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Locating and backing up your data

Ensuring your data is backed up before your upgrade.

Figure sat at computer

In some cases, colleagues may have data stored on their computer's hard drive, so we've put together this "Before you upgrade" guide for people who are upgrading to Windows 10, so they don't lose their data when they've moved over.

If you use a Windows 7 University managed computer and save all your files on your Desktop or in your Documents folder they will be automatically saved to your personal network storage (P: drive). 

This guide concentrates on methods for backing up files that you work on, such as documents, images, spreadsheets, presentations and more.

We're aware that there's a lot of information on these pages; if you'd like further help then you're welcome to phone the IT Support Centre on 0161 306 5544 and a colleague will be more than happy to talk you through the process to ensure your data is kept safe.

If you'd also like to back up your web browser bookmarks, application settings or email archives, visit the 'other backups' page.

How to check where your files are located

You may have files saved in the following folders on your computer:

  • C:\Work
  • C:\Users\yourusername 
  • A separate partition if you have partitioned your hard drive. (If you don't know what this means then it's extremely unlikely that this is the case)

To search for a file, click the Windows icon in the bottom left of the screen (also known as the Start button), type the file name or keywords, and press Enter.

The search results will appear, displaying their saved location.

The screenshot shows files that are located in \\\home$ which means they're stored on the P: drive and those files don't need to be backed up to the network.

If the location of the files you search for starts with C:, those files are stored on your computer's hard drive and will need to be upgraded.

Screenshot 2


Choose where to back up your files

It is your responsibility to ensure any files on your computer are backed up.

Choose from one of the following backup methods:

P: Drive (personal network storage)

Your P drive has a limited amount of storage available. Using Microsoft Windows, check how much space you have by clicking Computer. If your P: drive is red, this indicates you have less than 10% of your allocated space free:

Screenshot of P drive

If you are running low on space, request an increase:

  1. Log into the IT Support Portal
  2. Search for pdrive increase
  3. Fill in the "P:drive: Request an increase" form.

If you need any further help, a colleague on the IT Support Centre will be able to advise.

Research Data Storage

If you're a researcher, 8 Terabytes (TB) of storage is available for each research project.

Further storage is charged for. Please see the Research Data Storage website for costs.

Full details about the service can be found in the Research Data Storage documentation.

To request Research Data Storage:

  1. Log into the IT Support Portal
  2. Search for Research Data Storage
  3. Fill in the "Research IT: Research Data Storage" form

Departmental shared area

For work collaboration, files and folders are stored on the network in a shared area also known as a department drive. You may know this as your S:drive, G:drive or similar.

This allows controlled access through groups, which means only users that have been granted permission by the business owner of the shared area / drive can access the data.

Access to the contents can be further restricted to allow either view (read-only) or change (full access).

Please note that any files you copy to a shared area will be viewable by colleagues who also have access to that shared drive; bear this in mind if you have any private or confidential files.

If you'd like to request a new shared area:

  1. Log in to the IT Support Portal
  2. Search for new shared area
  3. Fill in the "Shared Area: Request a new shared area / department drive" form


Important information for laptop users

1. Ensure you have no 'offline file conflicts'. Search for windows managing offline files in the IT Support Portal.

2. Ensure you have moved your P:Drive files to the Documents or Desktop folders. Search for windows move documents in the IT Support Portal.