BEAR DataShare FAQ

 

Welcome to the Bear DataShare FAQ portal, find answers to those unanswered questions, however if we've not added it here then please let us know by sending us a 'ServiceDesk' request via http://itservicedesk.bham.ac.uk.

 Folders are not fully synchronised

Problem

Sometimes folders do not reach the 100% synchronisation mark, synchronisation does not complete and the folder stays in an unsynchronised condition.

There are three possible reasons:

  • transfer mode has been configured which does not allow automatic synchronisation.
  • Files within the folder are permanently in use by other programs and therefore block access to those files by the client.
  • The internal folder database has been damaged.

Solution

Below are some possible solutions, for which you will need to use the DataShare desktop Client:

  • Check for files which have not been synchronised: Click on 'Show Folders' and then click on the folder which is not fully synchronised. From the internal file browser, which should have opened up to the right of the client user interface, select 'Unsynchronised files' from the filtering drop-down selection and also enable the 'Flat View' check-box. Now you should see a list of all files which have not synchronised. Please check if those files are in use by any other program.
  • Check if the transfer mode for the folder has been set to anything other than 'Auto Sync': Enable Advanced Mode. Click on 'Show Folders' and then click on the folder which is not fully synchronised. Click on the 'Settings' tab in the panel, which should have opened up to the right of the client user interface, and check if the transfer mode is NOT set to 'Auto Sync'.
  • If the problem has not been identified after the first two steps, then try the following:
    • Right-click on the folder/s which is/are not syncing and go to 'Stop sync'. Important: Make sure the two 'delete data' boxes are left unchecked and then click the box 'Stop sync'.
    • The folder will now turn grey.
    • Double-click the folder, click 'Next' in the pop-up window and then 'Finish'. The folder should re-sync.

 Drag and Drop using web portal

Problem

Users are unable to drag and drop whole folders when using the web portal.

Solution

The complete upload of a folder including contents is currently not supported by the browser, therefore only single files can be dragged and dropped into folders. The current solution is to either use the Client or to zip up the files and upload via the web portal.

Uploading of whole folders will be available in the new DataShare web portal which is scheduled for release in early-mid 2018. 

 Restoring deleted files

Problem

Files have been deleted by mistake and need to be recovered.

Solution

BEAR DataShare stores deleted files in an archive in each folder.

Using the web portal

  1. Click on 'Folders'.
  2. Click on the folder which contains the deleted file and browse through the directory structure to the sub-directory where the file was originally located.
  3. Click on the 'Show deleted files' icon (clock with arrow going anti-clockwise)
  4. Now you should see a list of non-deleted and deleted files. Locate the deleted file and click on the 'restore this item' icon (green circular arrow going anti-clockwise).
  5. The file should now be available again.  If you have the Client installed on your device the restored file will also be available to synced devices.

Using the desktop Client

Please follow the user guide section entitiled 'Restore a Previous File Version'.

I've been invited to a folder but I can't login

Problem

You've been invited to share a folder but when you enter your University username and password it does not allow you to login.

Solution

If you have been invited to use BEAR DataShare by someone else at the University and not applied for an account yourself then the system treats you as an external user. Therefore, you cannot login to BEAR DataShare with your University username and password. You will need to create a password through the link in the welcome email you will have received (or go to 'Recover password' on the login page at beardatashare.bham.ac.uk).

I'm an external user and I can't login

Problem

You've been invited to share a folder but when you click on the link you are asked to login and you don't yet have a password.

Solution

You should have received a 'Welcome to BEAR DataShare' email which contains a link to activate your account where you will set a password. Sometimes this email is filtered out as spam and does not arrive. 

Instead, you can go to beardatashare.bham.ac.uk, ensure your email address is entered, click on 'Recover password' and you should receive an email. Click on the link in the email to reset your password (see 'External users' in the user guide).

I can't find the Client to download from 'My Applications'

Problem

You need to download the Client to your University managed Windows PC but cannot find it listed in 'My Applications'.

Solution

You will only have the desktop Client software in 'My Applications' if you have applied for a BEAR DataShare account. If you are using BEAR DataShare as an invited user then the application will not yet have been added to your list of applications.

If you are using a University managed PC, you will need to apply for an account via the IT Service helpdesk. Click on 'Make a Request', then 'Request a BEAR DataShare' under 'Research Computing Service'.

If you are using a Mac, Linux, mobile phone or home PC then go to the login page at beardatashare.bham.ac.uk and click on 'Download Clients'.

Is the data held within BEAR DataShare secure? 

PowerFolder is the supplier of the BEAR DataShare and it comes with a wide range of security features such as:

  • Industrial standard AES/RSA encrypted transfers between servers and clients
  • RSA device authentication and verification
  • TLS support for mobiles apps, web and WebDAV
  • Built-in granular permission system
  • Password protected/centrally controlled access to preferences in the client
  • Admin-controlled remote deletion (Remote Wipe command)

The DataShare servers and storage is located within University of Birmingham data centres. 

