File Backup (TSM)

File backup is a practice that can save you hours of headache if a system crash occurs. Hardware failures can occur without notice so it is critical for you to have a backup copy of your important files. There are several ways to backup your system. You can burn your data on CDs, save to an external hard drive, or use use a backup client like TSM.

Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) provides functionality that allows employees of Auburn University to backup their local computer or specific files on their local computer to an OIT network server. Employees must use their username for their TSM user id and TSM password when logging in to the TSM client; however, TSM accounts are only issued upon request from the appropriate Administrative Computing Coordinator (ACC). If you need a TSM account, please contact your ACC.


Common Topics

Information about TSM backup software

ADSM, now renamed Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM), provides flexible, powerful backup protection of desktop computer hard drives to an OIT network server. The client runs on Windows, Macintosh, Linux and a variety of Unix platforms. Lost files can be recovered by restoring them from the server.

TSM is site licensed and provided at no additional cost to the Auburn University community. Backing up from off-campus is not recommended unless the connection is at least as fast as cable/DSL connections.

All employees at Auburn University have an username established for them. An AU employee's TSM account is automatically activated when the username is assigned. Of course, it is important to note that the employee is still responsible for downloading and running TSM on their University computer.

System requirements

  • TCP/IP Communications capability
  • Current web browser

Connection Speeds

If you are off-campus and wish to use TSM, it will be necessary for you to have a high bandwidth Internet connection such as DSL or Cable. Dial-up connections will not work properly.

Procedure for requesting TSM backup restrictions exemption

In extenuating circumstances, it is possible for distributed IT providers or Administrative Computing Coordinators to request that a machine be exempted from the recently announced TSM backup restrictions.

If you identify such a system in your area, the procedure for making a request for exemption is outlined below. Keep in mind, that this should be reserved for critical needs only.

  1. Send an email request for exemption from TSM backup restrictions to
  2. Provide the TSM node name, user's name and campus contact information (address, phone, email).
  3. Provide justification for the exemption requested.
  4. Provide your name and campus contact information.

Your request will be reviewed and you will receive a reply from the Office of Information Technology within two (2) business days. Feel free to follow up at anytime.

TSM - Important background information

Below are some important facts that you should know about TSM and its uses on the Auburn University campus.

  • What the backups exclude

    Backups for Windows platforms exclude things like network drives and Windows system objects. This change was made December 18, 2003, in order to make more efficient use of our backup storage space. There will be no interruption of your regularly scheduled backups using TSM, and everything in My Documents and Program Files will continue to be backed up.

    Windows profiles and favorites will be included. If you have any questions or concerns about the backup routine used on your desktop computer, please consult the IT specialist for your area or the OIT HelpDesk at (334) 844-4944 or

  • What is restored on your computer

    Files backed up with TSM can be restored to recover lost data or work files. However, TSM is not meant to be used for restoring everything on your hard drive or to restore software. Remember, TSM is for disaster recovery. It cannot be expected to always contain any version of any file that you want.

  • Getting Started

    Be sure you've read and followed the "Getting Started instructions".

  • Difference between active and inactive

    How long a backed up file is kept depends on whether it is "active" or "inactive". A file is considered "active" if it is still on your hard drive. "Active" files have a current copy available indefinitely on the server. "Inactive" files (that have been deleted from your hard drive) are only kept for a few weeks. Also, older versions of "active" files are deleted after a short time. Therefore, you will not be able to pull up multiple copies of the same file. TSM is for disaster recovery.

  • Security features

    TSM has a compression option that can be set at the client end. This option can be used for security purposes. It will keep the system from sending data in clear text; however, it will probably increase the overall back up time.

  • Options for running the scheduler

    The scheduler program runs in the system tray for Windows 98 and ME. For systems running Windows NT/2000 and XP, there are two options: run the scheduler as a service, or run it as a regular program where it will run as a DOS window which can be minimized while you work on something else. When run as a service, the scheduler is invisible to you. Whenever you want to back up your files overnight you can simply leave your PC running.

  • Archive is not allowed

    Users should back up with the Backup button.

Using different TSM IDs to back up multiple machines

OIT strongly advises TSM users to use a single TSM ID (node name) for each machine that is backed up. To get additional TSM IDs for backing up multiple computers, contact your Administrative Computing Coordinator.

Potential Problems

Using a single TSM ID on more than one machine is not supported by the vendor; the software is designed to run in an environment where each machine on which the client runs is assigned a unique TSM ID (or 'node name', in Tivoli-speak). In practice this means that one must be very careful in attempting to use the same ID on more than one machine, and when problems are encountered we can expect no help from the vendor in trying to resolve them.

