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ADSM/TSM - Network Backup
Contents What It Is & Who Can Use It Switching to Personal ADSM Hostname ADSM Download Mac OS X MS Windows: Install
MS Windows: Restore Files MS Windows: Restore Hard Drives ADSM Personal Workstation FAQ DSMC on ACCC UNIX UNIX DSMC FAQ Related Links

ADSM/TSM Network Backup for Personal Workstations


There are two kinds of programmers: those who have lost data, and those who will.

Backup your personal computer or workstation over the network, unattended. Retrieve files inadvertently erased or recover from hard disk failure. Do this before you lose files.

ADSM's Tivioli Storage Manager software, TSM, supports all modern versions of Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, Linux, and many obsolete/older versions and operating systems also. It most likely has you covered.

What does ADSM stand for? Well, orginally it stood for ADSTAR Distributed Storage Manager, which is what IBM called the software it used. Many years ago, the software was renamed to TSM, Tivoli Storage Manager. We've kept the ADSM name for our service because that is what everyone knows it by.

What is the ADSM Backup Utility?

ADSM on Personal Workstations

ADSM is a utility to backup the hard drive on your personal computer -- desktop or laptop -- or workstation (Windows, Mac, or Unix) when it is on the UIC campus. Usually, one would have to buy a tape drive or use other backup tools to backup your hard drive. The ACCC, however, offers the ADSM backup service for all UIC faculty and staff on campus, free of charge. ADSM allows you to backup your drive over the network to tapes that we maintain. If you ever accidentally delete a file or experience a hard drive crash, you can restore the missing information from the ADSM tapes.

You can easily set up automatic ADSM backups to run every night, or if you're backing up a laptop that you take home at night, you can request to have the automatic backup run during the day.

ADSM on the ACCC UNIX Servers

ADSM is also used to back up user accounts on the ACCC UNIX servers. The ACCC also uses ADSM to back up user accounts on tigger and icarus. An ADSM backup is run on each ACCC UNIX workstation every night, time permitting. You can restore copies of your files from the system backups on tigger and icarus by yourself, using the command dsmc (for text mode) or dsm (for X Windows).

An important use of the ADSM backups, especially those of files on tigger, icarus, and mailserv, is recovering lost email. (But only email that stayed on tigger, icarus, or mailserv overnight is likely to have been backed up with ADSM on the server. If it's on your personal computer, it's up to you to back it up yourself.) The Unix DSMC FAQ has more information. See DSMC on ACCC Unix and Unix DSMC FAQ above. Again, you can restore your email from the system backups on tigger and icarus by yourself. ACCC staff must do mailserv backups; send full information promptly to if you need some email back from your email account on mailserv.

Registering Your Personal Computer for ADSM

If you are authorized to have use ADSM network backup for your personal computer, laptop, or workstation (see Who Can Use ADSM on Their Personal Computer, Laptop, or Workstation?), you should be able to open your ADSM account yourself, online. ADSM accounts are tailored for the specific type of computer that you are backing up, so creating your account should be done using the computer that you will be backing up with ADSM. Instructions and a link are included with the installation instructions:

ADSM TSM Network Backup for Windows: Installation

ADSM Tivoli Storage Manager Backup for Apple Macintosh: Getting Started

If you already have an ADSM account, you can use it on your new computer, provided that you are no longer backing up your previous computer. Even if the new computer uses a different operating system than the old one did.

Getting your ADSM account will give you an ADSM node name, and, now, your own ADSM server name also.

Your Own ADSM Server Name

Increasing use of the ACCC's ADSM service has recently caused us to add a third ADSM server machine. When we asked individuals to switch from the original server to, we asked them to reconfigure their TSM software, changing both server and port.

Rather than have to ask people to do this again as we now add (and again and again as we add additional servers), we have decided to give everyone their "own" ADSM server for their own ADSM account, with a server name of the form:

ADSM nodenames are of the form: netid.adsm1, thus the server name for Ada Byron's adabyron.adsm1 ADSM account will be:

The port in all cases is 1500. If you are already using ADSM, this will require one more change on your part. But it will be the last, regardless of what the ACCC does on our end with our actual ADSM server machines.

