Backups and Restoring Lost Files

How are the Engineering Network Folders backed up?

The files on your U: drive, and many other locations on the Engineering network, are backed up nightly. In addition, “snapshot” versions of your files are taken at the top of every hour, and the past eight hours are kept on file. If you delete a file on your U: drive,T:\projects,V:drive or T:\classes and need to restore it, we can help you. 

IMPORTANT – backed up files are only kept for three months.

Restore Files From Snapshots for the U: drive, T:\Projects, T:\Classes, or the V: drive.

You can restore deleted files and/or folders yourself! Snapshots are available for hourly and daily intervals using the method below for your specific OS. Snapshots are taken hourly, recycling after the eighth hour. Daily snapshots are also taken at midnight everyday recycling after the sixth day. If you need a file or folder restored beyond the snapshot window, please contact ETS.


  1. If you do not already have your U: drive mapped, map your U: drive.
  2. From Windows Explorer, navigate to your U: drive.
  3. Right-click on the parent folder, then select Restore previous version. You will see a new window with a list of “snapshot” versions.
  4. Select the snapshot version of the folder that you need, and click Open. A new Explorer window will open which contains the snapshot versions of the files within that folder.
  5. Right-click on the file that you wish to restore, and select Copy.
  6. You may then Paste the file into any Windows Explorer window (either the original location, or somewhere new.)


  1. Log in to one of the Linux Compute Servers.
  2. Open a terminal window.
  3. Every subfolder in your U: drive (home drive) area has a .snapshots folder. Navigate to the folder that you wish to restore from using the cd command.
  4. From the folder that you wish to restore from, type: cd .snapshots
  5. Navigate to the sub-folder that has the appropriate time/date stamp.
    For example: cd snap_2015_02_09_10_00_00__SCHED 3__//
  6. Copy the missing file to the original path: cp file_name ~//


  1. If you do not already have your U: drive mapped, map your U: drive.
  2. In the Finder, open Applications, then Utilities, and open Terminal.
  3. In the Terminal window, type cd and then a space. (Important: There must be a space between ‘cd’ and the next step.)
  4. In a Finder window, navigate to the folder which contained the file that was deleted.
  5. Click and drag the disk icon in the top center of the Finder window to the Terminal window. This will paste the correct path to the Terminal window.
  6. In the Terminal window, press Enter.
  7. Type: cd .snapshots and press Enter.
  8. Use the ls command to list the available snapshot folders (which contain the date and time stamp in the name). Type: ls
  9. Navigate to the snapshot folder that you need using the cd command.
    For example, type: cd snap_2015_02_09_14_00_01__SCHED_3__/
  10. Copy the lost file back to its original location. Type: cp /Volumes/home//

View a brief video tutorial of this process.

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Engineering Technology Services

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