7. Restoring Files and Folders

7.1. How do I perform a restore?

If you have the machine that you used to back up your data, please follow our instructions for running a TSM restore in Windows, Mac or Linux.

If you do not have the original machine, then please see our FAQ item 7.3. My machine has crashed - can I perform a system restore?.

7.2. I can't see my files, but I'm sure they were backed up.

The usual reason that files are not visible in the restore window is that they are inactive; the default is for TSM only to show active files. For an explanation of active/inactive files, see 7.5. What are active and inactive files?. To view both active and inactive files, click on [View] and then chose [View Active/Inactive Files]: this should fix the problem.

If viewing inactive files does not help, and your machine is a Mac, please see our knowledgebase article KBMAC0003 - Files expected to be available for restore by TSM for Mac are not listed.

7.3. My machine has crashed - can I perform a system restore?

In the case of desktops and laptops, the backup service provided by IT Services is intended to provide data backups, not system backup and recovery: you should rebuild your system using original media and then install the TSM software to recover your data back onto your machine. For more details, please read our page on how to recover your entire system.

7.4. Why can I not restore my data back to the same location when restoring to a new machine?

In Windows, if your machine has crashed and you are restoring data to a new machine, or if you have upgraded your machine and you are restoring data to a new machine, then you must specify an alternative location to which to restore. This is because when you restore to the original location the TSM client uses the UNC path which will contain the name of the old computer and not the new one. The old UNC path includes the name of the old machine: so unless your old and new your two Windows machines have identical names, the data restore would fail.

7.5. What are active and inactive files?

An active file is a file that currently resides both on your machine and on the HFS, in the same version.

There are two ways in which active files may be rendered inactive:

  • If a file has been backed up previously and therefore exists on the TSM Backup Servers but is then deleted from the live environment, when the next backup runs (manual or scheduled) the file on the TSM Servers is marked as inactive - because it has no live equivelant
    • Inactive files such as this will remain on the TSM Servers for 90 days before they are automatically removed
  • If a file has been backed up previously and therefore exists on the TSM Backup Service but the file is then updated in the live environment, when the next backup runs (manual or scheduled) the original file on the TSM Server is marked as inactive and the updated version of the file is added to the backup servers and becomes the active backup of this file
    • TSM only keeps one Version document as inactive and one live copy as active, i.e. a subsequent update to the file would see the current inactive file be deleted, the active file become inactive and a new copy of the updated file as the active version
    • For as long as there is an Active file, the TSM Servers will continue to hold an Inactive Version

7.6. What are point-in-time restores, and how can I use them?

What are "Point in Time" restores? - Point in Time restores offer an option to restore files back to a certain dates, this could be prior to a Virus Infection or possible data corruption.

Can I use "Point in Time" restores? - Within Oxford University Point in Time restores are of little use as our policies are set to only store two copies of any given file - one active, and the previous version as inactive. For best results set the restore to view both active and inactive before following the normal instructions for restoring files and folders.

For more information on Point in Time restores please email the HFS Team

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