Mac laptop backup

From WSU Technology Knowledge Base
Revision as of 15:17, 6 April 2015 by PWelshons (talk | contribs) (WSU local network storage (WSU Employees only))
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Do I have to back up my laptop manually?

Yes. WSU does not does not provide an automated backup service. Many laptop exchanges involve migration across operating system upgrades and backup tools designed for one version of an OS my not work well on another. You will want to do a manual backup of your personal files.

Can I back up my files during my exchange session?

No. We provide training and answer backup questions throughout the year, but there is no time to do this during scheduled exchange sessions. If you aren't backed up and ready to go beforehand, you will have to reschedule.

What if I need backup training or have related questions?

You can contact us for training or questions on how to backup your personal information before your exchange session. This Knowledge Base also provides extensive online documentation that you can access yourself at any time.

  • Students - Contact the TLT Digital Learning Center in Somsen Hall 207 (457-5240 option 1;
  • Faculty and Staff - Contact the TLT Professional Resource Center in Maxwell Hall 130 (457-5240 option 3;

Where should I store my backups?

You may first need to determine how much data you need to backup.

WSU supports two, university-managed storage solutions, OneDrive for Business and network storage. Students no longer have network storage access and will need to use OneDrive. External media backup is not supported by WSU, you use this option at your own risk.

Microsoft OneDrive for Business

All WSU students and employees have 1 TB of cloud storage on their OneDrive for Business. Although this storage space is located on off-campus servers administered by Microsoft, WSU licenses secure access to them through your WSU network account. You can access your files from any computer with an Internet connection, anywhere in the world. You can also access your OneDrive for Business using a tablet or smartphone. Note: other cloud storage like Copy, Google Docs, Box and Dropbox should not be used for official WSU document storage or backup.

WSU local network storage (WSU Employees only)

Students have access to 1 GB of storage space on the Winona network stored in the DFS system. This space is designed solely for backing up school work and NOT for personal pictures, music, videos, etc. This space is accessed from any computer that you are logged in to on the Winona network (computers in the library, study areas, or even a friend’s computer). This storage space is also called the R: drive, and is labeled by your username. To access and store items in this storage space, follow these instructions:

You must be on the campus network to access the network resources, if you encounter difficulty with the following process please contact the Technical Support Center at (507)-457-5240. If you are off campus, you need to connect to the WSU network by using the VPN client included on your computer.

  • First, open Finder, do this by clicking on the desktop or by clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock, depicted by the illustration.


  • Once Finder is selected there are two ways to connect to the network shares (Personal Student Storage, Class Storage, and Web Storage)
    • The first way is to click on the “Go” option, and select “Connect to Server….”
  • The second method for doing this, or the shortcut method, is to select Finder the same way as it was done above, and press and hold the Command key (Apple key) and hit the K button on the keyboard.
  • Once the “Connect to Server…” is selected, a dialog box below will appear on the screen. This is where you will select the network share that needs to accessed. Simply select the store that needs to be accessed and click on the “Connect” button. This will mount a network drive on your desktop and a finder window will open displaying the contents of the selected network share.


  1. smb:// is Personal Network Storage. This is where you can save and back-up important documents to the WSU server.
  2. smb:// - is class storage. This is where you can access class storage on the network that an individual professor will setup.
  3. smb:// how to access your student webstore space. This is provided for students to work on, maintain, and publish web based content onto their own personal website.

If the network paths in the Connect to Server menu are not created for you after logging in to your computer with your network cable attached on campus please contact the Technical Support Center.

External storage media

This includes CDs, DVDs, SD cards and external hard drives. These are not supported by WSU for backup. You use them at your own risk.

What needs to be backed up?

Everyone should back up their school-related and personal documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and media. Depending on the applications you use, you may have more specific backup needs. Consult the articles below for information on how to backup the files.

It is probably a good idea to make a list of software that you will need to reinstall (i.e., Adobe Acrobate Pro, SPSS, JMP) (we need to help them with this, in a prior email)

What shouldn't I back up?

  • Any files already stored in your WSU network drives or OneDrive for Business cloud storage - Although it's always a good idea to have multiple copies of important files and store those copies in different locations, you do not need to back up the folders and files in your (personal), (department), or (course1; studentwebs) network drives or in your OneDrive for Business cloud storage in preparation for your laptop exchange.
  • Applications that you have installed on your laptop or tablet - Your new devices will come with some applications already installed. Any applications that you installed on your old devices yourself, including campus-provided and personally-owned applications, will need to be re-installed on your new devices. Generally, you cannot copy applications from one machine to another, so there is no need to back up any of your applications on your old devices.
  • Web browser plugins and extensions - If you have modified your web browser by installing plugins or extensions, you will need to re-install these on your new devices. You cannot copy these from one device to another. One notable exception is the Google Chrome browser. If you use Google Chrome with a Google Account, then your extension information is stored in the cloud and is applied to any instance of the browser on any device.
  • Web applications - Tools like D2L and Qualtrics that you access on the web are not installed on your laptop and do not leave any related files on your laptop.
  • Unarchived Outlook Email, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks - Email messages that are in your mailbox, including the Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items folders and custom subfolders, are not stored on your laptop and do not need to be backed up. Note that this does not include mailbox archives which may be stored on your laptop and will need to be moved.
  • Printer drivers - You will re-install any WSU network printers on your new devices. You will also need to re-install any personal printers.

What if I forget something?

The hard drive of your old laptop will be stored for two weeks following your exchange session just in case you missed anything. Contact the Technical Support Center (457-5240 Option 1;, Somsen Hall 207), to schedule an appointment to access your old hard drive if needed. A staff member from TLT will be present if needed to assist you when you visit the Technical Support Center.

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