Connected Backup Technical FAQ
IMPORTANT: This page is intended for technology support staff (TCs, etc.) and other computer savvy members of the community.
- What criteria do I need to meet for requesting a Connected Backup account?
- What are the operating system and platform requirements for Connected Backup?
- Can I install Connected Backup software on more than one computer?
- Can the Connected Backup software be installed on a shared computer?
- Can I Remote Desktop to the computer that I want to register and download the software on?
- Can I use more than one backup software on my computer, such as Veritas or Retrospect?
- Can I backup if I'm at home?
- Can I backup my computer over a dial-up connection?
What Connected Backup will backup
- Does Connected Backup keep versions of backups?
- Does Connected Backup backup multi-media files?
- Does Connected Backup backup external or mapped drives?
- Does Connected Backup backup additional partitions or logical drives on my computer?
- Does Connected Backup backup viruses?
- Does Connected Backup backup Office 2011 and 2010 files?
- Does Connected Backup backup on Windows 7 and Lion?
- Does Connected Backup backup dual boot computers with Boot Camp or Parallels on an Intel platform with Mac and Windows?
- Does Connected Backup backup encrypted files?
- How does Connected Backup handle backups with password-protected PST files?
- Does Connected Backup backup Google Desktop?
- What is email optimization?
- What does it mean when email optimization fails?
- How does Connected Backup handle sparse files?
- How does Connected Backup handle multistream files?
- How does Connected Backup handle reparse points?
- How does Connected Backup handle security descriptors?
- How does Connected Backup handle open file backup?
- Does Connected Backup backup folders named temp?
- Are Mac user Library folders backed up?
Connected Backup settings
- How much data can I currently backup?
- What is Connected Backup's data retention policy?
- When are backups scheduled to occur?
- Can I change the backup settings?
Connected Backup setup & account management
- What do I do if I can't register (it does not accept my username and password)?
- What do I do if the software download fails?
- Why am I asked for a password for Outlook when I install the Connected Backup software?
- How do I apply a password to my Outlook PST file?
- How do I manage my account online?
- What does the account management site allow me to do?
- Why is the email address blank when I view my Connected Backup profile?
- Why can I see more than one account when I login, but I can only mange one of them?
- Can I change my computer’s name?
Backing Up Files
- When should I run the initial backup?
- What do I do if the initial back up fails?
- Why is my computer slow when the backup is running?
- Under what circumstances will a backup fail to start?
- Can I cancel a backup that has already started?
- What if I get errors in my backup? What do they mean and how do I fix them?
- What do I do if I get open file backup errors?
- What can I do to stop the application from running (other than uninstalling the Connected Backup software)?
- What do I do if my back up was not successful?
- What do I do if I receive a warning that I have not had a successful back up in 4 days?
- How do I retrieve files?
Connected Backup support
- Whom do I call if I have a question or a problem with the Connected Backup software?
- What is the URL for the technician login at the Connected Backup Support Center?
Criteria for Connected Backup
Currently, the following criteria are being used for requesting a Connected Backup account:
Also see these requirements.
(backed up with Connected Backup email optimization)
Currently, you are allocated a single installation on your primary BC computer.
If a department or an individual requires additional licenses to backup other BC-owned computers, please contact your departmental administrator to make the request. The cost of an additional license is $7.50 per month, per license ($90.00 paid yearly). If the department approves the purchase, contact the Help Center (617-552-HELP) to enter a Connected Backup license request in ITService Center.
ITS does not recommend installing Connected Backup on shared systems due to security concerns. However, in some cases, an administrative staff member may decide to request additional licenses (in their name) for shared systems. All computers must conform to BC standards for anti-virus protection (BC provides McAfee and Sophos) and must be configured for automatic updates.
Yes, but it is not recommended. The Connected Backup software can only be installed once under a single user account. If you are on a shared computer:
- You can take advantage of MyFiles@bc and departmental file servers for data storage.
- Using OWA eliminates the need to backup local mail files.
This is not recommended or supported. The registration and software download should be performed locally.
Connected Backup does not test the software for functionality against other backup software installations. You should uninstall unused backup software from your computer.
Yes, you can backup from anywhere, as long as you have a high-speed Internet connection (dial-up is not supported).
No, BC does not support Connected Backup backup over a dial-up connection.
