Whenever I do major updates on a certain website I usually start by mirroring the live website to my local server environment, I start this procedure by downloading the site files and then the database, although its a time consuming process, the files are usually a straightforward download and configure buzz, the database however is something that always gets me.
Alot of the time a database can grow quite big, a database with 2 or 3 million rows of data can exceed 500MB.
Its rarely possible to download the entire database in a single chunk but when it is, repopulating the records is a mission.
In cases where I am importing the complete database I always forget that the size of the file upload is restricted by the php.ini file.
To increase this limit:
The following values must be increased in the php.ini file
as well this value in /phpMyAdmin\libraries\config.default.php
$cfg['ExecTimeLimit'] = 1000;