I'm on Windows and I'm developing using a mySQL DB. I need to do a whole load of destructive tests - by that, I am going to be deleting/summarising data, and I want to be able to get back to my start point QUICKLY.
mysqldump takes nearly 20 minutes to do a restore.
In my head, all I want to do is shutdown mysql, physically copy the data files to a safe location, restart mysql, do my tests, do the shutdown, copy back, restart, test loop a couple of times.
I just don't want to be waiting 20 minutes between each test run.
The test also include schema changes, so I'm not looking just at the data.
The whole data directory is just under 3.5GB. I can do a physical backup of this in about a minute. A much more reasonable amount of time to take.
The server is local. No other users, etc.
Also it wasn't my setup (it's part of a pre-installed WAMP setup, so it's anyone's guess as to where things are really setup!).
The problem is if I break the restore process, I don't know how to rebuild things. So actual steps that are known to work, rather than "Here is a page that more or less covers something related to some aspect of something you might have been thinking about when you were writing this question" please.