Data backup and file management
This page outlines practical ways to back up your data as well as recommended file management guidelines.
Data backup procedures protect against the loss of data and can facilitate rapid recovery from an emergency, such as a computer failure, a virus infection, a flood, or a fire which could destroy the original data.
Staff and students should note that only critical Trinity systems are routinely backed up by IT Services.
The responsibility for backing up data held on individual computers, regardless of whether they are owned privately or by the University, falls entirely to the primary user of that computer.
For full details see the information on data back up and disaster recovery in the IT Security supporting policies.
Please see the below headings for more information about file/folder and software backup options.
File/folder backup options
There are several options available to facilitate file and folder backups.
As part of Microsoft 365, all staff and students have access to Microsoft's cloud-based file storage service, OneDrive. Working with files stored on OneDrive looks and feels the same as working with the files stored locally on your computer, except the changes you make are instantly saved online to a cloud location.
OneDrive gives you 1 TB of cloud storage with a maximum of 2GB file size.
The benefit of storing all your important files/folders to OneDrive, is even if you lose your computer, you will still be able to access those files from another device.
OneDrive also has a feature that allows you to back up your 'Desktop', 'Documents' and 'Pictures' folders.
View more information about OneDrive in Trinity College.
More information about how to back up your Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders with OneDrive
If your department/area has a SharePoint site, this can also be a great backup solution for your shared documents.
Like OneDrive, SharePoint stores all its files in a cloud location. So, in the event of a loss of a computer, you would see be able to access your files from another device.
Another useful feature of SharePoint is 'Version history'.
'Version history' allows you to view or restore a previous version of a shared document.
View more information about SharePoint in Trinity College.
More information about how to view the version history of an item or file in a list or library
MyZone - Google Drive
Students have access to Google Drive storage via their MyZone accounts. This is a cloud-based file storage service so if you lose your computer you can still access the files from another device.
Network Storage Drives
If your department has a 'shared network drive' or NAS as provided by IT Services, then this can be used as a backup location for your important documents.
Data saved on a network drive is stored on a central network server in College. Thus, if you lose access to your computer, the data will be unaffected.
Depending on the service agreement your department has with IT Service, there may be additional network storage backup and recovery options in place.
More information about NAS (Network Attached Storage) service.
Common Microsoft applications such as Word can usually be downloaded and reinstalled, so you won't need backups of those installation files.
However, if you use more specialised software make sure to store the original CDs or downloaded installation files in a safe location.
Back up and disaster recovery policies
File management involves knowing how to perform common file functions such as saving, copying, moving, and deleting of files.
The best way to think of file management is to think of a filing cabinet. It is important to keep this filing cabinet free of junk and clutter and have it arranged so you can easily access your important documents.
Basic file management tips
- Use good folder and file names
- Recognisable file/folder names make it obvious what the item refers to. Don't use abbreviated and abstract names like Doc1 or Doc2, instead use something descriptive like 'Term1 Botany Assignment' for example.
- Don't use special characters such as "/" as these can cause problems if you are moving files between different operating systems.
- Save often
- If your documents are saved in a cloud location such as OneDrive or SharePoint, then they may be saved automatically. However, it's always good practice to save regularly regardless of the item's location.
- Save to your cloud or network storage areas
- By saving your items to a cloud/network storage area, it will ensure you can still access those items from another device in the event of a computer loss.