What Connected Backup will backup
Connected Backup keeps 3 versions of a backed up file. During a restore, select an option from the Show Versions drop-down list (Most Recent, As of Backup Date, and Show All).
Connected Backup for Windows does not backup the following multi-media files:
- AVI, AVS, MOV, MOVIE, MOOV, MPEG, MPG, QT, QTM, SCM, M4V, MP4, WMV
- AA, AIF, AIFF, IFO, CDA, MID, MPE, MUS, MP1, MP2, MP3, M4A, M4P, RA, RAM, WAV, WMA
Connected Backup for Mac does not backup the following multi-media files:
- AA, AIF, AIFF, IFO, CDA, MID, MPE, MUS, MP1, MP2, MP3, M4A, M4P, RA, RAM, WAV, WMA
- AVI, AVS, DV, MOOV, MOV, MOVIE, MPEG, MPG, QT, QTM, SCM, M4V, MP4, WMV
If you have multi-media files that must be backed up, please have your TC or department administrator use the Connected Backup account request form in ITService Center.
No, Connected Backup does not backup mapped drives or external drives.
On Windows computers, Connected Backup only backs up the C: drive. On Mac computers, Connected Backup only backs up the Macintosh HD.
Connected Backup does not provide anti-virus protection. It will backup viruses. You must be vigilant about viruses the same way you would need to be if you were backing up to tape or other media.
Yes, Connected Backup has full support for Office 2011 and Office 2010.
Yes, Connected Backup has full support for Windows 7 and Lion.
8. Does Connected Backup backup dual boot computers with Boot Camp or Parallels on an Intel platform with Mac and Windows?
This configuration is not currently supported by Connected Backup. BC excludes the files associated with virtual machines whenever possible.
- The files need to be accessible by the software (reading rights) If the user that set the encryption is logged on, then the software backs up the encrypted files in the same manner as other files.
- For encrypted files on Windows, the software does not backup multiple data streams, reparse points, shared file attributes, or any other standard NTFS file attributes.
- If the user that set the encryption is not logged on, or if a user other than the logged on user encrypted the files, then the software backs up the file in its encrypted state as a new file.
Outlook lets you apply a local password on the PST file that must be entered to open the file. Learn how to apply a password to your PST file.
Note: This password is not the same as the password that users enter to access their email.
Connected Backup handles backups with password-protected PST files in the following ways:
- If Outlook is open and no password is applied to the PST file, Connected Backup backs up without an issue.
- If Outlook is closed and no password is applied to the PST file, Connected Backup backs up without an issue.
- If Outlook is open and there is a password applied to the PST file, Connected Backup backs up without an issue using email optimization.
- If Outlook is closed and there is a password applied to the PST file, Connected Backup prompts you for one minute to enter the password, then backs up with a warning that the file has been backed up without email optimization. In this case, users can expect a slower backup.
Google Desktop creates several large files (in excess of 700 MB) that load on startup and are always changing. If these files were included in each backup, it would extend the duration of the Connected Backup backup significantly. The typical backup duration is 6 minutes without Google Desktop and in excess of 15 minutes with Google Desktop.
User-specific Google Desktop files will not be backed up. This directory tends to grow very large and slows backup times considerably. These files are located at: $(systemdrive)\Documents and Settings\*\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\*
Email optimization allows the Connected Backup software to look inside email files to examine the email structure and attachments contained in a user's PST file (for Outlook users only). If two users have the same file attachment, Connected Backup will only back it up once. Otherwise the PST (email file) will be backed up as a flat file and without Optimization. This provides additional efficiency in the system and also ensures better performance when backing up these files with the result being a less intrusive backup.
The PST file is still backed up, but without the in depth file analysis that optimization provides.
The software backs up all allocated blocks in a sparse file. It does not backup the unallocated block. However, when an application accesses the file, the correct data is available.
The software backs up multistream files. If a file has an object Identifier, the software omits it from the backup. An object identifier is a special tag that is sometimes associated with Microsoft Office files.
The software backs up the metadata for all reparse points except for Volume Mount Points.
If a security descriptor for a file or folder changes, the software considers the file or directory to be different than its previous version and backs up the security descriptors for the file or folder. The software backs up file content only if it determines that the content has changed in addition to the security descriptor.
- The software uses Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) for open file backup. This service is available in Windows XP.
- Connected Backup recommends that 20% of the disk’s space be available for the software to process open files. The disk space is released after the backup completes.
