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Connected Backup FAQ

connected backup

About Connected Backup

Who can use the Connected Backup backup service?

At this time, Connected Backup is only available for your primary BC-provided computer. You may request that ITS evaluate any additional computers you may have to see if they should be backed up using Connected Backup or if other backup strategies should be pursued. Note: As the Connected Backup Service is focused on primary computers, those with a need for lab, server, or large data store backups should contact their Technology Consultant to review alternative backup options.

How does the backup service work?

Hewlett Packard’s "Connected Backup" service provides an online backup and recovery solution for all of the critical data on your computer. An agent (desktop application) that is customized for the Boston College environment is downloaded to your computer. As long as your computer has a high-speed connection to the Internet (dial-up connections are not supported), "Connected Backup" ensures your backups happen automatically, consistently, and securely.

  • Connected Backup runs in the background, with minimal intervention and without getting in the way of computer use.
  • After installation of the agent (a desktop application), the first backup may take several hours to complete. Successive backups only take minutes as Connected Backup's technology only captures data that has changed since the last backup. Backups are initiated randomly during the day as long as your computer has an Internet connection. You can also initiate a manual backup using the agent.
  • You can recover files quickly and easily using either the agent (a desktop application) or the web interface. Note: 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.
Is it secure?

Your data is securely stored in Hewlett Packard's data vaults in redundant remote locations. The electronic data vaults are also backed up to tape so your data is off-line, protected from viruses and worms.

Can I back up more than one computer?

If a department or an individual user requires additional licenses to backup other BC-owned computers, please contact your departmental administrator. 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.

NOTE: If you have a lab computer or server that needs to be backed up, please contact your Technology Consultant for alternative backup strategies.

Does it work on both Mac and Windows computers?

Yes, software is available for both operating systems. The Mac version only works on Intel machines.

What are the minimum system requirements?

The minimum system requirements are (also see these requirements): 

  Windows Mac OS X
Operating System

  • Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) or later
  • 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later
System Memory (RAM) & Processor
  • 2 GB or more RAM
    1 GHz or faster processor

  • 2 GB or more RAM
  • Intel processor
Web Browser
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE): IE10, IE9, and IE8
  • Mozilla Firefox 16
  • Apple Safari 5 and 4
  • Mozilla Firefox 16
Java or .NET
  • Microsoft .NET Framework v4.0 (required only to display the Agent user interface. The Agent service can back up files without .NET installed.) Note: If not installed, for interactive installations, the Agent installer prompts whether to automatically install .NET. For silent installations, the first time the user starts the Agent, it prompts whether to automatically install .NET.

  • Tiger/Leopard
    • JRE 1.5 (32-bit)
  • Snow Leopard/Lion
    • JRE 1.6 (32-bit)
How long should it take for a backup to run?

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.

Subsequent backups are smaller and faster because Connected Backup backs up only new files and changes to previously backed-up files. The average backup time is 4-8 minutes, depending on how much data has changed. If your backups are taking more than 12 minutes, please contact your Technology Consultant or call the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (4357) to investigate.

When are backups scheduled to occur on my computer?

By default, the backup schedule is set randomly over 24 hours. Or, you can modify the backup schedule to suit your needs:

  1. Open the Connected Backup agent.
  2. Under the Backup Schedule heading, click the day and time link (see Figure 1).
Figure 1.
Figure 1.
  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.
    Figure 2: Specify days and time
    Figure 2.
  2. 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.

Are there any files or folders Connected Backup does not back up?

The standard Connected Backup account does not backup the following multi-media files:


If you need to have these types of files backed up, please have your Technology Consultant or department administrator request a Connected Backup multi-media account by using the Connected Backup account request form in ITService Center. 

Neither standard nor multi-media accounts backup the following file types:

  • .dmg, .iso, .app, .pkg/.mpkg, .cache, .vmdk, .vmx, .vmxf, .vmtm, .vmem, .vmsn, .vmsd, .vmss, .nvram, vmwarevm, .pvm, .hds, .mem, .pvs, .fdd, .hdd, sparseimage, sparsebundle

Regarding folders on PCs, backup of any folders named TEMP or Temp or temp are not allowed.  These folder names are typically reserved for Operating System use.

Additionally, on a Mac, the following folders are not backed up:

  • /Volumes/${ROOT}/Applications
  • /Volumes/${ROOT}/System
  • /Volumes/${ROOT}/Quarantine
  • /Volumes/${ROOT}/Library
  • */.Spotlight-V100
  • */Caches
  • */.TemporaryItems
  • */.Trash
  • */.Trashes
  • /Volumes/${ROOT}/private/var
  • /Volumes/${ROOT}/private/tmp
  • /Volumes/${ROOT}/automount
  • */Backups.backupdb

Using Connected Backup

How do I start backing up my data?

You will receive an email with instructions and a link to a registration form. Once you login, you will be able to download and install the Connected Backup software. When you run the software, it will backup all your data. After that, incremental backups will occur daily behind the scenes. Once this service is running, you can retrieve lost files or restore the information on your hard drive if it ever becomes damaged.

What is my Connected Backup password?

You use your BC username and password to access the Connected Backup service. ITS has worked with Connected Backup so you can authenticate using BC's secure LDAP server. Your security credentials are kept confidential and are not released to Connected Backup.

If you need assistance with your password, please contact your Technology Consultant or call the Help Center at 552-HELP (4357).

I'm having trouble logging in to my account. How can I log in?

Did you log in to the correct page?

Do you have a multi-media or ITS account with Connected Backup?
Registration and Account Management pages are different for multi-media accounts and ITS accounts.

Are you using the correct log in credentials?
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.

How do I retrieve a file?

There are two ways to retrieve files:

What do I do if I receive a warning in Connected Backup that my backup has failed?

If your backup fails:

  1. Close all open applications.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Connected Backup, then click Connected BackupPC.
  4. Click Backup Now to do a manual backup.
  5. If your backup is still not successful, contact the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (2-HELP from on-campus) for additional support.
Is it possible to change my backup set to exclude certain files?

Yes, both Mac and PC users can exclude files from their backup sets. Instructions can be found in the Windows Quickstart (PDF) or the Mac Quickstart (PDF). Note: To view Adobe Reader® (PDF) formatted files, download the free Adobe Reader.

Users should use caution in excluding files from backup, as there will be no option to restore these files from backup should they be lost. We recommend using the exclusion option only in cases where large, expendable files like datasets or audio/video files would put your backups over the 128GB Connected Backup limit.

How do I get technical support?

If you have any questions or problems using the Connected Backup software, please contact your Technology Consultant or call the Help Center at 617-552-HELP (4357).