Preparing for scheduled backups on HFS

After performing 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.

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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:

  1. Go to the HFS Portal.
  2. Select the node you wish to view the schedule for.
  3. The schedule information is shown on the Summary tab for the node.
  4. The listed Backup schedule displays the day your backups are due to run.
  5. If there is no mention of a backup schedule, you will need to add a backup schedule.
  6. Click on the button marked View scheduled backups to display the Scheduled Start time.

All overnight backups run between either 00:00-06:00 or 18:00-23:59 on the scheduled day.  As an example, if your backup is scheduled for Wednesday morning, you will need to leave your machine on overnight from Tuesday.

Please note 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, your time slot may be different from the next week onwards.

In order for scheduled backups to be successful, the machine must be on when the scheduled backup is due to run.  This is not a problem for machines which are always left on, such as servers, though for environmental and practical reasons this is not suitable for all desktop/laptop clients.  Some machines will also 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 idle.

Go to Start Control Panel > Power Options > Change when the computer sleeps tab, and ensure 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 (OS X 10.7 onwards) should need only to leave their machine on or in sleep mode, with the lid open if a laptop.

With TSM ( and higher), the machine should then switch on automatically for the backup.  To upgrade to the latest version, please download and install the latest client for Mac OSX.

  • Mac users (OS X 10.6 or below) need to ensure that their machine is on.

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.

By default TSM will back up all your data, except for files and folders excluded from backup 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.

If your machine is not available to be backed up when it is scheduled to do so, 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 the link in the email 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.  Please see our instructions on how to do this using either the backup client or the client command line interface.

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