Restoring files on Eden

All files on Eden are backed up every night, around midnight. Two types of backups are made.
  • Nightly backups, made Sunday through Friday nights, are kept for 7 days. This Friday's backup overwrites last Friday's backup.
  • Weekly backups, made Saturday night, are kept for 8 weeks.
These backups are readily accessible to account holders, so that you can restore your own files from them.

General file types

To restore a general type of file, go to
Log in with your NetID and password. Select the date from which you want to restore the file from the pulldown menu, then click the Submit button.

You are given a couple of choices.

  • If you know the exact name of the file, or a word in the name, you can type it in the "Search for directories/files:" box and press the Search button. (It's a case-sensitive search, meaning "File" won't match "file".)
  • Or, you can click the "Show all" button to see all the files on the backup from that day.
In either case, you'll get a list of files, each with a check box in front of its name. (Ignore the part before "nightly.1" or "weekly.3" or whatever it may say. You care about what comes after that.) Check the box(es) and click the Submit button. A message will then tell you what's been restored, and where.

The restored material is put into a subdirectory called RESTORE on your account. You can move it from there to whatever location you want with the "cp" command, used in an SSH session. If you already have a file with that name and don't want to replace it with this one, you can also use "cp" to rename the file. For example,

cp ~/RESTORE/old-file.html ~/public_html/new-name.html


E-mail may also be restored in this way, but most people will find the specific e-mail restore tool in easier to use. Log into webmail with your Eden username and password.

You may first want to create a folder called "RESTORE" (all in uppercase) under your Inbox. Doing so in webmail will automatically subscribe you to that folder. (If you don't already have such a folder, the "restore mail" will create one, but you will have to subscribe to it in your mail program to be able to find it.

Click on the "Webtools" link, then on the "restore mail" link. On the first page, select the date from which you want to restore mail. Click the Submit button. On the new page, select the folder you want to restore. Again, click Submit.

The tool will cause your RESTORE folder to point to the backup folder you requested. You should then open your mail program and copy the needed messages out of RESTORE to whatever folder you want them in.

If you need to restore mail from more than one folder, you'll have to do this one folder at a time: use the web tool to update the RESTORE folder to point to a new folder in the backups, copy the messages out, update the RESTORE folder again, etc.

Note that the age of the message is not important. That is, messages from longer than 8 weeks ago are still backed up. As long as it is sitting in a folder on your Eden account, it will be backed up when that folder is backed up.

However, the message must be on Eden when the backups are made. If you received a message in the morning and deleted it in the afternoon, it has not been around long enough for the nightly backup to save it, so there is no way to recover it. Similarly, we do not back up messages in folders that are kept on desktop computers.

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Last updated: August 5, 2010, 3:03 pm