Here is another article that deals with this subject.
Backup Process with phpMyAdmin
The screen shots here are from phpMyAdmin 2.11.4, which I have on my local computer. Web hosts using different versions should look similar. They certainly produce exchangeable results.
- Log into phpMyAdmin on your server.
- Select the name of your database - or your Drupal database if you have several databases.
- The next screen will show you all the tables inside your Drupal database. Ignore those, and click the "Export" tab on the top set of tabs.
- Look at the left box at the top of the Export section. All the tables in the database you selected are in that box.
- If you have other programs that use the database, then choose only those tables that correspond to your Drupal installation.
- If you only have Drupal installed, in the left column, click "Select All."
You have now backed up your database! (Not so bad, was it?)
Once that download is complete, you may check the "zipped" option, click "Go", and download the next file. If you want, you can download a backup in each of the compression formats. Your choice.
Potential Issues You May Encounter
- PHP Limits Size of File Upload
In particular when you are restoring the database via upload this limitation may make PHPmyadmin difficult to use. Possible solutions:
- Use one of the compression options above.
- Modifying your php settings to allow larger file uploads may also be possible, but discussion of that is beyond the scope of this document
- Deleting the cache and watchdog table records (leaving the tables) before doing the backup can reduce the file size. [need reference for how to]
- Splitting the download up by only selecting specific tables may also help