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The goal of backups performed by iSchool IT is to allow you to recover from a hardware disaster and NOT to provide archival backups. We currently backup iSchool-issued computers running the iSchool software image on Windows and the Macintosh Operating System.



Files are backed up using an application named CrashPlan. The CrashPlan application checks for file changes every 15 minutes and if any are found, takes (only) the changes, compresses them, encrypts them, and then sends them to our backup server.



All the default Windows and OS X user folders are backed up. This means:

on Windows, every file and folder under:

C:\Users\your NetID

and on Mac, every file and folder under:

/Users/your NetID

is getting backed up.

NOTE – Although we do backup Firefox and Chrome Bookmarks the restore process is time consuming, not automated, and not part of our normal restore process. If you prefer to use Firefox or Chrome, we recommend you sign into the browser itself, using your UW email address and use the browser’s built-in sync feature to save all your Bookmarks to the cloud:

set up Firefox sync
set up Chrome sync


The following locations and items are not backed up:

folders containing these words:

OneDrive for Business (UW Office 365)
Google Drive
(any similar cloud storage service)

because we:

a) assume these sync applications are doing their job
b) have finite backup storage space



All permanent iSchool faculty, staff, and PhD students that have been issued an iSchool computer will have said computer backed up via CrashPlan.

It is standard operating procedure to backup one computer per person even if an iSchool faculty member, staff member, or PhD student has been issued more than one iSchool computer.

If you are not a permanent employee and/or you are using a checkout or loaner computer and/or your computer is not joined to the NETID domain, then your machine will not be backed up. Please take appropriate actions to safeguard your data!



The CrashPlan application will check for changes and make backups every fifteen (15) minutes. The CrashPlan application works whether you are on or off campus.

Your computer needs to be:

a) powered on (not sleeping)
b) connected to the Internet

for the CrashPlan application to work.



All files are copied to a primary backup server accessible only by the iSchool IT team.

All files are stored on disk and none are copied to tape.



If we were to provide archival backups the data on our backup server would grow out of control. For this reason we do NOT guarantee archival backups! If you need to preserve different versions of a file YOU need to copy them to some media like an external drive or CD/DVD or a cloud service.

Archival backups (which usually means tape or massive disk arrays) are an expense in hardware and staff hours that the iSchool simply can’t afford.



Basic instructions for recovering files from CrashPlan can be found here. Contact the iSchool IT Help Desk with questions.

If you have any questions after reading this article or if you need any help, please don't hesitate to contact the iSchool IT Help Desk.
(206) 616-3086