Selective Backup


We all have important files. This page is designed to help you preserve them when transitioning computers - either because you are being issued an upgrade or because your current computer has a problem and needs to be re-imaged.

In brief: Anything not backed up will disappear, often permanently. This includes not only Word documents, etc., but e-mail archives (that you may or may not know you have - see #Outlook, below), Internet bookmarks, settings in Word, Outlook, or other office programs, and anything else that isn't there when you use someone else's computer.

Apple (Mac)


Word, Excel, PowerPoint, iWork, PDFs, few pictures, should all go to personal storage on middfiles\home - but don't use this space for storing large files (see below).

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.)


We recommend migrating to Entourage so that your calendar is automatically backed up to the server. We do not support iCal. Nevertheless, here's a document outlining how to backup: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2966

Safari Bookmarks


Firefox Bookmarks

Bookmarks can be easily backed up by going to the Bookmarks menu -> Organize Bookmarks and exporting bookmarks to HTML. If you need to back up saved passwords, history, etc., you must manually copy the Firefox user data directory.

PC (Windows XP)

Most of your data should reside under C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername.

Personal data

Your personal data is located by default in the folder labeled: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents. Inside this folder should be most of your .doc, .ppt, .xls, etc...   You should backup any file you wish to keep.

Desktop data

Your desktop shortcuts, folders, files are located at: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop

IE Browser Favorites

Your Internet Explorer Favorite links are stored at: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Favorites

Firefox Favorites

Open Mozilla Firefox, Bookmarks | Organize Bookmarks.  Click File | Export to export the bookmarks. If the File | Export option is missing, click Bookmarks | Organize Bookmarks, then click on the star icon in the middle of the toolbar and select Export HTML.


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 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 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 - XXXX" entries in the folder list. These are additional mailboxes that were added to Outlook via Tools => Options => E-mail accounts.
    See if there are any Personal File Folders or Archive Folders -- these are stored on the 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.
  • For detailed instructions about backing up and restoring favorites and signatures in Internet Explorer and Outlook, see Favorites and Signatures.

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