Technology KnowledgeBase

Free File Sync (FFS) Backup System

“How does the new backup system work? How often does the backup run?”

“How can I tell if my computer is being backed up?”

“What if I share a computer with another staff member. Will both of our user spaces be backed up?”

“How come my “current” backup is several day (weeks) old or not there at all?”

“What do I do if I need a file or folder that is older than the one on my current backup?”


NOTE: No backup system is perfect. If you have a large user space, FreeFileSynch (FFS) will most likely not be able to complete a backup in the time your computer is awake (laptop lid open) and available on the district network. Pictures, music and movies are not backed up by FFS and are best backed up to an external drive. You can check the size of your user space by running the 1st Aid: Accessible Disk Space policy available in Self Service in your Applications folder. District MacBook Air computers have a 250G flash drive.

If you travel between locations (either on the same campus or between campuses) it may be difficult for FFS to complete a backup during the time your computer is available on the network. FFS will NOT backup your documents when you are working at home or not connected to NSDPrivate.


1.) “How does the new backup system work?”

Free File Sync (FFS) actually “lives” on your computer. Every 24 hours FFS attempts to run a backup of your Desktop, Documents and selected files in your user Library after you log in to your computer while connected to the district network (NSDPrivate).  The backup it creates is stored on your user share point on the file server. (My Server Folder – AKA the Platypus on your dock or in your Applications folder.)



2.) “How can I tell my computer’s being backed up?” or "Where’s my Backup?"  When you access your share point on the file server you will now see an additional folder called “Backup”.


Inside “Backup” will reside folder with your computer barcode and a sub-folder titled “Current”. A very small number of staff work on multiple computers and may see more than one folder for each computer they use. The most recent successful backup run on your computer will be in the "Current" folder and will include a short text message (Time Stamp) noting the date/time of the most recent successful backup. This backup contains subfolders matching those on your computer (Desktop, Documents and Library).


3.) Restoring a document or folder:  To restore a document or folder simply drag it from the folder on your share point to your Desktop or its matching folder on your computer. 


Please note:  Working on documents/files/applications directly from the file server is problematic and may cause the application running it to crash.

4.) “How come my backup is several days old or not there at all? FFS can only backup your computer when it is on, you have logged in, the lid is open (on laptops) and you are connected to NSDPrivate. If you have a large amount of data, close your lid often, or don’t turn your computer on; your backups will be inconsistent or non-existent.

5.) Recovering older documents/folders: If you need a document restored that is older than the one on your oldest backup in the "Current" folder, please complete a work ticket at providing the following information:

         a.) The computer barcode

         b.) the EXACT name of the document/folder,

         c.) where it was located on your computer (file path) and

         d.) your best estimate of the date it was last used so the Tech Team can try to find it.

7.) If you share a computer: The process is the same. Log in as yourself using your NSD credentials. Your share point on the file server will load to the desktop.




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