Files stored in your CSE home directory on CSE file servers are kept in redundant disk arrays that can survive significant hardware failures without losing data.
These are also snapshot'd and backed up to tape on a regular basis; well-protected from accidental data loss.
However, if you run a self-administered computer, the files on it are not automatically backed up by CSE in any way; backing up your data is your responsibility.
Hard drives and flash drives can and do fail without warning, at any time.
CSG regularly deal with failed hard drives from students and staff; in the majority of cases we are unable to recover any data.
Where it is critical to recover data from a failed disk, it is very important to stop using the faulty or damaged HDD immediately. We recommend the use of a data recovery company such as Payam - however the costs for doing so can run into many thousands of dollars.
Please don't let this happen to you, or indeed to your research group.
All you have to do to prevent data loss is regularly make a copy of your files to at least one other discrete location.
CSG does not have access to your computer and we cannot do it for you - you have to set this up for yourself. Luckily, it's extremely easy to do.
Your CSE Home Directory
For small amounts of data, you can copy your files into your CSE home directory.
If you're running short on disk quota, you can ask your supervisor to request more space on your behalf.
Your UNSW Home Directory
UNSW central IT also provides file storage for work-related material.
The UNSW Data Archive
For permanent storage and collaboration features, take a look at the UNSW Data Archive.
External Storage Media
We also recommend that on top of these solutions, you regularly back up onto a removable hard drive that you connect to your computer for the purpose.