Restore AFS User Files and Project Volumes-Computing Services - Carnegie Mellon University

Restore AFS User Files and Project Volumes

The process for restoring AFS user files is different depending on how long ago the files were deleted. 

AFS files - less than 24 hours

If you notice within a day that you have deleted a file in your user directory, you can probably copy it from OldFiles. If you delete a file by mistake, you should first check in the OldFiles directory in your home directory. The OldFiles directory contains a complete copy of all the directories, subdirectories, and files in your home directory as they appeared the last time they were backed up.

To locate a file in your OldFiles directory, use the ls command to see a listing of the files in OldFiles (or use the ls -l command to see a long listing of the files, including their dates).

     ls ~/OldFiles

Once you have located the file you want, use the cp command to copy it into your home directory.

    cp OldFiles/<filename> ~

Note: To view a Project Volume backup, you must mount it. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect to
  2. Type cd <project-volume-directory> (where project-volume-directory is the name of your Project Volume)
  3. Type fs lq . and note the volume name
  4. Type fs mkm OldFiles <volume-name>.backup (e.g., if the volume name is crs.15.609, type fs mkm OldFiles crs.15.609.backup)  

AFS files - after 24 hours

Because only the owner of a file can request that it be restored, you must submit file restoration requests to the Help Center in person (Cyert Hall 119) or by fax. To submit a request by fax, include a copy of the completed File Restoration form [PDF] and a copy of your CMU ID or driver's license to (412)268-4987. If you are requesting that a project volume be restored, you must have the approval of the owner of the project volume. For more information on file ownership, see the File Restoration Guideline.

The Production Services group will notify you when your files have been restored.  The contents of the restored volume will be placed in the /afs/andrew/restore/ directory so that you can copy whatever restored files you need to your project volume or user directory. In general, file restores are completed within 72 hours of the restore request. However, because some backup tapes are stored offsite, some file restores may take longer. If the file must be restored from an offsite tape, you may have to wait until the next Friday for the restore to be completed. For more information, see  Offsite Tape Retrieval.