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Technology at SCU

Backing Up with Google Drive

Our Google Apps agreement allows for unlimited data storage, which makes Google Drive a good low-cost cloud-based backup solution.

Google Drive can be accessed in two different ways: (1) through a web interface (for example, Google Chrome); and (2) using the Google Drive client application.  If you wish to use Google Drive as a cloud-based backup, we recommend using the Google Drive client application.

Google Drive Backup Recommendations

  • No FERPA or sensitive data should be backed up to Google Drive.
  • Backup documents, photos and music only.
    • No software, applications or virtual machines.
  • Customers should change hard drive / sleep settings to "not sleep" for larger backups.
  • Limit backups to approximately 150 GB due to sync slowness.
  • This is best for single computer use.  Backing up multiple computers could cause confusion and slowness due to moving data back and forth to the local drive of each computer.  You would also have to verify each computer had sufficient hard drive space for all of the data (the backup size of each computer would be added together, then sent to every computer being backed up).
  • Google Drive has no control to schedule the sync time, but you can control which folders to sync and you can pause the sync.

Install the Google Drive Client

The Google Drive client works with both Windows and macOS.

Install the Mac App

  1. Click Download for Mac.
  2. Read the Terms of Service and click Agree and download.
  3. Open installgoogledrive.dmg.
  4. Move Google Drive to your Applications folder.
  5. Open Google Drive.
    1. If you see a warning that "Google Drive is an application downloaded from the Internet", click Open.
  6. Type your SCU email address and click Next.
  7. The Single Signon (SSO) box will appear.  Type in your network ID (WITHOUT the "@scu.edu" part) and your network password.  Click on Sign In.
  8. Click Next on each panel until complete.
  9. NOTE that any files you already have on Google Drive will begin syncing to your Mac automatically.  If you have a lot of files already on Google Drive, you should adjust your sync settings to avoid filling up your Mac's hard drive.
  10. To move your Mac documents and folders to Google Drive, copy them to the Google Drive folder (in your "Home" directory).

Install the Windows App

  1. Click Download for PC.
  2. Read the Terms of Service and click Agree and install.
  3. Open googledrivesync.exe.
  4. If you see a window asking if you want to allow the program to make changes on your computer, click Yes.
  5. If you're asked to restart your computer, do it now.
  6. Start Google Drive.
  7. Type your SCU email address and click Next.
  8. The Single Signon (SSO) box will appear.  Type in your network ID (WITHOUT the "@scu.edu" part) and your network password.  Click on Sign In.
  9. Click Next on each panel until complete.
  10. NOTE that any files you already have on Google Drive will begin syncing to your Mac automatically.  If you have a lot of files already on Google Drive, you should adjust your sync settings to avoid filling up your Mac's hard drive.
  11. To move your Windows documents and folders to Google Drive, copy them or move them to the Google Drive folder (in your "This PC" location).

 

Using the Google Drive Client

After you install the Google Drive Client application, it will automatically sync your files in Google Drive with the Google Drive folder that now appears in your "My Documents" or "Documents" folder on your computer.  (You can open this folder on your computer by double-clicking on it, just like any other folder.)

You should also see the Google Drive Client icon near your clock (both Windows and macOS).

 

When you click on this icon, you will see the Google Drive Client menu.

 

Please note that anything placed in the Google Drive folder on your computer will be synchronized with your Google Drive in the "cloud".

 

Change Your Sync Settings

Everything in Google Drive (in the "cloud") will sync to your Google Drive folder, unless you choose to sync only some folders or subfolders.

  1. Start Google Drive
    1. On a Mac, go to Finder > Applications > Google Drive.
    2. On a PC, go to Start > Programs > Google Drive.
  2. Click on the Google Drive icon.
    1. On a Mac, the icon is usually in the menu bar at the top right of the screen.
    2. On a PC, the icon is usually in the taskbar at the bottom right of the screen.
  3. In the top right, click More (the three vertical dots).
  4. Click Preferences > Sync Options.
  5. Click to choose which folders or subfolders will sync:
    1. "Sync everything in My Drive" syncs everything in your Google Drive ("cloud") to your computer.
    2. "Sync only these folders" lets you choose which folders in your Google Drive ("cloud") sync to your computer.
  6. If you choose the second option, click the box to the left of the folder names to choose what folders will sync.
  7. Click Apply to confirm your changes.

Backing Up Your Files

As Google Drive (with your Santa Clara University account) offers unlimited free storage, it makes an ideal place to backup your files.  (Note there is a 5 TB file size limit, meaning individual files can't be larger than 5 TB which is VERY uncommon.)

Google Drive automatically syncs the files that are in the Google Drive folder on your computer AND the contents of your Google Drive in the cloud (i.e., what you see when you visit your Google Drive with a web browser, like Chrome or Firefox).

  • If your computer is attached to the Internet, synchronization occurs automatically.
  • If your computer is NOT attached to the Internet, file changes will be saved to your local computer only.  Those changes will be synchronized the next time that computer attaches to the Internet.

To use Google Drive to backup your files:

  • Move the files you want backed up into the Google Drive folder.  The disadvantage of this method is you will need to make sure the folder structure is the way you want it to be on both your computer and the Google Drive web browser window, as they will mirror each other.  Also, please note that some applications may have issues until you point them to the new location.  For example, Apple iTunes will look for your iTunes library in a specific location.  If you move your "Music" folder, then launch iTunes, it won't see your Library and will create a new (blank) one.  Be sure to check your applications to make sure they still function correctly.  In many cases, you can adjust the preferences of the application to point to the new location in Google Drive.
  • If you only want to backup specific files or folders, you can copy them to the Google Drive folder instead.  Note that you will need to copy any updated files and folders to Google Drive periodically to make sure any changes you make get backed up.

Known Issues

  • For help fixing syncing problems
  • If you have multiple Google accounts (for example, a Santa Clara University Google account and a personal Gmail account), you can ONLY sign into the Google Drive Client application with one of those accounts.  We recommend using your Santa Clara University account as that offers unlimited storage.
  • Please note that when you store files on Google Drive, you are storing files "off-site".  Please be aware of privacy issues, Federal laws and grant restrictions before synching any data to an "off-site" location (and on non-University owned property).  Examples of data which should NOT be stored on Google Drive:
    • Any data which is subject to regulations like FERPA, HIPAA, etc.
    • Any data containing personally identifiable information like Social Security Numbers, bank account information, etc.
    • Any data which may fall under intellectual property restrictions, human subject privacy regulations, grant restrictions, export restrictions, etc.
    • If you are unsure about what can be saved to the cloud, please contact the Information Security Office.
  • For additional help, visit the Google Drive Help Center.

Google Drive Backup Recommendations

  • No FERPA or sensitive data should be backed up to Google Drive.
  • Backup documents, photos and music only.
    • No software, applications or virtual machines.
  • Customers should change hard drive / sleep settings to "not sleep" for larger backups.
  • Limit backups to approximately 150 GB due to sync slowness.
  • This is best for single computer use.  Backing up multiple computers could cause confusion and slowness due to moving data back and forth to the local drive of each computer.  You would also have to verify each computer had sufficient hard drive space for all of the data (the backup size of each computer would be added together, then sent to every computer being backed up).
  • Google Drive has no control to schedule the sync time, but you can control which folders to sync and you can pause the sync.