Sometimes making large scale changes to your computer is unavoidable. Please bear in mind, though, that such changes may affect your backups.
The lists below cover the most common types.
Changes that cause the HFS backup software to resend data to the HFS
There are several sets of circumstances in which the backup client software can be inadvertently prompted to resend data unnecessarily. If you find that you have made changes of the sort listed below, then your HFS account may get locked because you sent more than the daily backup limit allows. To avoid this, stop your backup scheduler and run manual backups, keeping within the daily limits until your backups complete again.
For how to stop the backup scheduler, please see our instructions for Windows, Mac, Linux. and Solaris. For how to keep within the daily limit and so avoid your account getting locked, see our FAQ item How can I limit the amount of data that I'm backing up?.
- Renaming your Windows machine
In Windows, the software stores data by UNC path. On a PC called my-laptop, C: would be represented as \\my-laptop\c$ and D: as \\my-laptop\d$. Renaming the machine changes that path, causing a complete resend of data under the new path, in this example \\my-renamed-laptop\c$ and \\my-renamed-laptop\d$.
Please avoid renaming your Windows machine unless absolutely necessary, and if you do have to then please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Changing drive names or drive letters
Similarly, changing a drive name will cause a resend of data from that drive. All data on a Mac external drive renamed from /Volumes/my-external-drive to /Volumes/my-renamed-external-drive would be resent by the HFS backup software.
In Windows, varying the order in which you attach extra drives will assign different drive letters, so the backup client will resend the data as if it were a different drive.
- Moving, renaming, or changing permissions on data
This will generally also cause the client to resend that data. A folder called data, renamed to old-data, will be regarded as new, so the backup client software will resend the entire contents of that folder, including all sub-folders. Changes of permissions usually also occasion resends. We therefore request that large scale changes to your data be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
There are other changes that are system wide which generally do not cause a resend of your data, but can have other unforeseen consequences:
- Changing operating system (OS) by upgrading an existing machine
If you intend to upgrade an existing machine then please see Install the HFS backup client software to upgrade to the correct version for your new OS.
If your new OS is not listed, we recommend that you delay upgrading until a supported version of the backup client software is released. HFS accounts seen to be using an unsupported OS will be locked, with their contents preserved until the relevant client software version is available. Please note that we do not support OS betas or release candidates.
If your new OS is listed, upgrade the backup client software immediately after you have upgraded your OS. This is because new versions of the backup software do not support the older OS, with the results of such backups are unpredictable. There is no need to uninstall the old version of the backup software before installing the new one.
- Changing OS by moving to a new machine
If you are moving to a similar OS, for example replacing a machine running Windows 7 with one running Windows 10, then you may keep your existing HFS account name.
If you are changing platform, between Windows, Mac and Linux, then please register a new HFS account. This is because the backup software does not support cross platform restores, so you cannot swap between Windows, Mac and Linux. If you do, you may corrupt your account and so render your data inaccessible.
- Moving your computer's location
DNS / IP address changes are not important, so moving your machine and backing up from a different location will not cause any problems or cause data to be resent.