- If the disk drive does not have sufficient disk space available, the software does not backup the open file and logs a message in the software history.
No, on Windows computers, Connected Backup does not back up temporary files OR folders named “TEMP,” “Temp,” or “temp” since these folder names are typically reserved for OS use.
Yes, by default on Macs, the all users Library folders are backed up by Connected Backup (not the system Library folders). In Lion, however, the Library folders are hidden by default, so the Mac agent will not display them in either the Backup Set or Retrieve windows. To display the Library folders in the Connected Backup agent, from the View menu, select Advanced ("Simple" is selected by default) and the Library folders (and other hidden folders) will be viewable.
Connected Backup settings
Connected Backup users are currently limited to a maximum of 128 GB of data for the initial backup set.
The following are Connected Backup's data retention settings:
- Canceled accounts - 30 days
- Deleted files - 90 days
- Old versions - 90 days
- Recent versions - 3 versions
- Users canceling their accounts will have their data removed in 30 days.
- Users who have deleted files from their hard drives will have these files saved for 90 days.
- Users will have other files saved, including up to 3 versions of each file, up to 90 days (with at least one version of the file retained, no matter what the file age).
- Users who remove files from their backup set will have the backups of those files removed from the Data Center in 90 days.
By default, the backup schedule is randomized over a 24 hour window of time each day of the week. When the computer is turned on and connected to the Internet (not dependent on being on campus), Connected Backup will backup according to this schedule.
Or, you can modify the backup schedule to suit your needs:
- Open Connected Backup.
- Under the Backup Schedule heading, click the day and time link (see Figure 1).
- Change the schedule to the days and time period you want the backup to occur (see Figure 2). Note: ITS recommends that you do not select "Do not back up automatically," as this may result in backups not getting done regularly.
- Connected Backup will now backup according to the schedule you selected.
Note: If you manually run a backup, the next backup is scheduled for the following day.
Connected Backup will not backup when the computer is:
- Connected to the Internet over a dial-up connection.
- In a state of hibernation or suspension. Note: This is typically an issue for laptops only. Modify power settings so that the hard drive never goes to sleep, which is the default BCCR configuration.
On Windows: Yes. The current backup configuration allows you to select and deselect folders for backup. You also have the ability to modify the backup schedule.
On a Mac: Yes. The current backup configuration allows you to select and deselect folders for backup. By default all home folders are backed up. As a best practice, deselect home folders that do not need to be backed up.
Connected Backup setup and account management
Make sure you are accessing the correct page for account registration:
- Go to Connected Backup's: Registration page for Windows or Registration page for Mac
- Do you have a multimedia account or ITS account on Connected Backup?
- Reservations were created for BC users who are eligible for Connected Backup backup. It is possible that your name did not make it on the list. If you are eligible and still cannot register, contact the Help Center at 552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus).
You just download the software again.
Connected Backup uses technology called email optimization on Outlook PST files. Optimization analyzes the attachments in email and applies "Send Once" technology to minimize backing up duplicated attachments across Boston College. Outlook lets you apply a local password on the PST file that must be entered to open the file, which Connected Backup needs to access this file. (Note: This password is not the same as the password that users enter to access their email.) Typically, this has not been an issue with an active email store where the user has not saved their password.
To apply a password to your PST file:
- Close Outlook.
- Open the Connected Backup software.
- From the Tools menu, select Options.
- Click the Email Passwords tab, and then click Outlook Passwords (see Figure 3).
- Click Add (see Figure 4).
- Click Browse to find the Outlook PST file on your computer (see Figure 5).
- Select the Outlook PST file and click Open (see Figure 6).
Note: On Windows XP, the PST file is located in C:\Documents and Settings\bcusername\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
- In the Password box, enter a password for the PST file and click OK (see Figure 7).
Note: If you do not provide a password here, the PST file is still backed up, just not as efficiently.
The account management site allows you to:
- Reinstall the software (agent)
- View details on your backup and retrieve usage
- Restore files using MyRoam
MyRoam works differently than the Connected Backup software when restoring files. It will zip the selected files and download them to your desktop. It will not provide an option to restore to the original location or retain security identifiers.
- View your profile, which includes your first name, last name, proper email address, department code, and account number
If you have suppressed your BC email address it will not appear in your Connected Backup profile. You will only be able to login to the Account Management site with your BC username or Connected Backup account number.
