In some instances, such as certain virus infections, the only software repair option available for your computer may be to reformat the hard drive.  Reformatting the hard drive means completely erasing all data on your computer and performing a clean install of the operating system. In any instance where your computer is going to be reformatted by the ITS Help Desk, you should try to back up all of your important data to an external storage media before dropping off your computer.

You can also opt to have the Help Desk back up a certain amount of school-related data for you. The Help Desk can only back up certain types of personal data (see below). This data must be placed in a folder on your desktop called “Backup” or something else easily recognizable.  (If you are not able to back up your data because your computer won’t boot up, the Help Desk can attempt to find your data in another location).

Files that the Help Desk will back up include, but are not limited to:

  • documents
  • spreadsheets
  • databases
  • digital camera pictures
  • graphic design work
  • PDF files

Files that the Help Desk will not back up include, but are not limited to:

  • music
  • movies
  • downloaded programs or games
  • saved game data

The Help Desk is not able to migrate or otherwise back up any currently installed applications or system settings to the reformatted operating system.  You are responsible for re-installing all programs. 

Note: If data backup is requested, ITS will make every effort to do so but cannot guarantee that any or all data will be successfully backed up.

This service is only available to enrolled students or faculty/staff that are employed at the university.

Article number: 
301
Last updated: 
July 20, 2017