Storage: Backup Your Files

Backup your files

Data Storage and Backup

A backup is a second copy of all your important files. Rather than storing it all in one place you should keep an additional copy someplace safe.


Did you know that a large number of people lose their important files every day? Just think, one small event like accidentally dropping your laptop, can destroy important information saved on your machine.

Some facts from

  • 30% of all users have never backed up their files
  • 29% of all disasters are caused by accident
  • 1 in 10 computers are infected with a virus each month.

For Windows and Mac users...


U-Drive | Mapping Drives | Drive File Stream

Student Network Storage (U-Drive) provides students with 5GB of local network storage for the academic year. This storage is ideal for students who are working with data files that require faster input/output for image manipulation, graphics, CAD Systems, etc. Most of this work would occur in computer labs or in the BingView (VDI) environment.

U-Drive storage can be requested by faculty for an entire class or by individual students who need local network storage for working with larger sized files. For more information, click here.

H:DRIVE (Firestone or Treadstone)

The "H:Drive" provides an initial 5 GB of network storage space typically used by staff, faculty and departments. You can request this storage option and more storage by contacting the Help Desk or submitting a request through ServiceNow.

ITS does incremental backups of the H-Drive. This means that we take the deltas for the data based on the backup schedule and add those to the backup files system nightly. We keep 3 active copies of any file- i.e. if you have a word document that you modified each day for a few days, we would have the current file, and the previous 2 incremental versions. When a file is deleted from a server, it gets tagged as deleted in the backup system. A clock then starts and after 90 days, the file is permanently deleted from the backup system. If you need a file recovered, contact the ITS Help Desk as soon as possible.


All students, faculty and staff have the option of using Google Drive (included with Google Apps), which offers unlimited cloud storage. Google Drive is a convenient option available to Binghamton University as a collaboration and backup tool. Go to Google Apps page for more information.

Windows and Macintosh Users
Download the Google Drive Backup and Sync application from Google's website:

Install the application once it is downloaded.
Run the program, sign in with your B-Mail account, and follow the on-screen guide to complete the process.

MORE INFORMATION can be found on our IT Self Service Knowledge Base:


You'll need an external hard drive for these next steps. Find one that holds more space than your computer does. For example, if you have a 250GB hard drive in your computer, you should look to get a 500GB or larger external drive to back up to.

Steps for backing up your machine onto the external hard drive:



Click the Start button.

  1. Type "backup" into the search box.
  2. Click on Backup and Restore.
  3. Choose "Set up Backup".
  4. When Windows has finished preparing, select your external hard drive and click Next.
  5. Click "Let Windows Choose" and press Next.

Windows 8/8.1/10

  1. Open your start screen and start typing "file history settings".
  2. In the search results panel, tap or click "file history settings".
  3. Tap or click "Select a drive".
  4. Choose your external hard drive from the list.
  5. Click "Turn on".

Windows will backup all your files automatically from now on. Make sure you leave your hard drive plugged in or at least plug it in often.


First, plug in your external hard drive. Then, follow the instructions below to start automatically backing up your Mac.

Make sure your new external hard drive is empty. If it isn't, Time Machine will usually erase the drive so it can perform the backup. If the drive is already formatted as HFS+, the drive is set to go.

  1. Open the menu (in the top left of your screen) and choose System Preferences.
  2. Click on "Time Machine".
  3. Click "Select Disk".
  4. Choose your USB hard drive from the list and select "Use Disk".

After your initial setup, your Mac will back itself up automatically from now on. If you're using a MacBook, plug in your hard drive regularly so it can backup your files. If you are backing up a laptop, you must plug the laptop into a power source. Time Machine will not run on battery power.


If you need additional help with backing up your work, go to the ITS Help Desk page or call the Help Desk: 607-777-6420.