Below are the frequently asked questions regarding the registration process.
1.1. How do I register for the backup service?
Please review the follow the instructions for registering for the backup service.
1.2. Who can register for the backup service?
Oxford University backup services are available to all University staff, senior members and postgraduates. You will need to have a operating system that is currently supported and direct access to the university network.
1.3. I am an Oxford University undergraduate student - can I register for the backup service?
No, OUCS do not have the resources to supply this service to all students. There may be a local service that is provided by your college or department: please speak to your local IT Support Team for further information.
1.4. Which type of account should I register for?
There are five different types of HFS account:
All accounts are available for backup and restore 24/7. For the limits on how much data you can send for the different accounts please see 9.11. How much data can I back up?.
Please note that it is possible for us to change one account type into another but that the process is not simple. If you register for the wrong type of account please do not de-register and then re-register, as this will schedule both your old and new accounts for deletion - instead please contact the HFS Team on email@example.com.
1.5. What is a TSM nodename?
|Personal desktop (flexible name)||username-text-dept/college||ABCD1234-MYLAPTOP-EXETER||All HFS users|
|Unit desktop (flexible name)||facility-text-dept/college||HELPCENTRE-PC-OUCS||ITSS only|
|Unit desktop (IP name)||As IP name||MYDESKTOP.OUCS||ITSS only|
|Unit server (IP name)||As IP name||MYSERVER.OUCS||ITSS only|
|Unit large server (IP name)||As IP name||MYLARGESERVER.OUCS||ITSS only|
|Archive account||project_ARCHIVE.dept/college||IMAGES_ARCHIVE.OUCS||Archive account holders|
1.6. Can I register a Windows 2000 Client for backup?
Maintaining support for legacy and diverse operating systems is time-consuming. Therefore OUCS no longer register nodes using Windows 2000 or earlier - some existing installations will continue to be supported if the machines cannot be upgraded to a later OS but these will be done on an individually agreed basis.
Similarly, we do not receive support from IBM for legacy client operating systems.
1.7. How do I change the owner and/or contact of a registered TSM node?
The answer to this question depends on whether you are IT Support Staff: please see further our page on TSM account management.
2. Downloading the TSM Software
Below are frequently asked questions regarding downloading the TSM Client Software.
2.1. Why can I not download the TSM installation file?
If you cannot download the TSM software, please verify that you were either directly connected to the Oxford University network, or connected via VPN, when you tried to download. TSM can only be downloaded, installed and run on machines that are within the physical Oxford University network or (for backup-over-VPN accounts) connected via VPN.
2.2. Why is my operating system not on your list?
Maintaining operating system support for legacy and diverse OSes is time-consuming. Therefore OUCS no longer register nodes using Windows 2000 or earlier - some existing installations will continue to be supported if the machines cannot be upgraded to a later OS but these will be done on an individually agreed basis.
Similarly, we do not receive support from IBM for legacy client operating systems.
2.3. Why are OUCS not using the latest version of the TSM client?
It is not practical for us always to be using the latest client software, and new versions often prove to have minor bugs. Also, unless there is a genuine reason to upgrade the client software we may not force clients to upgrade.
2.4. What would happen if I installed the wrong TSM client on my machine?
There are built-in checks during the installation that should prevent you from installing the wrong client software onto your machine - even if the wrong version were installed, the worst-case scenario is that the TSM Client would not work until the correct version were installed.
3. Installing the TSM Software
Below are frequently asked question when installing the TSM Client Software
3.1. Why won't TSM accept my nodename and password?
If your nodename and password combination aren't accepted, visit the Self Registration Page to double-check your registered nodename and to reset your password if necessary.
3.2. Why won't the installation package unzip?
You need to have local administrative rights to perform the installation. You may need to speak to your local IT staff if they manage your machine, and to ask them to install TSM for you.
