How to seed an initial backup (physical data shipping) in Online Backup


This guide with explain how to seed an initial backup


You must have an Online Backup account

What does physical data shipping mean?

Physical data shipping (or Initial seeding) is an option that enables you to save the initial copy of a cloud backup locally to a hard drive, and then upload it to the cloud from the network of your choice. You may opt to use this method if uploading the backup data via your own network takes too long or if you have limited bandwidth.


There are two options when using a physical device to upload your initial seed to the cloud:


  1. Send a physical drive to SherWeb. Contact your sales representative to learn more.
  2. Do it yourself from a location with sufficient bandwidth by using the Initial Seeding Tool. Contact your sales representative to learn more.


Regardless of which option you choose, once the initial seed backup has been uploaded to the cloud, the backup job will resume normally and perform incremental backups over the internet.

Choosing your hard drive

The hard drive you choose should:


  • be an external drive with a USB connection
  • use a FAT32, exFAT or NTFS filing system
  • be shipped with the power supply, if one is required


You can back up directly to the external hard drive, or copy the backup to the drive after it has been created. If you plan to ship your drive, click here to learn about proper packaging.


Follow the steps below to create your Initial Seed Backup.

Step 1: Add the machine

Note: if your machine has already been added, you can skip to step 2.


1. Log into the Online Backup web portal, select devices and choose Add.


2. Select the type of device you wish to back up. This will initiate the download of the backup agent for the device.



3. Once downloaded, run the installer on your machine, following the prompts from the installation wizard.

Step 2: Create your physical data shipping (initial seed)

1. Return to the Online Backup web portal, select the machine you wish to back up, and click Backup.



2. Select Create new



3. Select the gear icon



4. Select physical data shipping on the left, then move the use physical data shipping slider to yes.



5. Select Done



6. Specify what you would like to back up in the What to back up section, and choose whether or not to back up applications in Application backup.



7. Select Where to back up

Note: this setting refers to your future backups, and not to the physical data shipping 



8. Choose How long to keep. Click Apply.


Note: Do not set a schedule at this point - it can cause errors during the initial seeding. For now, keep this setting at None. When the data has finally been uploaded to the server, you can edit your backup schedule.


9. Select physical data shipping



10. Choose Local folders and Browse

Note: If you plan to save your backup directly to you external hard drive, make sure that you have plugged it into the computer.



11. Select the drive you plan to use and select Done.

Note: If you plan to use a specific folder, navigate to the location.



12. Select Done



13. Select Encryption if you plan to use encryption.



14. Review your backup plan. If changes are required, select the gear icon and choose Edit.



15. When you are ready, select Run Now.


Note: Do not delete the initial seeding backup plan. Without it, it is impossible to continue incremental backups to the seeded full backup.


If you have any question, please browse our other FAQs, or contact us directly.


Applicable to

All Online Backup users