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Policy # : 06-01

Effective: August 1, 2006

Revised: N/A

Section: Operations and Services

Subject: Computer Backup Procedure & Handling of Non-Essential Files


To describe the backup process when a computer is serviced and the time period that user’s data is maintained.

To define what non-essential files are and how they are treated during an ISS service call.


All computers that are used by college faculty, staff, and students.


All computers that are serviced by ISS for the purpose of reinstalling the operating system, replacing the hard drive or replacing the entire computer will have the existing hard drive(s) backed up to one of our backup stations. A copy of the contents of the existing hard drive(s), in a retrievable form, is saved by the backup station. These copies are kept on hard disk for up to 6 months.

Hard drive sizes and the amount of data stored on them have continually increased. Consequently the time required to back up and restore these files has also increased to the point where ISS can no longer be responsible for non-essential files.

Non-essential files are hereby defined as files which are of a personal or non-work related interest. Some examples of non-essential files are:

  • Music files
  • Family photos
  • Family videos

These files can be very large. Even though these files are backed up as part of our standard imaging procedure, they will not be restored.

The restore procedure takes longer then the backup procedure since the technician must manually browse through the folders to select which files to restore. Restoring also takes longer since the files are restored across the network which is a slow process in itself; compounded by the presence of large non-essential files being included in the process. Many music files, even if transferred, will not be useable on the new drive due to Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.

By excluding non-essential files from the restoration phase of a service call we can reduce the “bench time” required for the service call and increase the number of PCs that can be serviced in a given time period.

Consequently, users MUST backup their own non-essential files before their PC is sent to ISS for service.