3.3. How do I upgrade to a newer version of TSM?
To upgrade TSM, you only need to install the latest version that is available for your operating system. Just install the new software as documented via the client-specific instructions linked from the clients page.
3.4. What is the minimum recommended version of TSM?
With the exception of Mac OS X 10.4.7+, only versions of these operating systems that can run TSM 5.5 or higher are supported. For a list of these supported versions, and instructions on how to download and install TSM on them, please see our clients page.
If you are running Mac OS X but unsure which exact version it is, you can check by clicking on
the Apple icon at the top left of your screen and selecting
[About This Mac] from the menu; the version of Mac OS X installed on your machine will be listed in
3.4.2. Bypassing the security vulnerability
If you are not running any of the operating systems listed above, then you can still reconfigure your old version of TSM to make it secure - please see our page on bypassing the security vulnerability.
3.4.3. Further information about upgrading
Please note that upgrading may not carry over any edits to the Domain option in your client configuration. If you have made edits to this, you will have to reapply them - please see our FAQ item ??. Windows users should also check their Exclude statements too, if they have edited them in the past - see further FAQ ?? and in general FAQ ??.
If you experience problems whilst updating the software, please look at our FAQ section on Installing TSM to see if there is a solution there.
3.5. Why was my TSM client configuration not reporting to the correct server?
This could be due to a number of reasons but is normally because the client has been de registered and then re registered by the owner. In order to ensure stability and availability of our services the Backups are spread across a number of servers. Therefore, when clients register they may not be placed on the same server - this is certainly the case if registrations are not at the same time even if it is for the same machine.
dsm.optwas already on the client and detected and used during the installation process
3.6. How do I access TSM/HFS services behind a firewall?
On this subject please see further our page on connecting to the HFS through a firewall.
3.7. How can I back up a dual-boot machine?
You will need a TSM client for each operating system. Register separately for each of your two (or three) operating systems for HFS TSM Backup via the registration pages. This will give you TSM Client nodenames of the form username-text-department/college, e.g. abcd1234-windows-exeter and abcd1234-linux-exeter. You should then obtain and install the latest TSM Client software for each operating system, from the Getting Started link from the front page of the HFS web pages.
Please make sure to exclude each operating system's files from the other, so that e.g. your Windows partition does not back up your Linux files or vice versa, to ensure that the HFS does not receive your data twice. For instructions on this please see how to exclude files and folders from backup.
Please also note that TSM does not support cross-platform backup/restores, meaning that you should not attempt to back up data from two different operating systems in one account, nor to restore data backed up by one operating system to another.
4.1. Why do TSM passwords expire?
TSM client passwords expire 372 days after being set. It is generally good security practice to change passwords regularly and this setting forces users to change their password at least once a year. It also provides a limited safeguard to backups of machines made by users who then leave.
However, by default, you will have the
PasswordAccess option in your TSM options file
Generate. In this case, the client and server will autonegotiate a new
and store it in encrypted form on the local client disk and you, the user, do
not have to do anything.
4.2. How do I change my TSM password?
You can reset your TSM password by going to the Self Registration Page. On identifying yourself with your Oxford username you can choose the option to reset your TSM password(s). The change will take effect immediately.
The TSM password has a maximum length of 63 characters and is case-insensitive.
Valid characters are
[a-zA-Z0-9+.-_&] i.e. any
letter a-z upper or lower case, any number 0-9, plus, period, underscore, hyphen,
4.3. What do I do if I've forgotten my TSM password or if it has expired?
If, on starting the TSM client, you are prompted that your password has expired, or on inputting your password you receive a message 'Authentication failure' or 'ANS1051E: Invalid password', then you will need to reset your TSM password.
For how to do this please see the previous section, 4.2. How do I change my TSM password?.
5. Manual Backup
Below are frequently asked question when performing a manual backup
5.1. Why would I need to perform a manual backup?
Manual backups can be completed at any time to capture important changed data - between scheduled backups, after missing scheduled backups or even as an alternative to scheduled backups (ideal for laptop users who are unable to leave their machines on overnight for the scheduled backups).
