College Desktop Backups

The College of Engineering offers a backup service to the departments.  Each department can delegate backup seats out to its users. 

  1. Does the the info below apply to other ENGR/ENGG or UD backups?
    • The ENGR/ENGG and UD servers are backed up by different systems and have their own policies.
  2. How do I get added to the college backup server?
    • Your groups administrative head will need to approve you being added to the server.  Each unit/department only has a limited number of people who can be backed up.  Please submit an Engineering IT Help Request if you want to use this system.
  3. What do I need to be backed up?
    • Permission from your unit head, a physical ethernet connection and a static (non-changing) internet address on the UD network.  ENGR IT cannot backup your computer if it is only using a wireless connection or if it is off campus.
  4. How can I tell if my computer is being backed up?
    • On windows (vista and above) go to the start menu and type "retrospect" and click on the "retrospect client" program.  It has a status window which will tell you the last time your computer was backed up.  If the "Retrospect Client" program isn't installed then please submit an ENGR IT help ticket.
    • On Mac OS X search for "retrospect" in the Spotlight search box (magnify glass in the top right corner of your screen) and search for "Retrospect Client".  It has a status window which will tell you the last time your computer was backed up.  If the "Retrospect Client" program isn't installed then please submit an ENGR IT help ticket.
  5. How often does the college backup computers on this system?
    • ENGR IT is able to backup computers every 3-5 days.  The time between backups can vary.  If your computer is not available on the college network (powered off, sleeping, physically not here, only on wireless) then it won't get backed up.  Also, server glitches may sometimes prevent things from being backed up for about a week.
  6. How long are backups kept?
    • Normal desktop backups are normally kept between 16 and 30 days.  ENGR IT's goal is to keep 5 - 8 snapshots for each computer depending on each department/unit's free disk space on the backup server.  If you are backed up every 4 days and ENGR IT keeps 7 snapshots, then the ENGR desktop backups should have files going back 28 days.  Server glitches can lower this number.  ENGR IT's goal is to have at least a few recent snapshots of each computer that is backed up by this system.
    • Archival backups are made about 4 times a year.  These backups are kept these much longer.  The actual retention policy is still under discussion.
  7. What is backed up and what is not backed up?
    • ENGR IT does NOT backup everything on your computer.  Not all files can be backed up because disk space is limited on the backup server.  In general, ENGR IT does not backup: programs, audio files, movies, zip files, installers, disk images, virtual machines (VMware, MS hyper-v, Oracle Virtual Box, etc) and several other types of files that do not contain user data.  A more complete list of what ENGR IT does and does not backup can be found here:  Files and Folders backed up by the desktop backup server.
    • In general, ENGR IT only backs up 1 hard drive on each computer. This is normally your C: drive on windows or start-up drive (normally called "Macintosh HD") in Mac OS X.  If you have a dual-booting Mac that has both windows and OS X on it then please submit a help ticket and we can clarify what is being backed up for you.
  8. Should I still do my own backups?
    • It is never a bad idea to maintain your own backups for important files.  If you have access to one of the college file servers you may also be able to use that to make copies of your important data.  Please speak with your department or unit head before doing so.
  9. My computer contains ITAR data, can I still be backed up on the desktop backup server?
    • The desktop backup server cannot backup your computer.  ITAR data needs to be segregated away from other data.  You must let ENGR IT know you have ITAR or else you may be in violation of ITAR policy, which may result in fines or even jail time.