Windows Desktop Backups

Information on the departmental Windows desktop backup service

Reviewed by Alan Forrest 4/17/14

The Department offers backup of Windows data on your office machine.  Backup quotas are:  40 GB for faculty and 20 GB for staff and graduate students.  The backups run automatically 7 nights per week, and we keep backed-up data (and can restore it) for a period of three months.  Please note that if you have a dual-boot machine, the Windows backups will run only when you leave your machine booted into Windows overnight.  (The backups occur around 1AM).

It is possible to access your most recent backup on line.  The previous day’s backups are located at:  \\merry.cs.unc.edu.  There are faculty and staff subdirectories (and will be a subdirectory for grads if any decide to get backups), and within these subdirectories there is a share point for every user that we’re currently backing up.  That share should give you access to your backup folder on a read-only basis.

The Department’s Windows backup system is voluntary.  If you are not already participating in this but would like to do so, these are the things you must do:

  1. On the D drive of your PC, create a folder called <yourlogin>_backup (for example, forrest_backup).
  2. Send mail to help@cs.unc.edu, requesting that we set up a backup of your Windows data.  Please include the name of your office computer, and tell us that you have already set up the <yourlogin>_backup folder.
  3. Place any files you want to be backed up in the <yourlogin>_backup folder on the D drive of your PC.

We will notify you when the backup has been set up on the server.

An alternative backup configuration is used for some of our staff, where we provide some space on merry.cs.unc.edu and map that drive on the user’s desktop.  This may provide slightly slower access, but the advantage is that the space on merry has several Windows system snapshots taken each day, so if you lose data you lose less than one day’s worth.

We will be happy to assist you in setting the default file saving locations for various applications to folders within your backup folder.

Those who are already on the Windows backup system but whose office machine name was recently changed can send mail to help, and we will gladly check to make sure that you are still being backed up.

If the amount of data you have will clearly exceed your Windows backup quota, consider dividing your data and storing some data on our Windows backup system and/or storing project-related data in that research project’s AFS space on one of our servers.  (Our AFS space is backed up Monday-Friday.)