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Windows backups & restores

About

We provide nightly network backups for supported hosts running Facilities-supported Windows operating systems, including:

  • Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8

The backup system used on the above platforms is Teradactyl.

Important notes

  • If you have REMOVED all permissions to a directory or share except for your own, then the backup system will not be able to backup that directory or share. The default SYSTEM group needs to have permissions in order to read the files for backup.
  • Windows hosts are not automatically placed in the backup system; backups must be specifically requested. See the section below on how to tell if a host is being backed up if you are uncertain if your host is receiving backups.
  • If you add a disk to a host, or change or rename the partitioning, you must tell us in order for the new disk or partition to receive backups. To request backups, send mail to help@cs.cmu.edu with the name and CMU asset number of the host.
  • If there is an alternate host you would like the restored data to be placed, then specify the path on the new host along with the new host name.
  • In order to receive backups, we must be able to install the backup software on your host and it must be running the Facilities environment.

What is backed up

  • As mentioned above, hosts and new partitions are not automatically put in the backup system.
  • We can back up hosts up to around 500 GB for the entire host.
  • Only drives of the form N:, where N is some drive letter, are usually backed up. Directories are not defined individually for backups.
  • Files/directories whose names match */.netscape/cache/*, */vmware/*, or */temporary internet files/* are not backed up.
  • If you have a dual-boot machine, only the OS that is running at the time the backup system is operating will get backed up. Windows backups usually run from around 5:00 PM until 10:00 AM. Your machine will be backed up during some random time during that period (it cannot be individually scheduled).

Special requirements

Because we do network backups of hundreds of Windows hosts nightly, backups for machines with special backup requirements need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. If you need backups for a host that has partitions larger than 500 GB, has a large amount of data that changes frequently, or has a very large amount of data on it (such as a large RAID array), please contact help@cs.cmu.edu to discuss backup options.

How to tell if a Windows host is being backed up

Windows hosts are not automatically placed in the backup system; backups must be specifically requested.

If your computer has backups enabled, you can run the LastBackup program to find out what partitions on your computer are being backed up and when the last backup was performed. LastBackup is available in the SCSBackups section of your Start Menu. Please contact the Help Desk for assistance if LastBackup is not installed or for more information about enabling backups on your computer.

How to request a restore

To request a restore on a Windows system, send mail to help@cs.cmu.edu with the following information:

  • Name of the machine the file(s) were located on.
  • Name of the Machine and path on the new host if there is an alternate host you would like the restored data to be placed.
  • The full path to the requested file(s). Please make sure that these are the actual paths of the file(s) and not a shortcut to them.
  • The last known dates during which the file(s) existed.

E-mail containing instructions on how to access restored files will be sent to you after the restore is complete.