You can switch to this nodename now; if you are already using ADSM, the instructions you need are in Switching to Your Personalized ADSM Server Hostname.

How Many Backup Copies Does ADSM Keep and How Long?

The ADSM Network Backup system now keeps 7 versions of files that are changing frequently; previously it had only kept 3 versions. For files that are not changing frequently, old versions are kept only 30 days. The current version of an existing file is kept as long as the file exists. The last version of a file that has been deleted is kept for 60 days after it is deleted. There is more; the Download Your ADSM/Tivoli Storage Manager Client page has a full of the ADSM backup policies.

This is of particular importance for files that change daily, the most common of which are email Inboxes. This means that ADSM now has copies of your email inboxes going back a whole week. (Previously we kept only 3 copies, which translated into 3 days.) This change applies to all ACCC email servers -- tigger, icarus, and mailserv -- as well as to all mailboxes on your desktop computer as long as you back them up daily.

You can now see these versions on systems where you can get a shell session (tigger and icarus, or any type of Unix on your desktop) by specifying the -pick -inactive switches on the dsmc restore command. On GUI systems (Windows and Mac), you can see them by clicking View then Display active/inactive files.

The Unix DSMC FAQ has instructions on how to get back email that was backed up on tigger or icarus. If your email account is on mailserv, and the email that you need to restore was stored on the server, you still have to ask us to do the restore for you. But now we've got a whole week to respond to your request for a mailserv restore.

Questions or comments about UIC's ADSM Network Backup service, or submit mailserv restore requests, should be directed to

Who Can Use ADSM on Their Personal Computer, Laptop, or Workstation?
  • ADSM is offered only to individual UIC faculty and staff members for use on their own primary, exclusively used, personal computer, laptop, or UNIX workstation located on the UIC campus.

  • ADSM is not available for use on public-access workstations including public-lab personal computers.

  • ADSM is not available for use on any system that operates as a server. This includes LAN file servers: group, departmental, or class Web servers; or multi-user workstations. The administrators for these servers are responsible for making their own arrangements for tape backup.

  • Given the high volume of data that is transferred when using ADSM, ADSM can not be used from off-campus or from any type of outside connection. It may be used only with ethernet or UIC-Wireless connections on the Chicago UIC campus. The huge amount of data transferred during network backup makes it unusable over modem connections, or any type of DSL or cable TV connection even if physically located on campus.

  • ADSM for personal computer is for faculty and staff only, and you must have a UIC netid and a password which will allow you to authenticate with Bluestem. If you do not yet have an account you can open an ACCC account online: ACCC Account Creation.

  • Each faculty or staff member may register only one machine. Exceptions may be granted based on need; please send email explaining your reasons to

  • Back up only your files and documents, not scratch directories and not operating systems or software files that you can get back by re-installing. (The default ADSM options files provided with the ACCC ADSM client software is already set up to do this.)

For more information or to sign up to use ADSM, click whichever of the MS Windows or Macintosh links above is appropriate for your machine.

Warnings about the restriction to backing up only one machine.

  • Due to a technical limitation in TSM, if you use one single ADSM account to back up multiple machines, you may be unable to restore files to some or all of them when the need arises and this can happen without any warning.

  • This technical limitation considers two separate bootable partitions using "dual boot" to be two separate machines, even if they are physically on the same computer and same disk drive.

  • Multiple partitions or multiple drives used in one single operating system image are OK and are not subject to this limitation, however, you must send email to asking for your account to be set up to allow this.

(To clarify: It is OK for your computer system to have multiple hard drives, as long as they are all used by one operating system image, but it is not OK to install Linux in a separately bootable partition on the same machine and then back it up using the same ADSM account.)

Note: We do not support the Archive function of the Tivoli Storage Manager system and we have no plans to support it in the future.

Checking on the Status of Your ADSM Backups

The ACCC ADSM Status Web utility shows you when the last time you successfully backed up using ADSM and which allows you to sign up for daily automatic email messages to keep you up to date with this information. Type your email address in the box in the Watcher column to request the email message be sent to you.

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