Also, the behavior exhibited by TSM in this area is subject to change from one release of the software to another, with no announcements or explanations regarding changes. This is because the vendor neither codes for nor tests the use of a single ID on multiple machines. If you still wish to use the same TSM ID on more than one machine, then the following information may be helpful. These guidelines are the result of our experiences with version 4 of the TSM client.

Proceed with caution if you plan to use the same ID to back up more than one machine!

Incremental Backups

The first potential problem arises when doing an incremental backup. TSM bases all of its decisions on what files to back up and what files to expire on its perceived status of what it calls a 'filespace'. What a filespace is depends to some extent on the platform on which the client is running. In Unix, a filespace is simply a filesystem (or part of a filesystem); in Windows, a filespace is a combination of Windows 'Computer Name' and drive letter.

When an incremental backup is run, the TSM client compares the filespace as it currently exists on the machine with the filespace as it exists at the TSM server. Any differences will cause action to be taken by the client. For example, if a file on the local machine has been changed since it was last backed up, it will be backed up again. If a file exists in the filespace at the server, but not on the local machine, it will be assumed to have been deleted and will be marked inactive at the server. If you run an incremental backup on two different machines that both contain the same filespace name, you will very likely get unexpected and undesirable results.Files will be incorrectly marked inactive, etc.

If you plan to run an incremental backup on more than one machine using the same TSM ID, then you must ensure that all filespace names involved are unique. On Windows, this can be accomplished by having unique Windows computer names; on Unix, having unique filespace names is impractical for system directories but might be possible for some other directories.

Scheduled Backups

Another problem arises if you attempt to use the TSM Scheduler to perform scheduled backups of multiple machines with a single TSM ID. Because the server assumes that an ID is only being used on one machine, all sorts of problems and misunderstandings can occur.

Scheduler clients connect periodically to the server to request a time at which they should perform a backup, and they report to the server the success or failure of an attempted scheduled backup. It is left to the reader's imagination to come up with possible points of confusion and failure if multiple machines are attempting scheduled backups using the same ID. The bottom line is this: once a machine successfully completes a scheduled backup using a given TSM ID, no other machine can start a scheduled backup using the same TSM ID during the same backup window. (A backup window is generally the period from 6 p.m. one evening until 9 a.m. the following morning.)

The more machines on which the same TSM ID is used to do scheduled backups, the greater the number of machines will not be backed up on a given night. For this reason, OIT recommends that you not use the same TSM ID on more than one machine on which you also run the TSM Scheduler, even if you can manage to ensure unique filespace names on the machines in question. The reliability of scheduled backups in this scenario is simply too poor.

Unicode Support

Support for Unicode filespaces was added to the TSM server in August of 2002. Unicode filespaces allow for greater flexibility in data being backed up from and restored to client platforms running under different national languages.

Some TSM clients are capable of backing up filespaces in Unicode format while other clients are not. As of Fall 2002, the only Unicode capable clients are:

  • V4.2.0 or higher for Windows NT/2000
  • V4.2.1.15 or higher for Windows XP

Now to how this affects using a single TSM ID on more than one machine. The important rule to keep in mind is this: once a filespace has been backed up to the server in Unicode format under a given ID, the server will not allow a non-Unicode capable client to connect using that ID. A filespace will be backed up in Unicode format under the following circumstances:

  1. The client doing the backup is Unicode enabled, and
  2. The filespace being backed up does not exist at the server in a non-Unicode format

Number 2 above needs to be understood; the TSM server will not convert an existing filespace backup image to Unicode format, but if a new filespace is backed up (e.g., a new drive is added to an existing machine, or a drive that was previously being EXCLUDEd in the TSM client options is now being INCLUDED, or if an ID that was being used to back up one machine is later used to back up files on a second machine), that filespace will be backed up in Unicode format. Once that has happened, no non-Unicode capable client will be allowed to connect to the server using that ID.

So, for example, if you're using the same ID from a Windows 2000 machine and a Mac, or a Windows 98 machine, etc., you might suddenly find that the client cannot connect from the Mac (or 98...) platform. You find that you're getting the following error message:

ANS1357S Session rejected: Downlevel client code version

More than likely what has happened is that a Unicode format filespace has been backed up and the server is rejecting connections for your ID from non-Unicode clients.

The best solution to this problem is to use a given TSM ID for backing up one machine only. You can request additional TSM IDs for your machines by contacting the OIT Account Administrator.

TSM Filespace Cleanup (Automatic Filespace Deletion)

TSM stores backup copies of your files in what it calls a 'filespace'. What a filespace is depends to some extent on the platform on which the TSM client is running. In Unix, a filespace is simply a filesystem (or part of a filesystem); in Windows, a filespace is a combination of Windows 'Computer Name' and drive letter. Note that for Windows platforms, when you get a new PC, the Windows computer name usually changes; this means that the c: drive from your old machine will be stored in one filespace, while the c: drive from the new machine will be stored in a different filespace.

