AFS File Restoration

Restoring a deleted file in AFS space

Reviewed by John Sopko 6/17/2014

A snapshot of the directories/volumes located in /afs/ is taken nightly starting at 2:00 a.m.  If your files were present at that time, they will be available as read only files until the next 2 a.m. snapshot is taken.  That is, a copy of your read/write files is placed in the read only backup volume at the time of each snapshot.  The read only copy of these files is located at:


where “login” is your Computer Science login.  Copy any file you need to your regular home directory.

Remember, a snapshot is taken every night and your files will be lost if you do not get them back before the next snapshot!  For instance, say you create a file Monday morning and work on it all day.  Tuesday at 2:00 a.m. a backup volume is created that contains all the data at the time of the backup.  You then accidently delete the file Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.  Simply go to /afs/unc/home/last_backup/login to get a copy of your file. See How AFS backups work for more information.

You only have until the next AFS backup runs at 2 a.m. to do this type of restoration.   After that, a new backup volume is created that will not have the old file on it.  If this happens, you will need to send mail to to have the file restored from tape backup.  In the email, please provide the full path name of the file you need back and the date it was deleted.  Backups are maintained for three months.

If your AFS file is in a location other then /afs/, send email to requesting a file restoration. Make sure you give the full path of the file and the last known good date of the deleted file.