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UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Personal Workstation Backup]

UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Personal Workstation Backup]

Question: Can I backup data from my personal workstation?
Author: Joseph Tam
Date: July 13, 2004

Personal workstation data can be backup'd to a backup disk on the department's file server. A script (file with sequence of commands) is installed on the personal workstation that is scheduled to run at a specific time.

The script can be modified to backup specific directories or to exclude certain files. The user should spend time to pare down the list of files and directories to be backup'd as file disk is limited and being shared with all other users' backups.

As a byproduct, the script should also create a report of modified and deleted files since the last backup. This report can be captured in a log file or mailed to the user. This is a handy auditing tool and also serves as verification that backup was performed on schedule.

It is essential for the backup to start at a designated time, so time synchronisation software may be installed to keep the workstations clock accurate.

The backup data can be found online at


An accidentally deleted or modified file can be restored to the state it was at the time of the backup. Since the backup file system is mounted read-only (to prevent a second accidental erasure!), you must copy this data to it's final location.

Please read the FAQ on retrieving lost data for information on how to recover data further back in time.