Backing Up Your Data

The purpose of this page is to instruct you in the area(s) to back-up your files and the methods used to complete the back-up tasks.  This page will explain the steps necessary to save your work-related computer files to an external source. This process is needed to protect and save your work-related data. The primary supported external source to save your files would be your personal allocated space on MIDDFILES\HOME.

Important:  These procedures below relate to your work files only.  Your MIDDFILES\HOME space is limited in available space to save work-related objects/files.  If you have personal music, photos, videos and the like to backup then you will need to acquire other storage means (such as an external hard drive or USB storage drive) to save those objects/files.

You should regularly back-up these files to an external source for protection. This is especially important if you are receiving a new computer upgrade and must return your old computer to LIS, and absolutely crucial if your computer is being re-imaged, as this wipes ALL data from the drive.

PC (Windows)

This section describes backing-up your Desktop, Bookmarks, Documents, Signatures and iTunes. If you have data elsewhere on your computer, such as in a "C:\Work" folder that you created yourself, you are responsible for backing that up as well.

  • The first thing to do is check to see if you have Windows XP (green rectangular "start" button) or Windows 7 (round orb with Windows logo for a Start button). If you are unsure, contact the Helpdesk.
  • You will want to copy some folders from your local "home" folder to your external storage location. The location of this folder on Windows XP is C:\Documents and Settings\<username>, and on Windows 7 it is C:\Users\<username>.
  • Once you have opened this folder, you will probably want to backup the Deskop, Favorites, and Documents folders, as well as your e-mail signature, as appropriate. Remember, anything not accessible from public lab computers will be GONE if you don't back it up!

Backup the Desktop:

   Location on your hard drive:  C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Desktop     

    [Show me how]

Backup your browser favorites (bookmarks):

   Internet Explorer 6,7,8:

     Location on your hard drive:  C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Favorites

    [Show me how]

   Firefox 19 / 20

    [Show me how]

Backup your your Documents:

   Note:  You should already be saving all work-related documents on your MIDDFILES\HOME space

   Location on your hard drive:  C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents

   [Show me how]


Outlook contains a hidden "feature" called AutoArchive, which will save all e-mail older than 6 months to a file on your local hard drive, deleting it from our secure servers. We do not recommend doing this in most circumstances, but depending on your configuration, it may happen automatically.

  1. Go to your Outlook folder in Windows Explorer (C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook) and highlight all files ending in ".pst".
  2. Make sure in particular your selection includes "outlook.pst" and "archive.pst".
  3. If you have Windows Explorer configured not to show file extensions for known formats, look for Microsoft Office Outlook Personal Folders files.
  4. Select Edit | Copy from the menu to copy the selected files.
  5. Open the folder where you want to put your backup copies in Windows Explorer (your Home drive (U:) on Middfiles should be used).
  6. Select Edit | Paste from the menu to paste your .pst files to the backup location.
  7. Next write down all the "Mailbox - Xxxxxx" entries in the Folder List of Outlook. These are additional mailboxes that were added to Outlook via Tools => Options => E-mail accounts.
  8. In the Folder List of Outlook, look to see if you have Personal File Folders or Archive Folders  -- these are stored on the local computer itself, not on the e-mail server. You can use Control Panel => Mail => Data Files to open the folder where the .pst files are stored, then back them up.

Backup your Email Signatures:

   Location on your hard drive:

   C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures (if applicable)

   [Show me how]


If you use iTunes you will want to visit these two links:



Apple (Mac)


On an Apple computer running 10.x or higher you will want to copy the following container to your external source:

Open Finder, select "Macintosh HD", then select "Users", then highlight your <username> and copy the entire contents inside this folder to your external storage destination.

NOTE: "Users" contains most things you will care about when wanting to restore data to your new computer: your documents, music, photos, movies, and more are stored inside this container. Be warned that if you have excessive files you may need to use a personal external storage drive since MIDDFILES\HOME only allows so much storage. You may also request a temporary quota increase if you have an exceptional quantity of work-related files that need to be backed up.

Non-work-related files must be backed up to an external drive, as Middfiles is for work-related use only.


By default, most items (messages, folders, contacts, appointments, notes, etc) you see in Entourage are stored on the Exchange e-mail server.  However, anything stored in the "Folders on My Computer" is not stored on the e-mail server.  Unless you choose to place items in the "Folders on My Computer", the list of locally-stored items is generally limited to items that Entourage cannot synchronize.  The most significant of these is Distribution Lists.  Take a moment to see what is inside the "Folders on My Computer", or look for all of your stuff from WebMail to see what may be missing.  Such folders can be dragged from Entourage to a backup location, and dragged back in.  We recommend moving items that can be stored on the Exchange server in your Mailbox for best protection from data loss.

iPhoto and Pictures

These need to be backed up to a CD, DVD or external hard disk (the FireWire drives from the Library are not meant for backups). See Backing up iPhoto

iMovie, FinalCut, iDVD and other larger movie files

These need to be backed up to a CD, DVD or external hard disk (the FireWire drives from the Library are not meant for backups).


We recommend migrating to Entourage so that your contacts/address book are automatically backed up to the server. We do not support AddressBook. There's a drag and drop procedure for importing AddressBook data to Entourage's server-side address list. (Hint: Using drag-and-drop to import contacts, settings, etc. from one program to another is really useful on a Mac! Actually, sometimes it seems to be the only way to import settings.)

Firefox and Safari Bookmarks and Favorites

Please see this page to learn how to backup your Firefox or Safari bookmarks/favorites: http://techie-buzz.com/how-to/backup-your-bookmarks-in-firefox-internet-explorer-safari-flock-and-opera.html


This is only applicable if your computer is being replaced

If you are an Apple iTunes user and store music, photos, etc... on your computer that will soon be replaced by LIS it is very important that you "Deauthorize" your old computer before replacement. This process allows you to release your personal iTunes account (with attached device ID) to apply on a new computer. To "Deauthorize" your iTunes account you will need to follow the instructions here: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1420


Please visit this wiki page link  for information regarding how to restore your data to a new computer.

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