Oxford Physics Time Machine Backups

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A Time Machine backup service is available to all Apple Macintosh systems in Physics. Initially this is only available to systems via the Self Service application. The service will backup the entire contents of the local hard disk on your system. If you are on a multiuser system, your home directory is not stored on the local disk of your system and is already backed up nightly into two different locations via other backup services.

The Time Machine server is located in our server room at the Begbroke Science Park so it also serves as a off-site backup.

To use the Time Machine service your system must meet the following requirements:

  • It must run OS X 10.9 Mavericks or above.
  • As you are agreeing to storing the entire contents of your Apple Mac system disk onto University owned servers. Any violation of copyright or software licensing on your system is forbidden
  • You must have a valid Physics account.
  • The system must not have any case sensitive partitions.
  • The system must not be connected over Physics VPN.

PLEASE NOTE: The first backup can take several hours so we strongly recommend that your system stays on the wired Physics network until the first backup is complete. Once the backup has started, you can see how long until the backup finishes in either the Time Machine menu (on the menu bar at the top of the screen) or in System Preferences > Time Machine. While it is possible to interrupt the first backup, we recommend that you let it finish since it takes longer for the initial backup process to complete each time you disconnect your system from the Physics network.

To Configure Time Machine For Multiuser Systems.

  1. Open the Self Service application from the /Applications directory
  2. On the front page of Self Service click on "Oxford Physics Time Machine Backup" and then the "Backup" button.
  3. The system should then configure and enable Time Machine, and your backups will start shortly after.
  4. To check the status of the Time Machine backups look in System Preferences > Time Machine, from here you may wish to enable "Show Time Machine in the menu bar"

To Configure Time Machine For Single User Systems.

  1. Make sure that your system is on the Physics wired network.
  2. Open the Self Service application from the /Applications directory
  3. On the front page of Self Service click on "Oxford Physics Time Machine Backup" and then the "Backup" button. If "Oxford Physics Time Machine Backup" isn't on the front page of Self Service, either leave your system on the wired network for about 15 minutes or run one of the other Self Service items and then try again.
  4. Agree to the Terms and Conditions of the backup service.
  5. To try and reduce space on the backup server you'll be asked if you want to exclude the Music, Movies and Pictures directories from the home directories of all the local user accounts on the system.
  6. Enter your Physics account username when prompted.
  7. You will then be prompted to enter your Physics account password.
  8. The system should then configure and enable Time Machine, and your backups will start shortly after.
  9. To check the status of the Time Machine backups look in System Preferences > Time Machine, from here you may wish to enable "Show Time Machine in the menu bar"

How To Restore Files.

  1. Go in Finder to the file on your internal hard disk that you wish to restore.
  2. Choose "Enter Time Machine" from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar at the top of the screen, or click the Time Machine icon in the Dock.
  3. Use the timeline on the edge of the screen to see the files in your Time Machine backup as they were at that date and time.
  4. Use the on-screen up and down arrows to jump to the last time the contents of the window changed. You can also use the search field in a window to find a file, then move through time while focused on changes to that file.
  5. Select a file and press Space Bar to preview the file and make sure it's the version you want.
  6. Click "Restore" for the selected file, or Control-click the file for other options.

How To Do A Complete Reinstall And Restore Of Your System.

If your system is a multi-user desktop, please contact IT Support to do a complete restore as there may be other users' data stored on the local hard disk.

If your system is a single user system, follow these steps for a complete restore from a Time Machine backup:

  1. Make sure your system is on the Physics wired network.
  2. Do a complete reinstall of OS X on your system using OS X Recovery.
  3. Open Migration Assistant, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  4. Click Continue. and enter the details for an administrator account on the system you are trying to restore to.
  5. When asked how you want to transfer your files, choose "Transfer from a Mac, Time Machine backup, or startup disk."
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Click "Other Server..."
  8. Enter the location of your Time Machine backup. If you are not sure, see the description further down the page. It will be something likeafp://timemachine.physics.ox.ac.uk/SingleUser500GB
  9. When prompted, enter your Physics username and password.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Select your Time Machine backup disk.
  12. Select the information to transfer, then click Continue to start the transfer. If you are migrating data from one system to another we strongly recommend that you do not copy Computer and Network Settings.
  13. If you have a lot of content, the transfer might take several hours to finish.

Oxford Physics Time Machine Backup Quotas.

The quota size for your backups is the size of your internal hard disk plus 10% of the disk size. For example, if you have a 1TB internal hard disk your quota will be 1.1TB. MacPro systems can have several internal hard disks, therefore the quotas for MacPro systems is 6TB. If you need a different quota size for your Time Machine backups, please contact IT Support explaining the reasons why the default quota size is insufficient, and we should be able to adjust your system's quota size for you.

Oxford Physics Time Machine Locations.

The location of your Time Machine backup is determined by the size of the internal hard disk and the way the Time Machine was initially set up. You can see where your Time Machine backup is in System Preferences > Time Machine or on the command line with the following:

tmutil destinationinfo

Depending on how Time Machine was initially configured, it will either be a multiuser or a single user desktop or laptop system. For example, if your system is a single user laptop system with a 500GB internal hard disk then the backup location will be in the following format:

timemachine.physics.ox.ac.uk/SingleUser500GB

If your system is a multiuser desktop system with a 2TB internal hard disk then the backup location will be in the following format:

timemachine.physics.ox.ac.uk/MultiUser2TB

If your system is a MacPro system then it can have several internal hard disks. Therefore it has its own backup location and will be in the following format:

timemachine.physics.ox.ac.uk/MultiUserServer

Retention of Time Machine Backups

Time Machine backups will be held on the server while you have a valid Physics account or if the backup hasn't completed for six months.

Categories: Apple | Backups | El Capitan | Mac | Mavericks | OS X | Time Machine | Yosemite