I've learned through these forums (don't ask me where) and from a restore experience that came out close to Chinese (with a mostly Amer. English site), to use mySQL Administrator for backups instead of phpMyAdmin. (Problem is that many of our articles are copied from European Word documents, and getting them to UTF8 doesn't always happen, etc. --long story).
Anyway, I went to use mySQL Administrator recently and received error messages about being unable to write the database. I suspect it might have to do with the settings, but am not sure where to start with all those. Anyone familiar?