data from individual workstations to a network location automatically. I know about the XML feature but that doesn't copy everything we would need to recreate a data packet if a user deleted it or the computer hard drive crashed etc.

I'm thinking I can either use a batch file and have windows scan for any changes to C:Chem32\1\Data, or I can have a chemstation macro that is linked to either usermac.mac or the shutdown.mac (so it just copies the whole sequence directory at the end of the run.

Any ideas? I've googled a lot and seen some partial solutions but nothing useful.
Thanks!
More details - we have a mix of about 20 Agilent 1100s, 1260s, and 1290 HPLCs, running on every version of Chemstation from B.04.03 to C.1.06.

We are running a mix of Windows 7 and Windows 10. All new computers from here on will be Windows 10.

We talked with Agilent and they steered us to upgrade to OpenLab CDS, but the cost is too high. We have to use the software we have currently in place.

My main need is to capture all the user generated data across all HPLCs in a single network location that we can control and archive. Right now we don't have a LIMS and we have a lot of flexibility in how the users report and archive their data.

I have written a bunch of custom Excel macros to process the data so I am not afraid of a little programming (like editing the ini files or adding some homemade macros to the CORE directory).
The reason I am asking for a "second datapath" is it seemed to me the easiest way to fix this would be to add another path to the Sequence Parameters datafile path.

I know this is stored in the C:\Windows\Chemstation.ini file and I tried to edit it directly there in the _DATAPATH$ field, but it can only read one path.

I'm pretty sure this could be done with a Chemstation macro or some kind of registry patch. If not, then I would try a post-run macro to copy everything new in Data to the network. Or a batch file to just copy everything to the network after the data is collected.

Thanks in advance for any help.
No macros of any kind should be needed. Just use any commercial backup software to automatically back up any/all file directories (Data, Methods, Sequences) on one or more of the computers. ChemStation makes this easy as all versions have a simple screen where you can select the primary paths for data, methods and sequences.

Laboratory instruments are often set up in groups as an "Instrument Network" (which is kept separate from all NON-data acquisition computers). These computers often point to a common server, on-site, which is used to maintain all of the data files, method files and so on. This same drive location should be automatically backed up to an outside computer (usually every day) for safety. The "off site" computer can even be a cloud source drive or any reliable data storage system (using solid state drives is best, or whatever is available if costs are a concern). This off-site drive is what keeps your data and files safe during a fire, crash or theft. Never store all of your data on-site. Be sure to periodically test the system by retrieving and fully restoring files to makes sure the system works (you do not want to find out that there is a problem with the backup system after data has been lost!).
Thanks for the well-thought out reply.

We had considered purchasing some off-the shelf backup software, or having our corporate IT do daily backups (which requires a maze of tickets and approvals). Our goal was to get something in place rather quickly (macro or batch file) that we could use in the interim until we can get a more permanent solution.

Often these band-aids become the de facto long term solution, as the problem is deemed "solved" and gets no further attention from above.

I have found some fairly simple batch files online that let us back up the data without chemstation macros. I will use these for now.
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