There are two circumstances under which TSM filespaces are automatically deleted:

  1. After your OIT-provided Auburn username/account is terminated
  2. Filespaces that are not backed up for a long time ("abandoned" filespaces)

Account termination

When your OIT-provided account is terminated, your TSM ID is renamed. Any data stored under your ID will only remain on the server for 60 days. At that time, all backup data for your ID will be deleted from the server and the TSM ID will be removed.

Abandoned filespaces

The TSM server keeps a date/time stamp that records when a given filespace was last backed up. Note that this timestamp is only updated when a full incremental backup is done on a filespace. A full incremental backup happens in one of three ways:

  1. A scheduled backup runs
  2. From the TSM GUI client, "Actions/Backup Domain" is clicked
  3. A command line "dsmc incremental" backup runs

Using the GUI to selectively back up files and directories, even if you back up the entire c: drive , does not result in a full incremental backup and does not update the 'last backed up' timestamp. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you perform backups using one of the three methods listed above.

On the first weekend of each month, OIT runs a "cleanup abandoned filespaces" process.  This process does two things:

  1. checks the 'last backed up' timestamp of each filespace. For those filespaces that have not been backed up in at least 6 months, email is sent to the owner of the filespace. The email lists the filespace(s) that appear to have been abandoned and informs the owner that the filespace(s) will be deleted during the next month's cleanup. Note that the email is sent to address " ". For most people, this is a valid email address; however, if you have multiple TSM accounts for multiple machines, there's a good chance that some of those accounts will not represent valid email addresses.  For that reason, we maintain a list of filespaces that are scheduled to be deleted during the next cleanup process.
  2. for filespaces that were emailed about during the previous month's run, check the 'last backed up' timestamp; if the filespace still hasn't been backed up, then it is deleted.

If you see that a filespace of yours is scheduled to be deleted, you should check the filespace name to be sure that it is from a machine that you no longer have. If so, no action is necessary on your part. If the filespace is a backup of a hard drive that still exists, then you should perform a full incremental backup via one of the three methods listed above. This is the only way that the 'last backed up' timestamp will be updated.  You should also take steps to ensure that the drive continues to be backed up in the future.

Starting Out

Getting started with TSM

  1. Know your username.
  2. To login the first time, you will type the username in both the username field and the password field. If this doesn't work, call the HelpDesk at 844-4944 to have the TSM password reset.
  3. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements.
  4. If you have an earlier version of ADSM or TSM, you will need to first uninstall it via Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.
  5. Install ADSM/TSM.
  6. Configure the ADSM/TSM scheduler.

Installing TSM

  1. Visit AU Install, scroll down to TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) and click your Operating System to download the install file.
  2. Double-click the install file when it is downloaded.
  3. When you see the screen below, enter your AU username and click Next.

    Installing TSM
  4. Choose "English" or any language you desire when the "Choose Setup Language" box appears.
  5. Click "Next" through the following two screens.
  6. Choose "Typical" and click Next.

    Installing TSM
  7. Click "Install" on the next screen.
  8. The program will install the TSM software. Click "Finish" when it has completed and restart your computer.

Configuring the TSM scheduler manually

  1. From the Windows Start Menu, choose Programs, Tivoli Storage Manager, Backup Archive GUI.
  2. Choose Setup Wizard from the Utilities menu.

    Configure TSM Manually
  3. Select "Help me configure the TSM Client Scheduler" and click Next.

    Configure TSM Manually
  4. Select "Install a new or additional scheduler".

    If you have already created a scheduler task, you may choose the option to update a previously installed scheduler or remove a previously installed scheduler.

    Note: It is not recommended you run more than one scheduler at a time.

    Configure TSM Manually
  5. Enter a name of your choice for the scheduler and click Next.

    Configure TSM Manually
  6. Next you will be asked for the option file's name. Leave it as shown below.

    Configure TSM Manually
  7. Enable event logging. Leave the other selections as shown below.

    Configure TSM Manually
  8. Enter your username and TSM password.

    Configure TSM Manually
  9. Set the service login options to use "The System account" when logging into Windows NT and to start the service "Automatically when Windows boots" as shown below.

    Configure TSM Manually
  10. Click Finish to complete the configuration process

Using TSM

Logging in

  1. Locate the Tivoli Storage Manager from your Windows start menu and select Backup Archive GUI.
  2. When you configure TSM, it will remember your login information and go straight to the main menu.

    If you have to login, enter your AU User Name in both the "Node name" and the "Password" fields.

    Logging In to TSM
  3. You should now be logged into TSM.

Changing your password

  1. Locate the Tivoli Storage Manager from your Windows start menu and select Backup Archive GUI.
  2. Pull down the Utilities menu and select Change Password.
  3. Fill in the blanks with your current and new passwords.


