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Turning the normal progression of development on it's head, what I am looking to do is take a copy of a production site and put it on a sandbox.

I am currently using D 7.36 and Civi 4.4.14

My intention is to take a copy of the working site from the live server and place on a local XAMPP so that I can experiment with ideas and test things such as how to implement Eileen's Permissions as ACLs 1.2 branch - specifically I am not sure how to install Entity Settings as it talks about registrations and PHP ... I would rather not do that on a live server.

I am not too fussed about taking the live contact and organisation data because I would create a large number of test contacts to do all that.

The problem is that our developer also included a custom member management module, so I want to ensure that all the right things are copied across so that it will work.

I did search through the usual sources, but I can to the conclusion that lots of them require disabling CiviCRM, I was of the opinion that I am likely to break it by doing that!

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Theoretically, CiviCRM can easily be migrated. In my experience though, following the recommended instructions often runs into hiccups. For this reason, I'll share my alternate method for local testing.

Since it's not hard to mirror server setups for local testing, it's usually good enough and easy to do just that. For example, if the website is at http://example.com and the base path is at /var/www/example.com/htdocs, just setup your virtual hosting and hosts file to handle that url and base path.

I won't give instructions on how to setup virtual hosting, because those are very OS dependent. So if you'd like to know how to setup virtual hosting, good article are easily found in google searches.

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I assume by "usual sources" you mean this? http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Moving+an+Existing+Installation+to+a+New+Server+or+Location

I know it says to disable CiviCRM. I usually skip that step, personally. I would proceed with the instructions in the link above and edit your question with more detail if you have any trouble.

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