5.2. When is my scheduled backup?
Go to the Self Registration Page, select the node you wish to view the schedule for and select View client information from the drop-down box. The backup schedule associated with this client is provided in the on-screen information.
5.3. How can I see if my manual backups are successful?
Go to the Self Registration Page, select the node you wish to view the schedule for and select Show client's recent activity from the drop-down box. The recent activity will be displayed for backups: look for activities labelled "BACKUP" and you will be able to see the start and end times and the amount of data in megabytes that was backed up.
5.4. What do the barred red circles mean?
The folders and files marked with barred red circles are excluded from backup and will not be backed up. The specific exclusions have been written for a number of reasons, the main one being that the backups are intended to be used for individual data and not for installation directories or system data, e.g. the Windows directory or Program Files.
5.5. I want to back up a folder or file that has a barred red circle next to it.
It is possible to remove the exclusion and include a file or folder in your backup if the exclusion is performed on the client side. However, some exclusions are forced at a server level which will override any settings changed locally - please see Which files are omitted from backups which will go into the exclusions in more detail.
6. Scheduled Backups
6.1. Can I change the day and/or time that my scheduled backup runs?
It is possible to change the time that your scheduled backup is set to, but not the day. Each college and department is allocated one night a week on which all its backup accounts have their schedule slots.
If your machine is not normally switched on at the time when your scheduled backup occurs, but it is left connected to the Oxford network, then you can configure it to switch on and off automatically for the backups (see 6.2. Do I need to leave my computer on all night in order to back up?). If this is not convenient then you can run a manual backup at any time: on how to do this, please see our instructions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
However, it is possible to change the time of your backup, albeit within a limited number of slots during the evening and/or night (morning and afternoon slots are not possible). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the time of your scheduled backup changed.
6.2. Do I need to leave my computer on all night in order to back up?
No, that is not necessary. There are two alternatives to leaving your machine switched on. It can be configured to wake up at a specific time for the backup schedule to run, and also to shut off again when the backup has completed: please see further our page on setting a machine to switch on and off for scheduled backups. Alternatively, you can run a manual backup at any time: on how to do this, please see our instructions for Windows, Mac and Linux.
6.3. When is my scheduled backup due to run?
6.4. How can I stop receiving the "TSM Scheduled Backup failure report" when I only back up manually?
You can't! The messages are generated as a batch for all TSM clients. As the message states, you can ignore this message if you only perform manual backups, or use it as an aide-de-memoire to run a manual backup on receipt of such a message.
6.5. How can I stop the TSM scheduler running?
6.6. I've received an email with the subject of "TSM Scheduled backup failure report"
This means that a scheduled backup for a node registered to your email address has not completed. To resolve the issue or to understand why this happened please follow the Scheduled Backup Troubleshooting guide to resolve the issue.
6.7. What is the difference between MISSED, FAILED and SEVERED backups?
If your scheduled backup does not run or failed to complete you will receive an automated email notification, indication whether a particular node MISSED the schedule, FAILED to backup or was SEVERED. Definitions for each of these can be found below:
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 OUCS 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:
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
8.1. Why do I need to deregister my node when I leave?
If you are leaving the university then we request that deregister your TSM nodes, to ensure that our systems work as effectively and efficiently as possible. If you do not deregister your node then our systems will notice that the node is not contacting our servers and will automatically send out various email notifications (missed backup notices and data deletion warnings) which results in significant administrative work on the part the HFS Team to determine whether the node is still present, and also in attempts made to contact the owner. Thus much work is prevented if you advise us that you are, or your machine is, leaving the university.
8.2. Why do I need to remove the software - is deregistering not enough?
9.1. Where are the TSM configuration and log files located?
TSM configuration files are found in the following locations:
TSM log files are as follows:
|Mac OS X||
msi.log. To find the directory where these files are located in Windows, do as follows:
Windows users can find the files via
My Computer. Additionally, there is an automated way of sending us the required files - please see our page on
log file collection for Windows.
