Backup FAQ's

Backing up digital communications, data and other electronic files is an essential practice to ensure against the loss of valuable information. The purpose of performing back-ups is to be able to restore a system to a known state (as of the date of the most recent back-up) in case of system failure, or to restore individual files inadvertently deleted, inappropriately modified, corrupted or lost. The responsibility for backing up all data, software and programs on any student laptop computer rests with the computer user or owner.

If you bring your laptop to the CCIT Support Center, it is imperative that your data already be backed up before having any work performed on your laptop. It is our goal to protect your data while we repair your laptop but due to hardware failures and data corruption we cannot guarantee the safety of your data and we will not backup your data prior to working on your laptop.

NEVER KEEP ONLY ONE COPY OF ANYTHING CRITICAL!

We recommend that you keep multiple copies of your most critical data including your e-portfolio data, academic data, thesis, resume, etc.  You may also want to keep back-up copies of your pictures, music and videos if they are important to you! 

We recommend that you keep copies of your most critical data:

  1. on CD/DVDs at home or in a friend's room
  2. on your parent's computer or your roommate's computer
  3. emailed to your parents or a friend

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why should I back up my data?
  2. Where is my data located?
  3. Who is responsible for the backup of data on my laptop or desktop?
  4. Will the CCIT Support Center back up my data for me?
  5. What is copyrighted material?
  6. Does CCIT provide me any storage space for backing up my data?
  7. Do the files I put on the U: drive get backed up?
  8. How do I know if I need to backup my email?
  9. Are there any local backup programs on my laptop that I can use to backup my files?
  10. What types of media are recommended for backing up my files?
  11. Does CCIT recommend any off site backup options?
  12. Is there training available from CCIT to help me with backing up my files?

Why should I back up my data? Backing up digital communications, data, and other electronic files is an essential practice to insure against the loss of valuable information. The purpose of performing back-ups is to restore a system to a current state (as of the date of the most recent back-up) in case of system failure, or to restore individual files inadvertently deleted, inappropriately modified, corrupted or lost.

Where is my data located? If you have one of the Clemson recommended laptops with the software image, the default locations are:

My Documents - d:\profile.cu\my documents
Outlook data - d:\profile.cu\application data\microsoft\outlook
Desktop - d:\profile.cu\desktop
Favorites - d:\profile.cu\favorites (your favorites in Internet Explorer

If you have some other kind of laptop, default locations depend on how your laptop is set up. Generally My documents is under c:\documents and settings\YOUR WINDOWS USER NAME\my documents, Outlook is c:\documents and settings\Your Windows User Name\application data\microsoft\outlook.
One thing that makes it a little difficult to back up is the fact that My Documents includes folders My Music and My Pictures. Some students keep large volumes of data in those two folders. So if you are burning a CD and want only your academic data, you might need to exclude those folders so the data will fit on one CD or DVD. You might need multiple CD/DVDs if you want to back up those folders.

Who is responsible for the backup of data on my laptop or desktop? The responsibility for backing up all data, software and programs on any student laptop computer rests with the computer user or owner.

Will the CCIT Support Center back up my data for me? NO. There are over 17,000 laptops currently on our campus and although the amount of data varies between users, it can take up to several hours to fully backup documents, pictures, movies and music. The CCIT Support Center staff is better utilized in working directly with the students on troubleshooting specific laptop issues and getting these issues resolved quicker. Also, Clemson University assumes a level of liability when an agent of the University (CCIT staff member) backs up copyrighted files to University owned equipment (server, hard drive, etc.) and since copyrighted material is not legally licensed to the University, then it should not be stored on University-owned machines.

What is copyrighted material? Copyrighted material includes, but it not limited to: software programs, MP3 files, movies, multimedia, and electronic books.

Does CCIT provide me any storage space for backing up my data? YES. Each student has been provided a home directory commonly referred to as the U: drive that is managed by CCIT. The U: drive size for students starts at 1.0GB with the ability to request a temporary increase through CCIT support.

Do the files I put on the U: drive get backed up? YES. Files put on the U drive are backed up nightly and are retained for 30 days.

How do I know if I need to backup my email? Most web based email clients store email on a server and therefore the email does not need to be backed up. Some email clients can be configured for POP3 or IMAP access to your messages. Please make sure you understand the differences as they relate to email message backup and storage. In a POP3 configuration, all messages as well as their attachments (including outgoing email and DRAFT email) reside on the desktop PC in this configuration. The computer user or owner must be sure to back up email in a POP3 configured client. In an IMAP configuration, all messages and their attachments are retained on an email server so the computer user or owner need not back up these messages.

Are there any local backup programs on my laptop that I can use to backup my files? YES. Both PC Windows and Mac OSX laptops have a local backup program built-in to the operating system. For Windows, you can use the Robocopy backup utility. For Mac you can use the Time Machine backup utility.

Discover how to use Robocopy here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo2PPdlJpcE

Discover how to use Time Machine here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeUAhHTcjZA&NR=1

What types of media are recommended for backing up my files? Here are the types of backup media recommended and supported by CCIT Customer Support:

 

Media Type

Description / Notes

Storage Size

CD

CD media is very inexpensive and most systems now come standard with a CD drive for easy data storage and transfer

650MB

DVD

DVD media ensures that you have a hard copy of your data and it is long term, non volatile storage

4.6GB (4600MB)

Blue Ray

You must have a Blue Ray drive installed on your laptop or desktop to use this media

27GB (27000MB)

Flash Drive

Flash drives are a convenient, portable method for backing up data. Flash drives use the USB mass storage standard, supported natively by Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems

128MB - 64GB

External Disk

Most external disks need specific backup software to operate appropriately. An external disk is usually the quickest and easiest way to backup data

160GB - 1.0TB

 

Does CCIT recommend any off site backup options? CCIT Customer Support does not currently have any offsite backup options. Below are recommended off-site backup options. Both Mac and Windows backup clients are available. Although these off site backup options have been tested and are recommended, CCIT does not provide any support for these products.

 

Service Name

Description / Notes

Contact Info

Mozy Home

Free for up to 2 GB then less than $50 per year for unlimited data storage. Clemson has negotiated a special 20% discount with Mozy. Use promotion code: CLEMSON (case sensitive)

www.mozy.com/home

Support available via online Knowledge Base

Carbonite

Fully automatic, secure and encrypted backup to an off-site server. Unlimited data backup for $55 / year.

http://www.carbonite.com/

Live chat available for both PC and Mac

Crash Plan

Crash Plan uses your computer and your Internet connection to automatically back up your files to destinations you know and trust -> your own. Crash Plan is a FREE download.

http://www.crashplan.com/

Sales & Support (612) 333-4242

rsync

rsync is a FREE download file transfer program for Unix systems. rsync provides a very fast method for bringing remote files into sync.

http://www.rsync.net/

Online support ONLY via samba.org list serve

iBackup

IBackup enables users to get enterprise-class online backup with superior performance for their data. The cost for iBackup is $9.99 / month for 10GB data backup space.

http://www.ibackup.com/

Sales - 1-800-949-3555

Tech - 1-800-949-3555

 

Is there training available from CCIT to help me with backing up my files? YES. The CCIT training department provides training classes on email backup and data backup. The training schedule can be found at the following web address: http://www.clemson.edu/ccit/learning_tech/computer_training/index.html or by contacting the CCIT Support Center at 864-656-3494 or ITHELP@clemson.edu.