Backing Up Your Data

The purpose of this page is to instruct you on how to back-up your important computer files. Work-related data should be backed up to your middfiles\home folder (U:). If you have personal data (videos, music, pictures, etc.) that also needs to be backed up, you must use your own storage device, such as an external hard drive, CD, DVD, or USB device. Please note that re-imaging wipes all data from your computer, so this is one of the important cases where you will need to make sure that all of your data is backed up.

PC (Windows)

This section describes how to back up your desktop, documents, media files, browser favorites, emails, Outlook signatures, and iTunes. If you have important information stored elsewhere on your computer, such as in a C:\Work folder that you created yourself, please take care to back up that information as well.

Desktop, Documents, and Media Files

  • First, you will want to find your local 'home' folder. On Windows XP (green rectangular "start" button), this folder is C:\Documents and Settings\<username>. On Windows 7 (round orb with Windows logo for a Start button), this folder is C:\Users\<username>. If you are unsure which version of Windows you are using, please contact the Helpdesk.
  • Your desktop shortcuts, folders, files are located at: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop on Windows XP or at: C:\Users\username\Desktop on Windows 7.
  • Once you have your local 'home' folder open, you can drag and drop any work-related documents from your local 'home' to your Middfiles 'home'. In particular, drag the desktop folder and any important documents from the documents folder into Middfiles. If you have important files in your downloads folder, be sure to copy them into Middfiles as well. You probably want to look out for your .doc, .ppt, .xls, etc...   You should backup any of these files you wish to keep.
  • Any media files, such as pictures and videos, may be stored in your Middfiles 'home' folder if they are work-related. Else, please copy them to a personally-owned external storage device.

Browser Favorites (Bookmarks)

For more information about how to back up your favorites, please choose a browser from the list below:

Outlook Emails

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.

Outlook Signatures

Instructions on how to copy your Outlook signatures can be found here. Rather than copying the signatures to a destination computer as described in Step 2, you will need to copy the files to a location in your 'home' folder in Middfiles.


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 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, iWork, PDFs, pictures, music, movies, and more are stored inside this container. Be warned that if you have excessive files (especially personal files not related to your work) 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.


Entourage and AddressBook are no longer supported. We recommend using Outlook instead.

iPhoto, iMovie, FinalCut, iDVD, and other picture and 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). See Backing up iPhoto

Firefox and Safari Bookmarks and Favorites


To backup your Firefox bookmarks, favorites and history, please follow this tutorial: http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles


Safari bookmarks Safari bookmarks are all stored in a file called Bookmarks.plist, which is located at ~/Library/Safari/. To get to this file in the Finder, choose Home from the Go menu. Open the Library folder, then open the Safari folder.

To back up: Make a copy of the file in another location by holding down the Option key and dragging the Bookmarks.plist file to another location (such as the Desktop). The original file will remain (do not remove the original file from this location or your Safari bookmarks will be gone!).

As an alternative, you can compress the file into an archive—select the Bookmarks.plist file, then from the File menu in the Finder, choose Create Archive. The original file will remain.

To restore: Simply move the backup copy of Bookmarks.plist to the ~/Library/Safari/ folder. If you're restoring from an archive, don't forget to decompress the file (just double-click it). Note: The Bookmarks.plist file contains only the Safari bookmarks for the currently logged-in user. If other users on the same Mac have their own user accounts and personal bookmarks, their Bookmarks.plist files are located in their Home folders.


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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