Backing up your computer

Without a doubt, backing up your data is the most important and productive thing you can do on your computer system. This one simple action can save you countless hours of work and downtime, if ever your system were to fail. What is CPP? 

CPP or Crash Plan Pro, is a campus wide back up program offered for university owned computers. Provided by Information Technology, CPP will automatically back up your data to an I.T. server on campus.  This server will store all of your data excluding files such as  MP3s, pictures and video.  This back up will not have an effect on the performance of your computer.  If you would like to enroll in the back up program or if you have any questions, please contact Paula Ruiz at


Below is a list of questions that many users have had about backups and some answers that may help you understand how simple backing up your data can be.


How often should I backup my data?

The real question is "How much data are you willing to lose?". If you are only willing to lose two days of work, then back up every other day. If you are willing to lose a weeks worth of data then back up once a week. The answer may vary. Many people do their work using networked systems, such as our student record system. Data, in this case, is not stored on your local computer, but instead on I.T.'s mainframe. Your local drive may not change much on a daily basis. Others may store files such as memos, spreadsheets, letters, books, and other documentation that gets edited and added to throughout the day. If another copy of these files does not exist, you are at risk of losing them all, with little chance of recovery.  [Crash Plan Pro backs up your data every 30 minutes.  It only backs up changes, so the performance of your computer will remain the same.]

What do I backup?

It is very important to backup your data. The operating system and the programs can be reinstalled with the proper software cds if needed. Your data is priority in a backup.

Do I need a special backup program?

Not necessarily. A backup is just a copy of your data. If you select your files and go through a simple copy and paste process, your data is backed up.  Remember, Information Technology has made available Crash Plan Pro for university owned computers.

Where do I store my copy of the data?

The latest technology makes backing up much easier than in the past. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Burn a cd.
  • Use a flash or jump drive
  • Get an external usb hard drive (It can hold a lot of data.)
  • Use a network drive, if one is available

How do I get started?

The first step is to organize your data. It helps to keep your data in one folder such as "My Documents". It is ok to have subfolders. Next, check out the size of the folder that contains your data. This can be done by right clicking on the folder and selecting "properties". Once you discover the size of the folder, you can decide which media to choose to copy your data to. Keep in mind that flash drives come in different sizes, so make sure you get one with sufficient space. External hard drives come in differenct sizes as well. CD's can hold roughly 700 MB. If you want to backup to a departmental server, please check with the server's administrator for disk space.

What backup media does I.T. recommend?

Information Technology recommends the Crash Plan Pro program for university owned computers.  If using CPP is not possible, please see other options below.

If your department has a backup server, that is a good place to store your backup. If your department does not have a backup server, then an external USB hard drive will be your best bet. It can hold a lot of information and allows for quick and easy backups.