Mac users can find the files via
Finder but may need to run
[Go to Folder...] and type or paste in the above-mentioned folder
name in order to locate the files. Please also note that the configuration files are in
/Library/Preferences/Tivoli Storage Manager, not
the (always empty) folder
/Users/<your-username>/Library/Preferences/Tivoli Storage Manager.
9.2. What is the difference between backup and archive?
Many people mistakenly consider backup and archive to be the same thing and use the terms interchangeably. In fact they are very different.
Backup is intended to provide a mechanism for securing your current, active files: that is files and data that are resident on your local disk and by implication actively in use. It enables you to recover your disk to its most current state in the event that it is lost (for example, hardware failure); it also enables you to recover a file or files that have been lost (for example, accidentally deleted).
Archive is for the long-term storage of data which is considered to be of value to the university. It is held independent of any files' continued existence on your local disk. Archived files may be removed from the local disk on your computer if required (for example, for space reasons).
9.3. Can I back up/restore from home?
Yes. The HFS supports VPN-based backup for systems that are registered to back up remotely. This allows the backup and restore of important University data from anywhere in the world using connections via the University's VPN service: please see further our page on VPN-based backups.
9.4. My account was deleted, so I have re-registered but the TSM Client is not working
The reason for this is because the original deleted node was probably registered to a different server than the newly registered node. To resolve follow the instructions on removing and reinstalling the TSM Client.
Further Explanation: In order to spread the load of new registrations, the HFS team change the server on which new TSM nodes are registered. [Odd numbered HFS servers (OX_HFS_B1, OX_HFS_B3, OX_HFS_B5, OX_HFS_B7) are for desktops; even-numbered (OX_HFS_B2, OX_HFS_B4, OX_HFS_B6, OX_HFS_B8, OX_HFS_B10) are for servers.] One user may therefore have accounts spread over several different HFS servers. If a user de-registers an old account from, say, B3, and re-registers, then the new account may come out on, say, B7, if that is where new registrations go. When he/she tries to install, the TSM installer will pick up on all the old settings it finds in dsm.sys/dsm.opt and will try to contact only B3. But, as the user says in their question, we deleted that old B3 account, so the installer finds no account there. So the B7 account will be ignored by the installer and the user can’t run TSM.
9.5. What do I need to do if my machine is being renamed and/or moved?
Your TSM backup is unlikely to be affected if your machine is moved, even if it moves to a different part of the university network. However, if it is renamed and it is also running Windows, then it is likely that it will resend all its data, which may cause your account to be locked. Please see further our page on renaming TSM nodes.
9.6. How secure is TSM?
For a discussion of the various aspects of this subject, please see our page on TSM security.
9.7. What are filespaces?
Filespaces within TSM are typically subsections of nodes that have previously been backed up. For example a node (desktop, laptop or server) may have several physical or logical disks contained with them - these would locally be seen to as c:\, d:\, e:\ etc. As the TSM Backup is required to run with some administrative privileges it backs up the data using Administrative shares that access directly into the root of each drive letter whilst using the UNC for the client, these are generally seen as \\testpc\c$, \\testpc\d$, \\testpc\e$, etc.
For windows clients there for when a filespace is referred to as \\testpc\c$ it is referring to the local C:\ on the machine called TESTPC.
9.8. Which version of TSM am I running?
If you are using the Graphical User Interface (GUI) click on
About TSM. The screen will display the relevant information, such as
Version 6, Release 4, Level 0.0. Click the screen to close it and return to
the TSM hub window.
