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TSM: Computer backup service for faculty and staff (FAQ)
TSM Backup Service is a network-based backup service available to faculty, staff, and graduate students. There are two options of service; one charged, and one non-charged.

Personal Data Backup Only

Personal work documents stored on faculty, staff and graduate student workstations will be backed up at no charge and with no limit on size. The definition of personal documents will be based on the location of the documents, for example the "My Documents" and "\usr" folders on a Windows NT or Windows 2000 systems, "or /Users" on a Mac OS X system. Graduate students will purchased SCI computers will still need to register for the service in order to back up their computers (it is not set up by default).

Complete System Backup

For those systems that need backup service beyond the personal documents directories, a complete backup option is available for a fee. This complete backup service encompasses all directories on all disk volumes, with the exception of a few such as Temporary Internet Files and other similarly temporary directories. See TSM Usage and Charging Policy for more information. Computers participating in DeSC, because of their special standardized software, will continue to receive their regular backups at no charge.


To register a computer for TSM backup service, please see the TSM Account Management page (Princeton netID and password required).

Verify the host name displayed in the registration form, and enter your e-mail address. If the computer already has a TSM account, the form will return the node name, server name, and port number assigned to it.

Software Installation

To obtain the current TSM software, for all platforms, see TSM Client Software.

Four pieces of information will be needed to configure TSM following installation:

  1. TSM node name
  2. Server Address
  3. Port
  4. Password

This information is obtained during the TSM registration process. The setup wizard will create a new options file for your computer, based on the information you provide, along with a TSM password.

If you forget your TSM password, you will need to do the following:

  • Visit the TSM Account Management page
  • Click on the link Maintain your TSM account(s)
  • Click on the radio button next to the computer you administer
  • Click the Continue button
  • The next screen will give you the option to change the TSM password with a Change Password button

Detailed installation instructions for Windows and Mac OS platforms:

TSM keeps four different versions of all your files on the server. This does NOT necessarily mean that if you have backed up more than four times since the last time the file existed in the form you need it, the file is gone. When TSM does an incremental backup of your hard drive, it only overwrites files that are new or that have changed since the last time you backed up. So if you created a file 30 days ago and changed it three times or less before today, all four versions are retrievable, even if you have been backing up every day.

Software Removal

If you used TSM for data backup on your computer and have left the University, see for removal instructions.

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Last Updated:
March 4, 2014

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