Backing up files automatically using the Scheduler

TSM can be used to back up files overnight. Since the scheduler program is in the startup folder, it will be launched when you start up your machine. All you have to do is leave your machine running all night and the system will automatically back up your files.

  1. If you leave the scheduler running, it will back up your files every night.
  2. If the scheduler is configured to run as a service, just leave the computer turned on. If it runs as a window, be sure it hasn't been closed during the day. However, it only does a complete copy of all files and directories the first time you do a back up. After that, it only backs up the files that have changed.

    Note: Before backing up your system, make sure TSM is set up to only back up your local drives, usually C: and/or D:. Do not back up network drives such as G:, H: and Q: because they are already backed up by the system administrators and are very large. To check your settings, click Start > Tivoli Storage Manger > Backup Archive GUI > Edit > Preferences > Backup (look at the Domain List); then click Include-Exclude.

Backing up files manually

If TSM has been configured from the web, it will back up all of the the data and program files on the hard drives but not the system files, recycle bin, or temporary internet files.

  1. Locate the Tivoli Storage Manager from your Windows start menu and select Backup Archive GUI.
  2. Click "Actions" from the main menu bar in the GUI client and select "Backup Domain".

    Backup Domain

    Note: When you manually back up files, the process begins immediately; you can just minimize TSM and work on something else while they are being backed up.

How to tell when/if a file was backed up

  1. Method One: Open Backup Archive GUI and choose Restore from the opening menu. Then find a file that should have been backed up and note the time and date.

  2. Method Two: Look at the file named "dsmsched.log" in the folder "Program Files\Tivoli\TSM\baclient\" on your hard drive. Scroll to the bottom of the file to see the most recent activity. Click to position the cursor near the bottom of the file, then search (Ctrl-F) up the page for the word "completed successfully." A typical daily backup produces a line like this in the log:

    02/07/2002 04:35:57 Scheduled event 'AUDAILY' completed successfully.

    TSM does not leave a window open to let you know when and what was backed up.

Restoring files

  1. Locate the Tivoli Storage Manager from your Windows start menu and select Backup Archive GUI.
  2. Click on Restore from the main menu.

    Restoring Files in TSM

  3. The restore window lists the files' size and times and dates created, last modified, and last backed up.

    Restoring Files in TSM

    Click the + box labeled "File Level". Keep expanding the listing as needed by clicking the + boxes on the left until you find the files you need. TSM does not keep multiple versions of a file.

  4. Find and highlight the file(s) you want to restore.
  5. Click the Restore button.
  6. Choose "Following location" and browse to the place you want it restored. Do not check "Original location" even if you want to restore it to the same location.

    Restoring Files in TSM
  7. Click Restore.

Deleting files on the server

  1. Know the name of your current computer. To find out, right-click My Computer , click Properties, and click Network Identification. The first part of your full computer name, before the domain name, is used to name the TSM filespace.
  2. Locate the Tivoli Storage Manager from your Windows start menu and select Backup Archive GUI.
  3. From the Utilities menu, choose Delete Filespaces.
  4. Check the + to the left of "Filespace" to expand the listing. You may need to enlarge the window by dragging its bottom edge down.
  5. Find what you want to delete and check the gray box beside it. The box appears yellow with a red check inside. In the example below, two network (H:) drives have been chosen for deletion.

    Delete Files in TSM
  6. Click Delete.

    Delete Files in TSM
  7. Click Yes if you're sure that you want to delete the file(s).

Updating TSM

  1. To find out what version of TSM you have, locate the Tivoli Storage Manager on your Windows start menu and select Backup Archive GUI. From the menu bar, select Help > About TSM. You'll see a window similar to this that shows the version, release and level numbers.

    Updating TSM
  2. To download the latest version, visit the AU Download page.


Session rejected: All server sessions are currently in use

This error occurs if too many different computers attempt to make TSM backups simultaneously. Try again later. If the Scheduler is running, it will try again in 20 minutes automatically.

Error restoring to original location

If you get an error at the "Select destination for restored object" window after choosing 'Original location', choose instead the "Following location" option.

This is usually caused by the fact that "original location" doesn't mean just the same directory from which the file was backed up, it also means the same filespace.  Keep in mind that the filespace name changes when you get a new PC.

Node name unknown to server

In TSM, select "Edit > Preferences" and type your AU user name in the "Node Name" field. This is needed when a previously used computer with TSM changes hands.

More than one computer

If you want to use TSM to back up more than one computer, use different TSM IDs (node names).

ANS1357S Session rejected: Downlevel client code version

More than likely what has happened is that a Unicode format filespace has been backed up and the server is rejecting connections for your ID from non-Unicode clients.

The best solution to this problem is to use a given TSM ID from one machine only. You can request additional TSM IDs for your machines by contacting the OIT Accounts Administrator.

Last Updated: December 05, 2016