On a Mac, you can alternatively select
[Tivoli Storage Manager] >
[About Tivoli Storage Manager] from next to the Apple logo
(i.e. at the top left corner of the screen). Please note that this does not always give correct results:
if you do this after having run TSM Tools for Administrators (which is the recommended method of running
TSM on a Mac) then you
will be told that you have TSM 1.0; if you do not run TSM via TSM Tools for Administrators, then TSM 6.3 and 6.4
will mis-report that you are running TSM 6.2.
9.9. How can I check that my backup was successful?
There are several ways to check that your backup was successful, whether you only back up manually, only use the automatic schedules, or both. Please see further our page on how to check that backups ran successfully.
9.10. What limits are there on use of the HFS?
|Backup Session Duration||10 Hours|
|Transfer Speed||Average of 10KB/sec over 2 hours|
|Maximum File Size||Same as Daily Limit (below)|
9.11. How much data can I back up?
The HFS limits data uploads by imposing a daily quota. If you exceed this amount then your account will be locked out - this is necessary in order to ensure fair use of the HFS. The limits are as follows:
The total data backed up by a node in a 24 hour period is not allowed to exceed the daily backup quota. That 24 hour period is linked to the operation of the HFS service but typically starts in the early hours of the morning.
If you exceed the daily transfer limit then you will receive a mail headed "HFS backup cancellation report": if this occurs please see our section on HFS backup cancellation reports.
If you need to send more than the daily limit then you can stage your backups by limiting the amount that you send each day. If you need to do this, please see the FAQ item 9.12. How can I limit the amount of data that I'm backing up?.
Unfortunately we cannot accept more than the daily limit for each account. This is because of the way in which newly-received data is processed: it would delay our daily processes the next day if we were to receive an excessively large amount for a single account.
In addition to the daily limit, there is a limit on the size of a single account, which should not exceed 10TB.
9.12. How can I limit the amount of data that I'm backing up?
Report; this opens a Backup Report window that shows the running total (listed as
Stopin the Task List window.
9.13. What does and doesn't get backed up to the HFS?
TSM will inspect your local hard drive(s) and any locally-attached external drives and by default will back up all the files that it finds there. However, for a variety of reasons, some files are excluded from backup. A list of excluded files can be found on the HFS Policy Pages.
9.14. How many copies of my files are kept, and how long for?
The HFS keeps up to two copies of any one file that is backed up. For information on how long files are held for, please see section 9.18. How long do you keep data for?.
9.15. What does "always incremental" mean?
The backup service provided by OUCS creates a copy of your active files. This is achieved through incremental backups.
Incremental backups mean that we only take copies of the data that has changed since the last time a backup was taken, and we then add this to the existing data that has been backed up.
9.16. What should I do if I can't back up for several weeks/months?
If you do not back up for four weeks then you will receive a warning mail headed 'Old data on the HFS'. Another will be sent after ten weeks of inactivity, warning you that your data will be deleted in four weeks' time. After that point, if we have received no response, then the filespaces/accounts listed in the second e-mail will be deleted. More information about these mails is to be found in our pages on Standard TSM emails: old data on the HFS and deletion policy.
Perhaps, however, you are unable to run a backup because e.g. you are out of Oxford or away on leave. If that is the case and you cannot run a backup for more than two months, please contact email@example.com and let us know the reason, and also the date when you will be able to back up again. We will then put your data on hold until that date.
9.17. When is the HFS available?
Generally, the HFS service is available 24/7. However, as with all systems there is from time to time a requirement to update the software and device firmware that underpins the service. Where this requires limiting access to some or all elements of the HFS Service, such interruptions will be advertised to the itss-announce maillist and on the IT Services Status Page, where real-time availability of all IT services can be checked.
9.18. How long do you keep data for?
The answer to this question falls into two parts. Data that has been backed up to the HFS is, if it still exists on the local disk, retained as long as the drive/partition that sent it continues to back up to the HFS. Data from drives that have ceased backing up for 90 days is subject to deletion, in accordance with our deletion policy; up to three warning e-mails are sent before such deletion occurs.