More current help file (f1) for BI 4?

YrbkMgr

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I'm running version 4.8.6.3 x64. I ran version 3 for a few years and the help file was MOST excellent. The version 4 help file seems incomplete. There are things missing; a single example is on the Options About tab. There's a checkbox for "Auto export..." but no reference that I can find in the help file. The screenshot in help doesn't include it. A few other things too...

So my question is, is there a more current version of Help?

I'm a very basic user, with ONE ip camera. I don't have complex needs but have historically relied on the help file to explain features. I don't want to have to annoy support with these basic needs, nor do I want to post every question I have here and annoy folks.

Any thoughts on a remedy for my quandary?
 

fenderman

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I'm running version 4.8.6.3 x64. I ran version 3 for a few years and the help file was MOST excellent. The version 4 help file seems incomplete. There are things missing; a single example is on the Options About tab. There's a checkbox for "Auto export..." but no reference that I can find in the help file. The screenshot in help doesn't include it. A few other things too...

So my question is, is there a more current version of Help?

I'm a very basic user, with ONE ip camera. I don't have complex needs but have historically relied on the help file to explain features. I don't want to have to annoy support with these basic needs, nor do I want to post every question I have here and annoy folks.

Any thoughts on a remedy for my quandary?
Many of the new features are listed in the whats new section and not in the help file in BI4. In BI5 there help file was revamped.
 

YrbkMgr

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Thank you fenderman. Sadly, the feature I listed as an example isn't listed in the What's New section either. So maybe you can help me understand a particular feature not listed in the help file.

On the Options dialog in the About section, the Auto Export box is ticked. When I click on the three dots, it defaults to c:\users\<username>. There are no data files in that folder except for the ntuser.dat. So is it automatically exporting anything?

How is it supposed to work - i.e., how frequently should it be exporting? What is it exporting - the same info as is exported when I click the Export button? Is it supposed to function as an auto backup of the program configuration/reg file? Should I care at all about this function?

Any guidance you can provide on that function would be helpful.
 

fenderman

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Thank you fenderman. Sadly, the feature I listed as an example isn't listed in the What's New section either. So maybe you can help me understand a particular feature not listed in the help file.

On the Options dialog in the About section, the Auto Export box is ticked. When I click on the three dots, it defaults to c:\users\<username>. There are no data files in that folder except for the ntuser.dat. So is it automatically exporting anything?

How is it supposed to work - i.e., how frequently should it be exporting? What is it exporting - the same info as is exported when I click the Export button? Is it supposed to function as an auto backup of the program configuration/reg file? Should I care at all about this function?

Any guidance you can provide on that function would be helpful.
From the whats new
  • [4.7.0.1] Automatic settings backup at startup to "backup.reg" in the exe program files folder. Backups from two previous days are archived to backup2.reg and backup3.reg. You may disable this feature with a checkbox on the Options page. If you see gigabyte files created, you may be using Kaspersky antivirus, which is notorious for creating large registry entries for unknown purposes.
 

YrbkMgr

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Just so you know, I searched the help file for "auto" and then for "export", which is what the dialog says. I wouldn't have made the connection that automatic backups in what's new was specifically referring to that feature in that dialog, especially in light of the fact that the description in what's new makes no reference to the folder selection button.

That said, the description of automatic backups is not the behavior I'm seeing. I do indeed have 3 backupX.reg files in the program directory, but the dates are from over a month ago. They are, btw, a day apart - just old. Whenever I contemplate a change to options, I make a manual backup of the reg file with a custom name, in the same program folder. Could those be interfering with the automatic backup? Also, do the three dots that allow me to choose a folder imply that I can choose a different destination for automatic backups?

I'd like to rely on the feature, but need to understand why it's not behaving as you've outlined. I hope you understand.
 

fenderman

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Just so you know, I searched the help file for "auto" and then for "export", which is what the dialog says. I wouldn't have made the connection that automatic backups in what's new was specifically referring to that feature in that dialog, especially in light of the fact that the description in what's new makes no reference to the folder selection button.

That said, the description of automatic backups is not the behavior I'm seeing. I do indeed have 3 backupX.reg files in the program directory, but the dates are from over a month ago. They are, btw, a day apart - just old. Whenever I contemplate a change to options, I make a manual backup of the reg file with a custom name, in the same program folder. Could those be interfering with the automatic backup? Also, do the three dots that allow me to choose a folder imply that I can choose a different destination for automatic backups?

I'd like to rely on the feature, but need to understand why it's not behaving as you've outlined. I hope you understand.
I believe the backup occurs at startup so if you havent restarted in a while it will be old. You are always best of making your own backup.
 

YrbkMgr

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Well, I have restarted many many times since a month ago. That said, manual backups it is then. Thank you.
 

jaydeel

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My testing is that closing and reopening the console will not trigger a backup. You must restart the service.

You can use Task Scheduler (and other means) to restart the service on a schedule.

Or use BiUpdateHelper
“This tool automatically backs up Blue Iris's registry settings to aid in restoration of a previous version. Restoring registry settings is not usually necessary, but when it is, you'll be glad you have backups. By default, backups occur daily and again each time Blue Iris performs an update.”
 
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YrbkMgr

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You can use Task Scheduler (and other means) to restart the service on a schedule.
I appreciate the thought. I do start it using task scheduler upon pc startup per instructions I found here, posted by fenderman. I've rebooted many times since July 25, and I don't have any backup.reg files in the program directory later than July 25 - only the one's I've created.