During the initial configuration of Connected Backup, accounts were created for eligible BC employees. In some cases, there were duplicate entries created. The duplicates have now been deleted, but you may still see a second account, but not be able to manage it. You can safely ignore the second account.
Your Connected Backup backup account is linked to your computer name during software installation. If you have the Connected Backup software installed, please contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus) for support in changing your computer name.
Backing up files
Your first backup may take several hours to complete, depending on the number of files in your backup set and the connection speed on the network. Make sure to clear a block of time convenient for you to not have access to your computer, for instance at the end of the day.
If your initial backup fails, close all open applications and restart your computer. Open the Connected Backup software and click Backup Now to do a manual backup.
If the manual backup fails, contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus).
During backup, the software scans your computer for file changes. If there are large numbers of files to scan for changes or if there are large files, it may take a while for the backup to complete. Backups typically occur without any interruption to productivity and take about 4-5 minutes. If the software encounters an error, it may attempt to resolve it, which may slow your computer down.
If you are planning to use your computer for a presentation, it's a good idea to run a manual backup prior to the presentation (so that there are no performance issues during your presentation). When you use the manual backup, your next backup is automatically rescheduled for the next day.
A backup will fail to start when:
- Your computer is in a hibernation, suspend, or sleep state
- Your computer is not connected to the Internet
Note: If a scheduled backup was missed, it will begin as soon as the computer comes out of these states.
- Yes, you can always cancel a backup in progress.
Note: If you have the Connected Backup software open at the time a backup is scheduled to run, the following window appears (see Figure 8) [learn how to change the schedule]:
- If your backup fails, close all open applications and restart your computer. Open the Connected Backup software and click Backup Now to do a manual backup. If your backup is still not successful, contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus) for additional support.
- Windows: While Connected Backup supports open file backup on Windows computers, there are times when open files will not be successfully backed up. These are frequently system files and can be safely ignored. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus).
- Mac: Open file backup is not supported on Macs. Mac users must close files to ensure a successful backup. Usually this is a problem with files related to email or the browser if sessions are left open during backup. On a Mac, if Entourage is open, Connected Backup will not try to back it up as it may cause corruption.
- If you have questions about errors you get, contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus) to determine the source and nature of the problem.
The Connected Backup software relies on two Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) services to perform backup on open files:
- Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
- Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy
Note: These services should be, by default, set to "manual" and should both be enabled in the services applet. The Connected Backup software makes a call to these services when the agent services start up.
If you get open file backup errors:
- Check to make sure the VSS services are enabled.
- Uninstall any unnecessary backup software, such as Veritas or Retrospect.
- Restart the computer.
- Close all other applications.
- Perform a manual backup: Open the Connected Backup software and click Backup Now.
If the problem occurs on a regular basis, contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus). The logs can be read to determine the files that are an issue (typically they are system files).
Note: Occasionally, backups will complete with warnings or failure. If these occur on a regular basis, and the fix above does not help, please contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus).
8. What can I do to stop the application from running (other than uninstalling the Connected Backup software) on Windows?
Connected Backup runs as a service called "AgentService." If necessary, this service can be stopped (using Task Manager) and temporarily disabled for troubleshooting.
If your backup fails, close all open applications and restart your computer. Open the Connected Backup software and click Backup Now to do a manual backup. If your backup is still not successful, contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus) for additional support.
You will get a warning in Connected Backup if you have not had a successful backup in 4 days. This warning could be the result of:
- 4 missed backups. This may happen if your computer was shut down for 4 days.
- 4 failed backups. Your Connected Backup logs should be examined to determine the problem. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus).
ITS recommends you restore files using the desktop application, whenever possible. Restoring via the web interface should be limited to files less than 100 MB.
You have two ways to retrieve files:
- From your desktop, use the Connected Backup/PC Agent software: Windows QuickStart (PDF) | Mac QuickStart (PDF)
Note: The Help files within the software agent provide a very thorough explanation of the retrieval process.
- From any location, open your web browser and go to Connected Backup's: Account Management page
- Do you have a multi-media account or ITS account on Connected Backup?
Important Login Information: To manage your account online, enter either your BC username or full BC email address (as listed in the online BC directory) in the Email Address box.
Connected Backup support
Please call the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus).
Using Internet Explorer only, log in to the Connected Backup Support Center with your BC username and password and "BC" for the Community.