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Preparing for Scheduled Backups

Now that you have performed your initial manual backup you are ready to ensure that your machine is set up to run scheduled backups. By default, during the installation process of the TSM software, the scheduler service will be set up to perform overnight scheduled backups automatically.

1. Find out when your scheduled backup is due to run

Each college and department is allocated one night a week on which all its backup accounts have their schedule slots. All TSM accounts are given a 15-minute window on that night in which to run their weekly backup. In order to find out your college/department's backup schedule window, and your specific backup schedule time within that, do the following.

Please note, however, that our servers only work out your exact scheduled slot the night after you have registered your machine for backup, so please wait till the day after registering before checking. (If you happen to register on the day that your first scheduled backup is set to occur, therefore, your timeslot may be different from the next week onwards.)

  1. Go to the HFS Backup & Archive Services Portal.
  2. Select the node you wish to view the schedule for.
  3. Schedule information is shown on the Summary tab for the node.
  4. If there is no mention of a backup schedule, then you need to set one up before you can proceed further. Please see section 1 of our page on adding and removing backup schedules.
  5. If a backup schedule is listed then it will tell you which day your backups are due to run, e.g.
    Backup schedule: Wednesday
  6. All overnight backups run in a window that is either between 18:00 and 23:59 or between 00:00 and 06:00. So in the above example, your machine might need to be left on on Wednesday night (for a backup between 18:00 and 23:59 Wednesday night) or on Tuesday night (for a backup between 00:00 and 06:00 Wednesday morning). Knowing the backup day is therefore insufficient to indicate on which day of the week you need to leave your machine on for backups. To find out your node's specific backup time, click on the button marked View scheduled backups: you will then see a list of your recent and future backups, which will give the Scheduled Start time of your node's backups. In this example, a slot between 18:00 and 23:59 would mean leaving the machine on on Wednesday night; a slot between 00:00 and 06:00 would mean leaving it on on Tuesday night.

2. Ensure that your machine is switched on for scheduled backups to run

In order for scheduled backups to be successful, the machine must be on when the scheduled backup is due to run. For machines which are always left on, such as servers, this is not a problem. However, for environmental and/or practical reasons this may not be suitable for all desktop/laptop clients; an additional problem is the fact that some machines will be set by default to go to sleep, and may therefore miss their backups even if they are left on. We therefore offer the following advice:

  • Windows users need to set their machines to stay on when left idle. Go to Start > Control Panel > Power Options > Change when the computer sleeps (tab), and check that Put the computer to sleep is set to Never. If your machine is a laptop whose lid you close when you leave it on for backup then, also under Power Options, check that When I close the lid is set to Do nothing.
  • Mac users running OS X 10.7 (Lion) or higher should need only to leave their machine on or in sleep mode (with the lid open, if the machine is a laptop). With all recent versions of TSM ( and higher), the machine should then switch on automatically for the backup. To upgrade TSM please see our page on how to download and install the latest client for Mac OS X.
  • Mac users running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or below need to ensure that their machine is on for the backup. To prevent your machine from going to sleep, go to System Preferences > Energy Saver and check that the computer (not the display) is set never to go to sleep.
  • Alternatively it is possible to configure Windows and Linux machines to wake up from sleep shortly before the scheduled backup is due to run. For more information please see our page on how to set a machine to switch on and off for scheduled backups

3. Ensure that you will only be backing up the data that you need to back up

By default TSM will back up all your data, except for those default files and folders excluded from backup that are set to be excluded by the HFS Team. Everything else on your machine, including locally attached external drives - which may be local backups of the machine itself - will be backed up on the schedule. It is a waste of resources to back up the same data twice over, or to back up other data that you do not want or need to send us, so please see our page on how to exclude files and folders from backup and configure TSM accordingly.

4. What if I miss my scheduled backup?

If your machine is not available to be backed up when it is scheduled to do so then you will receive an automatic email the day after it was due to run, advising you that a backup was MISSED. If you were not expecting this email or do not know why the scheduled backup was missed then follow the link in the email that will assist you with the troubleshooting process.

If you have missed a scheduled backup then you can always run a manual backup whenever you feel the need to do so. For instructions on how to do this, please see our manual backup pages for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris. For how to back up on the command line, see using the TSM client command line interface.

5. Scheduled backups - Frequently Asked Questions

Scheduled backups FAQ (See all FAQs)

Written by IT Services. Latest revision 15 June 2018