I'll be looking into the BiUpdaterhelper though. Thanks for that.
 

jaydeel

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I just tested this.

1. Make sure 'Auto export' is checked. And that you know which folder to files are being saved to (image 1).
2. Inspect the folder in #1 (see image 2).
3. Open a command prompt as an Administrator
4. Type 'net stop BlueIris' (w/o quotes), press Enter; wait for it to complete.
5. Type 'net start BlueIris', press Enter
6. Inspect the folder in #1 again (see image 3).

Image 1
BI Auto Export.png

Here are my results
Image 2. Before...
BI Reg BEFORE.png

Image 3. After...
BI Reg AFTER.png
 

YrbkMgr

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I just tested this.

1. Make sure 'Auto export' is checked. And that you know which folder to files are being saved to (image 1).
2. Inspect the folder in #1 (see image 2).
3. Open a command prompt as an Administrator
4. Type 'net stop BlueIris' (w/o quotes), press Enter; wait for it to complete.
5. Type 'net start BlueIris', press Enter
6. Inspect the folder in #1 again (see image 3).
:goodpost:

I gotta tell ya brother. That worked. At least it's straightforward, intuitive, and well documented (sarcasm required, with all due respect to BI).

So using "Auto Export", what is actually being backed up? Is it the same data I would get if I manually exported but with a different name? Does that backup include anything about the camera(s)?

Finally, as a residential user with one camera with a dedicated monitor to always see what's going on, is there any advantage to running as a service other than the auto export feature?
 
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jaydeel

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what is actually being backed up?
This Registry Key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Perspective Software\Blue Iris

Is it the same data I would get if I manually exported but with a different name? Does that backup include anything about the camera(s)?
Yes and yes.

is there any advantage to running as a service other than the auto export feature?
From the BI5 Help PDF, Chapter 'ADMINISTRATION' ...
"The software offers the very powerful feature of running as a service on your PC. This means a couple of important things—when you close the main window, the software continues to run in the background and the software will automatically restart in the event of a PC, OS, or software crash or restart."

Running as a service involves more aspects than these alone... If you want to learn more, I suggest you search the BI5 Help PDF for the term "as a service" and read all entries... As you are still using BI4, I've attached the latest BI5 pdf, last revised 8/29/2019.
 

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YrbkMgr

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Jaydeel, you totally rock! I will review the services section in the PDF and figure it out. Btw, is the BI5 PDF the replacement for the help file? I mean, if I upgrade to BI5, will F1 still do what it did in previous versions, or will I need to have the PDF handy. And if the former, does BI5 come with the PDF also?

FWIW, I'm still having reliability issues with the auto export feature. It seems that the location I choose reverts back to it's default - c:\Users\myusername. It's something I'm still troubleshooting. I got the one backup.reg and then posted my thanks, but none since, so, my conclusion may have been premature. I change the location to the BI program location, click OK, the re-open the options, and it has reverted back to what it was. Odd. I'm not worried about solving it provided I can get manual backups. So in consideration of that notion...

If I export from the Options dialog, is that too backing up the entire registry key containing both program and camera data?

If exporting from the options dialog does the same thing as auto export, I won't spend the time worrying about fixing auto export.
 

looney2ns

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Just use blueirisupdatehelper as noted above.
Yes, the PDF is included in V5, it replaces the old help file entirely.
 

jaydeel

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It seems that the location I choose reverts back to it's default - c:\Users\myusername.
This may have something to do with your Blue Iris Service currently being set up to log onto the "local service" user account instead of your OWN account.

See page 143 in the aforementioned PDF...

"Enable the service on the Startup page in Settings. There are considerations and implications of using this feature however. Windows installs the service as running under a user account called “local service.” Very often however this account does not have adequate system or administrative privileges, and you should adjust the service to run under your OWN Windows account. Once the service is installed, enter “services” in the Windows search bar to open the Windows Service Manager.

Locate the Blue Iris service on the list and right-click this to edit its properties. On the LogOn tab, use the Browse button and then enter your Windows login user name. Then use the Check Names button to verify it’s the correct name and to automatically add the required PC or domain name. Click OK and then enter the password a couple of times, OK again. Finally you can right-click the Blue Iris service once again to either start or re-start it. If the user and password were entered correctly, Windows will not complain, and the software will start in the background."
 
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YrbkMgr

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This may have something to do with your Blue Iris Service currently being set up to log onto the "local service" user account instead of your OWN account.
Read that, followed the instructions, confirmed that it is running as a service under my own windows account. Start the console, check options, go to the three dots, of course it's still what it's always been (c:\Users\myusername). I change it to the program directory, accept that dialog, confirm with OK on the About dialog, open options back up, it didn't take the change. And no new backup.reg in the program directory.

Look, no worries though. Since you confirmed that exporting from settings exports both, camera and program settings, AND that it is essentially the BI Registry key in windows registry, that allows me to plan for a zombie apocalypse. I don't need it automatically, so I'd rather not chase down why the destination designation won't persist when I change it. Unless... it's an indicator of a bigger issue that should be taken into consideration.

Gotta tell ya though, I'm grateful for the assist.
 

YrbkMgr

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Or use BiUpdateHelper
“This tool automatically backs up Blue Iris's registry settings to aid in restoration of a previous version. Restoring registry settings is not usually necessary, but when it is, you'll be glad you have backups. By default, backups occur daily and again each time Blue Iris performs an update.”
Thanks to Loony2ns for pointing this out again. I just investigated the tool - good solution.
 
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