Department of Information Technology

Backup service

At the IT department, an automated service is provided to make regular backup copies of the file system contents on computers you manage yourself, whether they are laptops or desktops. We use EMC Retrospect for this service. All backups are made to disk on the server, no archiving on tape is made. Do not expect to be able to restore files from backups taken more than a few months earlier.

Client software

To use the backup service, you need a software client provided by EMC. Look under "Retrospect Archives" (far down on the page) and "Retrospect 7.7 for Windows" (which is our server version). Select a client for your OS (the client name must contain the word "Client"). It may work with newer client versions also.

After installing the client, leave your computer connected to the department network and notify the backup administrators with its name on the network (displayed when starting the client) and the client password you picked during the installation. Your computer will then be given access to the server, and its first backup will be scheduled and run.

Since we don't recommend sending any passwords via e-mail, feel free to visit us in building 4, floor 1, to provide the necessary information.


If you use a firewall, the Retrospect server has to be allowed access to TCP and UDP port 497 on your computer. This configuration change has probably been made already as part of installing the Retrospect client software, but you may want to verify it anyway.

Excluding files from backup

Private Files/Folders/Volumes makes any files, folders, or volumes designated as private unavailable to the backup computer. This preference is off by default.

To designate an item as private under Windows or Linux, click the Add button, browse to select the item, then click OK or Exclude.

To designate an item as private under Mac OS X, type a bullet (Option-8 on an American keyboard, and alt-Q on a Swedish) at the beginning or end of its name (placing it at the end will preserve its sort order in the Finder).


You can restore individual files and documents using the Retrospect restore form. To restore a large number of files or other complex operations, please contact the backup administrators at


This service is currently limited to computers on the wired department network at MIC. Also, since file restores are made using a web form, you cannot access that through a web proxy. We are working on a solution to allow connections from external networks, as well as from the wireless network.

Platform specific notes


  • Access Control Lists (ACLs)/permissions: Before restoring or duplicating to a volume on a Mac OS X client, you must prepare the volume if you wish to retain the ACLs or permissions of the source.
    • For ACLs: On the destination volume, open Workgroup Manager and click Sharing. Click All. Select the volume for which you want to enable ACLs. In the General pane, click "Enable Access Control Lists on this volume". Click Save.
    • For permissions: From the Mac OS X Finder, use the Get Info command on the destination volume. Click Ownership & Permissions (if necessary), then clear the "Ignore ownership on this volume" check box.
  • FileVault: If you are backing up Mac OS X clients that have the operating system's FileVault feature enabled, make sure to read "Working with Mac OS Clients" in the Retrospect User's Guide or Retrospect online help for important information.
  • Restoring with original timestamp: Retrospect sets the modify date and time of every single locally restored or duplicated folder to the current time if you are running under OS X. This is to avoid a problem in the OS X Finder where the Finder would continue to show the previous contents of folders until you restart or log out. By setting the modify date and time of all local restored and duplicated folders, Retrospect forces the Finder to show the proper contents of all folders immediately.
If you must do a restore or duplicate preserving the original modify dates of items, you may disable the date updating function using a secret preference:
  1. Launch Retrospect, hold down the option key, and click Special>Preferences.
  2. In the dialog that appears, click on the File System item in the list, then check "Restore Folder Modification Dates" and click OK.
Be aware, however, that with this preference set, local restores and duplicates may not show the data copied until you restart or log out and back into the OS. The whole issue only affects OS X users.

Debian-based systems

Like Ubuntu:

Updated  2015-12-01 10:18:46 by Astrid Raidl.