How to Recover your Entire System

A complete system failure can be a traumatic event. The first thing to do is not to panic. While the HFS is not suited to recovering your full system, it can help in restoring user-specific data - your work and personal files. The steps outlined below while general in nature should, in most cases, get a system back up and running. The steps below assume that you have made regular and effective backups of your data to the HFS. Generally speaking, you will need access to an administrator account on the machine you are working on. In all cases you should engage your local IT support wherever you face difficulty.

  1. Install or repair your operating system files. Update your system to the latest security and service packs. Ensure that you have network access to the Oxford network. Remember, this will all take some time.
  2. If you have repaired your system, rather than installed a new system, then some or all of your application programs and data may still reside on your machine. Check this and, if TSM is still installed, you can skip the following steps and just use your existing TSM installation to restore any missing data as per the relevant instructions for restoring files and folders on Windows, Mac or Linux.
  3. If no TSM client software exists on your machine, follow the platform-specific instructions for restoring your data a new machine for Windows, Mac or Linux. For this procedure you will need the following:
    1. A machine running the same type of operating system as the one that you used to back up your data. TSM does not support cross-platform restores, so you cannot swap between Windows, Mac and Linux. The version of the operating system that you use to restore should ideally be the same as the original or higher. So, you can restore Windows XP data to Windows 7, but you cannot restore any Windows data to a Mac, or Mac data to Linux, and so on.
    2. Either the same version of TSM that you used to back up your data, or a more recent one. You may not be able to restore data backed up by (for example) TSM 6 with the older TSM 5. So to run your restore, please download the latest version of TSM for your machine from our page on downloading the TSM software for the HFS backup service.
    3. Access to your TSM account name (nodename). This is necessary because it represents the account where your data is held. TSM resets your password automatically once a year, so if it is more than a year since you registered you will need to reset your TSM password at the TSM password reset page.
    4. When you are finished, if you no longer want TSM on the machine that you used to restore with, please remember to remove TSM.

Your local IT Support may offer a desktop imaging service that can restore a base image of your operating system (and applications) to your machine.

Among the many reasons why the HFS does not itself support a full-system restore are:

  • Recovery from installation media is quicker, easier and more reliable.
  • Restoring your system files over a pre-existing system, even a partially-broken one, is not supported and usually leads to further corruption.
  • The HFS no longer backs up much of the operating system for desktop/laptop accounts.

Written by IT Services. Latest revision 13 July 2016