Backing Up Your Data

Why Backup?

Only your CSE Home Directory is automatically backed up

Files stored in your CSE home directory are kept in redundant disk arrays that can survive significant hardware failures without loss of data.

These are also regularly backed up to tape for additional protection.

However, files you keep on your desktop or laptop computer are not automatically backed up by CSE.

Backing up your data is your responsibility.

Hard drives die suddenly

Hard drives and flash drives can and do fail without any warning, at any time.

If you only have one copy of your data, it's not a question of whether you will lose it, but when you will lose it.

CSG regularly deal with failed hard drives from students and staff - in most cases we can't recover any data in-house.

Data recovery is unreliable and extremely expensive

If it's critical to recover data from a failed disk, stop using it, immediately.

Even powering up a failed disk can damage it further.

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.

Even then, there's no guarantee that you'll get all (or even any) of your data back.

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 system.

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 not difficult to do.

How do I Backup?

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 additional temporary space on your behalf.

CSE keeps long-term backups of this directory on tape and can restore them at any time.

However, you should make your own copy of important files before you leave CSE.

Your UNSW Home Directory

UNSW central IT provides UNSW file storage for all UNSW staff and students.

UNSW Systems of Record

See: Systems of Record and the UNSW Data Archive for permanent storage and collaboration features for Research Data.

External Cloud Providers

There are various cloud services that can store your data, such as google drive, dropbox and crashplan.

There is also AARNET CloudStor available for researchers.

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.

Windows and Mac machines can be configured to regularly and automatically back up your data to your chosen media.


Last edited by jbc 26/03/2020

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backup, lost, data