Backup the Synology Server to an external hard disk connected to the Synology Server

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This page is currently inactive since November 13, 2009 and is retained for historical/archival reference.
Please look refer to the What is a Backup? article and refer to Local Backup

This is a guide on how to use the Synology function Local Backup.

Local Backup is a function designed to backup data from the internal hard disk of the Synology product to an external directly attached hard disk to the Synology Server. The external disk can be attached using the eSATA or USB interface.


  • This guide assumes that both the Synology server is properly set up, and that there is data on the server that needs to be backed up.
  • This guide also assumes that a new or blank USB or eSATA hard drive has been connected to the server.
  • eSATA applicable for certain models only

Setting up Local Backup

Step 1:

Begin by logging into the Management menu of the Synology Server


Step 2:

The new hard disk will have to be formated in order to be used for Local Backup. Please follow the steps below to start the format process.
Note: Formatting the external hard disk will result in loss of data, please ensure that there is no data on that hard disk which is valued.

  • A) External Devices
  • B) USB Disk or eSATA Disk
  • C) Format

Step 3:

On this step, the Synology Server will ask what will be the purpose of the hard disk, for expanding storage or for backup. Please select Backup, and a file system to use.


Step 4:

The confirmation and warning prompt


Step 5:

Once the format has been completed, the Synology server will display the hard disk status. As shown in the following image, we can see that the drive has been properly formated for usbbackup purposes, and that there is 229GiBs of space to use


Step 6:

To setup the Synology server to use this new hard drive for backup purposes, to the Local Backup menu, by going to

  • A) Backup
  • B) Local Backup

Note that under Disk Status is On-line, which means that the Synology server can backup to the USB Disk. Begin by clicking Select shared folders to backup


Step 7:

Here, all the share folders can be backed up, or just a select few. For this example, testData1 will be used.


Step 8:

Note that in status screen that testData1 is now listed to be backed up. Proceed next to by clicking Scheduled Backup. This will bring up a new window, and from here a schedule can be created. Enable the schedule, and select how often the data from the Synology server should be backed up.

  • This step may be skipped if a schedule is not required

Step 9:

Note that the Backup status now reflects that a schedule has been set for the Local Backup which is set to occur daily, at midnight. Proceed by clicking Immediate Backup so that first backup can be completed

  • This step may be skipped if an immediate backup is not required at the moment.

Step 10:

The system is now performing a backup


Step 11:

If left on the Local backup screen, the Synology server will report that the backup task was completed


Step 12:

Here, the final result is displayed, that a successful job was completed. Further information about all backup jobs can be found in the backup log, by clicking on backup record or by going to [Admin Menu] -> [Information] -> [Log] -> [Backup Log]


Step 13:

A sample backup log


Step 14:

A review of the information between the original source folder and the USB backup drive


Notes for Local Backup

  • The first backup job will be a full backup, and will require the most amount of time
  • Subsequent backup jobs will then be incremental backups, only files which have been modified since the last backup will be copied to the server
  • The Backup drive must remain on and connected to the Synology Server at all times; if it is disconnected from the Synology Server, then the next time it is connected, Local Backup will perform a full backup. This is to insure data integrity.
    • If Firmware is DSM2.0-598 or above: If the backup disk is unplugged during the backup procedure, the next backup will be a full backup. If the backup disk is unplugged after a backup task has finished and then plugged-in again, the next backup will still be incremental.

Restoring data from Local Backup

This guide will explain how to restore data from the backup hard drive to the Synology Server
Note: there is no automated process for restoring every folder in usbbackup, to restore a whole system you have to manually copy each folder back to the correct share.
Note: this assumes that data has been accidentally removed from the Synology server

Step 1:

Begin by logging into the File Station.

LclBack Rest01.jpg

Step 2:

Note that the testData1 share on the Disk Station is empty, and that all the data was deleted

LclBack Rest02.jpg

Step 3:

To restore data from the USB Backup drive, perform the following

  • A) Select the source folder on the usbbackup drive, in this case testData1
  • B) Select which files that need to be restored
  • C) Press Copy
  • D) Select the destination, in this case, the original testData1 location on the Synology Server
  • E) Press Ok
LclBack Rest03.jpg

Step 4:

The Synology server will now begin to restore (or copy) data back from the USB hard drive to the internal hard disk of the Synology server

LclBack Rest04.jpg

Step 5:

Once the file copy process, browse to destination folder (or original location) to view the files restored.

LclBack Rest05.jpg