Data Backup and Recovery FAQ
- Windows 7
- Windows XP
- Macintosh OS X 10.6 - 10.9
On Windows 7 the service backs up the contents of "C:\Users".
On a Macintosh the service backs up the contents of the /Users and /Domain subdirectories.
Data stored outside of these locations is not backed up, unless it is needed as part of your job or the data cannot be relocated due to technical limitations. Additionally, data with the following file extensions are not backed up: .asf, .tmp, .temp, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .mp3, .mp4, .m4a, .m4b, .m4v, .wav, .wma, .mod, .mt2s, .m2ts, .MTS, .iso, .bin, .cue, .vob, .nrg, .img, .dmg, .vmdk, .vmem, .ost, .msi, .mig, /Thumbs.db, /Desktop.ini, /DESKTOP.INI, .3gp
Note: Macintosh aliases or PC shortcuts that point to locations outside of the aforementioned folders and subdirectories by default, are not backed up.
If you have data that is not backed up by default and is needed as part of your job, please contact the Help Desk.
Currently there is no size limit on the amount of data that will be backed up. However, we do monitor the amount of space being used and if your backup becomes disproportionate to other Disaster Recovery Service (DRS) registrants Information Technology staff will contact you to discuss alternate options. We can assist sorting out what you should keep and what you should archive.
- Log on to the computer that you would like to have backed up
- Complete the
If you are Mac user you must use Firefox. At this time Safari is not compatible with the registration form.
Upon completing the form you will be asked if we may shutdown your computer at the end of each backup cycle. If you click "Yes" please provide a window of time that we may safely initiate a shutdown. Keep in mind that you can always return to the registration link and change these settings.
Please contact the Help Desk with questions or problems.
Your backup will still continue to run as scheduled.
Your computer does not have to be powered-on for the backup service to run.
In most cases you computer can be powered on via the network. If you have
you must put your computer into sleep mode in order for it to be woke up
successfully via the network.
There are some exceptions:
- If you have an E-4200 computer. This is the oldest model computer on campus and does
not support wake on lan technology. The best we can do is schedule your
backups to run at a time during the day that will work best for you.
- If you have a laptop that was manufactured prior to 2004 it
most likely does not not support wake on lan. The best we can do is
schedule your backups to run at a time during the day that will work best
- If your computer is on a power strip and you turn that off at the end of
every day your computer cannot be backed up.
- If the campus experiences a power outage, wake on lan will not work until the
computer has been manually powered back on and then properly powered off.
- If the network equipment to which your computer is connected, suffers
a failure, or your computer is simply disconnected from the network after
you have powered down your computer cannot be backed up.
A log file (DRS-Log) is placed PC desktop listing the type of backup that was performed and a date and time stamp. If you have a Mac, a log file is placed in /var/log/DRS-log.txt.
Two copies of your data are made. The first copy is kept on a server located in the campus primary server room. This data is then copied to a secondary server located in the campus secondary server room.
We keep 1 full backup worth of data and incremental backups. The backup rotation starts every 7 days. The day chosen for a Full backup for your computer is based on the modulus of a hash of your computer name. This is done to randomize the schedule of Full backups occurring across a week.
Why do we want to randomize? We cannot run all of the full backups on all computers on the same night. The sheer volume of data to backup up would take at least 3 full days. Our goal is to back up computers when most are not using them.
A full backup copies all files that have been marked for backup. An incremental backup only copies those files which have changed since the last full backup.
Please contact the Information Technology Help Desk as soon as possible.
Power Management was implemented in 2009, at which time computers registered with the Backup and Recovery service no longer shutdown after the backup job. The standard power management settings place the computer into a low power state once the backup completes and the idle time threshold has been reached.