CSCS does not routinely completely backup the hard drives of supported computers, as this would consume too much space and be expensive. Instead, CSCS provides personal homedrives for the storage of important data. However, there are occasions when we will do so:
Prior to any significant troubleshooting or repair.
Prior to reinstalling your computer.
Prior to sending a computer off for factory repair / warranty claim.
If a drive is suspected of imminent failure.
Why we take a System Backup
Although no high value data should be stored solely on a single computer's local hard drive, it can be useful to preserve a system's configuration in case we need to revert back.
What we do with your System Backup
We will hold a copy of your backup for as long as we are working on your computer. If we reinstall your computer then we will put a copy of this backup onto your computer before giving it back. Unless agreed otherwise, we will then keep a copy for 30 days in case there are any further problems with your computer.
Where can I find my System Backup?
This will depend on the type of computer you are using:
On Windows PC
On Windows PC we save your System Backup to C:\Backups
On Mac we save your System Backup to Macintosh HD/Backups
What can a System Backup be used for?
A complete backup can be used for the following:
Restore individual files or folders, such as documents or configuration files
This can be used to restore configuration files, or data that was mistakenly not backed up elsewhere before reinstallation. This is a fairly common scenario, and users can do this themselves following the instructions at Restoring Files from a System Backup
Restore the entire system
In the case of hardware failure (such as your hard drive), we can restore your backup to a new drive and get you up and running as soon as possible. This is not commonly needed, and we will advise this as needed.
Restore the entire system as a Virtual Machine
In rare scenarios you might upgrade your computer, only to find that an old business-critical application is not compatible with the new operating system. Usually in these circumstances there is an updated version of the software available, and we would recommend upgrading. If this is not possible, then we can run your old system as a virtual machine.