Can I store sensitive data on BEAR DataShare?

Problem

I have patient-identifiable and/or sensitive data that I need to share with others.  

Solution

We are not able to store patient-identifiable data on BEAR storage. Please talk to your local College IT team and see Guidance on storing sensitive data with BEAR Services for further information. 

 Is the data held within BEAR DataShare backed up?

BEAR DataShare has an inbuilt version system which allows you to recover delete files from the web portal or client. You may also be able to restore previous versions of a file using this system.

The BEAR DataShare server software is deployed on servers and storage held at the University of Birmingham. We take steps to ensure we are able to restore the servers in the event of a disaster recovery situation. We also take backups of the files in BEAR DataShare for disaster recovery situations, typically though we are unable to recover files accidentally deleted by users of the system from these backups.

 Where are the BEAR DataShare application servers?

The BEAR DataShare application servers are hosted in two data centres on campus, so if there is a major issue at one data centre, the service will continue to operate from the other. Data is also backed up to tape overnight. Most predictable failure scenarios have been addressed, notably:

  • Single disk failures
  • Enclosure failures
  • Inter-site link failure
  • Site (single Data Centre) failure

 Can I transfer my data to somebody else when I leave?

Problem

You are leaving the University and wish to transfer your data to somebody else so that it is still accessible. 

Solution

It is now possible to transfer your data to somebody else (eg. PhD supervisor) before you leave. The person you wish to transfer the folder to must be a member of that folder. On the web portal beardatashare.bham.ac.uk, go to the folder you wish to transfer and click on manage members (icon marked yellow below): 

Manage members icon

You will see a list of the members of the folder. There should be a crown next to the other members of the folder.

Transferring ownership

To make a member the owner of the folder, click on the crown next to their name. A message should pop up saying 'passed ownership to ...'

If you still wish to be able to access the folder you have transferred ownership of, then ask whomever owns the folder now to add your email address (but not your expiring UoB one).

 Client deletes files

Problem

Files are disappearing without any obvious reason, they seem to be deleted.

The Client itself does not delete files, therefore the most likely reason is that the files were deleted by another member of the folder on another device.

Solution

The Client moves deleted files into its internal file archive by default, so the files are actually not deleted.

When displaying deleted files in the internal file browser of the Client, you can see from which machine or from which user the file was last changed (deleted), so you can check who deleted it.

As soon as you restore a file(s) from the archive those changes will be propagated to other devices which have the Clients installed, so the file(s) will be available on all devices again. If the files were backed up online, they can be restored using the web portal as well.

Illegal characters

Problem

Different operating systems have different illegal characters for file names. Since the Client may synchronise to a number of devices, problems may arise if syncing the folder onto a device where these characters are not permitted. Entering a carriage return in a filename will also cause syncing problems. 

On Windows systems the following characters are not permitted as file name characters:

  • |
  • \
  •  ?
  • *
  • "
  • :
  • /

On Linux systems the following characters are not permitted as file name characters:

  • /

On Apple systems the following characters are not permitted as file name characters:

  • /
  • :

Solution

When this notification appears in the client, give the file a new name that does not contain any illegal characters. 

Illegal end characters

 Problem

This notification indicates that there are files with names ending in characters that are illegal on Windows systems. The characters are dot (.) and space ( ). For example there may be a file named 'Test.txt ' or 'test.txt.'.

Since the client may synchronise data to a number of devices, problems may arise if syncing the folder onto a device running Windows.

Solution

When this notification appears in the client, give the file a new name that does not contain any illegal end characters.

 Filename too long

Problem

This notification indicates that there are files with names longer than 255 characters, this can cause problems on some operating systems.

Since the client may synchronise data to a number of devices, problems may arise if syncing the folder onto a device where very long file names are not permitted.

Solution

When this notification appears in the client, rename the file with a new shorter name.

 Duplicate filenames

Problem

This notification indicates that there are files with the same file name, but with a different case. For example, there may be a file named 'Test.txt' and another named 'test.txt'.

Whilst this may be acceptable on some operating systems, it may not be on others. Since the client may synchronise data to a number of devices, problems may arise in the future if syncing onto a device where duplicate names are not permitted.

Solution

When this notification appears in the client, rename the file with a new, unique name.

Reserved words in filenames

Problem

This notification indicates that there are files with names that are reserved words on Windows systems. Reserved words include:

  • CON
  • LPT1
  • NUL

While these may be acceptable on some operating systems, they may cause problems on Windows systems. Since the Client may synchronise data to a number of devices, problems may arise in the future if the folder is joined on a device running Windows.

Solution

When this notification appears in the Client, rename the file minus any reserved words.

 Further Help

Further information can be found at the suppliers (PowerFolder) wiki:

https://wiki.powerfolder.com/display/PFC/PowerFolder+Client+and+Cloud+Documentation

But you can also send us a ServiceDesk call at http://itservicedesk.bham.ac.uk

 

 


 Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017