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Biochemistry Backup System:

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All too often a computer user will lose critical data on their desktop and we will have
no copy of it on our backup system. The reason: That desktop IS NOT a client on 
the Biochem backup server. Because labs are free to buy, install, or perform
upgrades on their own computers, there are times when the tech shop has no way 
of telling what is not being backed up. If any desktop is not registered in our backup
database, it WILL NOT be backed up. The Biochem tech unit provides a daily service
of data backups for 225 faculty, staff, and lab Macintosh and Windows desktops. It is 
ultimately the user's responsibility to insure a computer is being backed up.

To insure that you are part of the nightly backup, you MUST take a few easy steps.
On a Mac, there are two:
1. Open the Control Panels, and look at the bottom of the list. You should see a 
Control Panel with the name "*Retrospect Client." 2. When you go to "Shut down" at
night, Retrospect will present a prompt: "Now waiting for backup…" followed by the 
floating "Dantz" box. If neither of these occur, that Mac will NOT backed up. Notify us
immediately by email at techsupport. 

On a Windows desktop:
Open the Control Panels and make sure Retrospect is in there. If it is not, that
Windows desktop will NOT backed up. Notify us immediately by email at techsupport. 

Both Mac and Windows should tell you when you are not backed up for a period of
sevendays. You will see an alert that warns you to call the backup administrator.  
Notify us immediately by email at techsupport.
Please help us to help you by avoiding these nasty incidents from happening.

Jim and Michael

Departmental Resources

Computer Tech Support for the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, has a Backup Server available for the department's desktop computers. This Backup System is comprised of four separate scripts, which backup onto two separate sets of (DLT) digital liner tapes. Our Backup System supports both Macintosh and Windows clients, which currently consist of over 250 clients.


  • Macintosh (OS 8, 9, X) or Windows (OS 95, 98, 2000) desktop computer or laptop.
  • A valid, fully-qualified, UCSF IP Address and an active network connection.
    • Note: Computers with loopback, or private IP Addresses will not be backed-up, i.e., 127.x.y.z, 10.x,y,z, 172.16.y.z, or 192.168.y.z
  • Dantz Retrospect Client installed, at least version 4.2A for the Mac or 5.0 for Windows.
    • Note: Installations of the Retrospect Client can only be done by filling-out a Help Request and by appointment. Passwords on the Retrospect Client are setup at the time of the client installation.
  • Firewall must be open to IP Address with TCP and UDP port 497.
  • Payments: At this time we are not requiring payments or charges for the Client software or tapes.

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About the Backup:

  • The backup is one of the many services that we provide. Of course, if your data is absolutely important make a copy and place it on another disk.
  • During months of January and July, there will be a three weeks waiting period before all the machines are fully backed-up. In the interim, please make a copy of all your important files to another disk.
  • If you have lost or deleted files from your computer, fill-out a Help Request for a data restores. Be as specific as you can be, include the file names, file types, folder directories, and the last known date the file(s) were on the drive.
    • Here's an example: "Hi, I am from the Blank lab, the computer's retrospect client name is 'Bch 9E BlankLab comp1.' I lost an entire folder, named "My Files," which as last seen on February 15, 2001, that was located in the following directory: Hard Drive/Documents/Important/My Files. There were a total of 5 PhotoShop images and 10 Excel files, all the files started with the name 'File00.' - Thank You."
    • Data restores normally takes less than two working days, with accurate file and directory information supplied. Otherwise, data restores can take over 7 working days.

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More information on the Backup Server:

  • Four scripts run 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.
    • Daily script for laptops, that run from 10 AM to 2 PM.
    • Daily script for Servers, that run from 4 PM to 6 PM.
    • Nightly script for all machines, that runs from 6 PM to 8AM the next day.
    • Nightly and over the weekend for all machines.
  • We alternate between two tape sets, in a six-month period both tapesets total up to 1.6 TB (Terabytes) which is approx. 1,600GB (Gigabytes).
    • Tapes are kept for a six-month period.
  • We use Retrospect software because it is flexible, scalable, and operational in a cross-platform environment.
  • The Backup Server has been configured to use filters that excludes the following:
    • Music files (.mp3, .aiff, sound clips, and tracks), memory space (swap files, virtual memory, temp files), disk images, and a few other files.

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Get to know the Retrospect Client:

  • The active client is seamless to you and the drive is automatically backed-up.
  • Laptop retrospect clients are backed-up by the Backup Server immediately after the laptop connects to the network. (Some computers need to be restarted after activating TCP/IP).
  • The Retrospect Client is a control panel in both the Mac and Windows OS. The preference of the client gives you, the user, the control specify certain attributes:
    • Notify the user after a successful backup.
    • Notify the user if a backup has not taken place in over 7 days, if so please fill-out a Help Request, include the computer's IP Address and Retrospect Client name.
    • You can request a specified time for a backup. If you use the computer until 7PM and does not want to be backed-up while the computer is in use, you can change the schedule from the normally scheduled time to backup after 7PM.
    • Client folder exclusions, you can specify folders that you do not to want backed-up. Be careful with this setting, this may prevent important files, like your saved email, from getting backed-up.
  • If you are using the computer the computer when the Backup attempts to create a backup session, you have the choice of deferring the backup until a specified time.
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