CrashPlan PROe Frequently Asked Questions

HMS Information Technology

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CrashPlan PROe Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Installation FAQs

Backup FAQs

Policy FAQs

Restore FAQs

Technical and Troubleshooting FAQs

Still looking for answers? The CrashPlan Support Site provides additional FAQs, step-by-step articles, videos and a detailed reference guide.

General FAQs

What is the Centralized End User Backup Service?

What is CrashPlan?

What does CrashPlan do?

How do I get CrashPlan?

Where can I use CrashPlan?

How do I know it's working?

Will CrashPlan affect my computer's performance?

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Policy FAQs

Who is eligible to use CrashPlan?

How many computers can I backup?

How much data can I backup?

What files will be backed up?

How many versions of my files does CrashPlan keep?

How long will CrashPlan keep my data?

How do I enable CrashPlan's Unlimited Cloud Backup on my computer(s)?

Will CrashPlan back up VM files/disc images?

Are mobile devices such as smartphone or tablets support by CrashPlan?

What happens to my CrashPlan backup when I leave HMS?

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Technical and Troubleshooting FAQs

When I open the CrashPlan Application on my computer, I am asked for a password. Why is this, and what password is it asking for?

How do I troubleshoot performance issues?

How do I update my password in CrashPlan?

How do I temporarily pause CrashPlan?

While installing, I received the message "The information you entered is incorrect." and I can't complete the installation. What went wrong?

While installing, I received the message "Unable to connect to mybackup.med.harvard.edu:443, check your network". How can I fix this?

I'm receiving a “Upgrading CrashPlan PROe.” message. What should I do?

Sometimes I get an alert or warning e-mail that my computer has not been backed up in at least 3 or 7 days. Why?

What is de-duplication?

What is a Backup Set?

Can I use Time Machine & CrashPlan at the same time?

Can I use CrashPlan to backup my Time Machine files?

Who do I contact for help with CrashPlan?

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General FAQs

What is the Centralized End User Backup Service?

The Centralized End User Backup Service is a service offered by HMS Information Technology to allow quad-based faculty, postdocs and staff to backup the most critical data on their HMS computers. Eligible individuals can obtain CrashPlan PROe licenses at no cost

The Service utilizes a client software application called CrashPlan PROe (aka CrashPlan) on each computer. CrashPlan will determine which files need to be backed up, compress those files, encrypt them and transmit them in an encrypted state to a storage server.

What is CrashPlan?

CrashPlan is the software that gets installed on your computer to perform and manage backup and restore of your data. It allows short-term backup of the most critical information on your computer. CrashPlan is NOT a long-term archiving solution. CrashPlan is also not appropriate for completely restoring or rebuilding your computer in event of a catastrophic failure.

What does CrashPlan do?

CrashPlan backs up specified contents on your computer and stores it in an encrypted file on a storage server.

  • CrashPlan will back up your computer from anywhere provided you have an active network connection, no VPN required.
  • The backup will store your data for a minimum 60 days.
  • In the event of a data loss on your computer, you can use the CrashPlan client software, or the web interface, to recover the missing files.

Note: CrashPlan does NOT provide a long-term archiving solution. CrashPlan also will not completely restore or rebuild your computer in event of a catastrophic failure.

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How do I get CrashPlan?

CrashPlan is available through the HMS Endpoint Services Program at no cost. *

  • For Windows, from the Start menu, launch the LANDesk Management Portal Manager
  • For Macintosh, launch HMS Self Service for Macintosh from the Applications folder.

Click on the CrashPlan icon to install. Once the installation is complete, launch CrashPlan and enter your eCommons ID to complete the registration.

Read about how to enroll for free in the HMS Endpoint Services Program and get CrashPlan and other software at no cost.  

After enrolling, launch the LANDesk Portal Manager from the Start menu (Windows) or HMS Self Service in the Applications folder (Macintosh). **

* All HMS and HSDM Faculty and Staff are eligible to enroll in the HMS Endpoint Services Program.

** Note that it may take up to 30 minutes for applications to become available after enrollment.

You may also install CrashPlan using the provided installers and instructions.

Where can I use CrashPlan?

You can use CrashPlan anywhere you have an active network connection. We do request that you do your initial backup on campus.

How do I know it's working?

When you open up the CrashPlan application you will see a message saying Congratulations, this is one indication that CrashPlan is running.

Under the word Destinations, you will see a green light light next to the destination mybackup.med.harvard.edu. This is another indication that your CrashPlan is working.

For detailed information, visit: http://support.crashplanproe.com/doku.php/reference/proclient/backup

Will CrashPlan affect my computer's performance?

CrashPlan should not noticeably affect your computer’s performance. CrashPlan should not interfere with other processes on your computer.

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Policy FAQs

Who is eligible to use CrashPlan?

If you are a HMS/HSDM faculty, postdoc or staff member located on quad, and are NOT currently served by a backup service offered by your department, then you may qualify for this service. Eligible individuals can obtain CrashPlan PROe licenses at no cost

Any computer used by an HMS faculty or staff member to conduct University business, qualifies for this service.

Students that work in research labs are eligible for a CrashPlan exception. Please email us at CrashPlan_support@hms.harvard.edu.

How many computers can I backup?

Each individual connected to the CrashPlan server is limited to four devices.

How much data can I backup?

Each individual connected to the CrashPlan server can backup:

  • up to 200 GB of data storage on our local server or
  • Unlimited data on Code42's Cloud Storage

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What files will be backed up?

CrashPlan is configured to backup all content in your user profile. 

WARNING: Any data considered by Harvard University to be Level 4 or higher is ineligible for this service.

This includes, but may not be limited to any of the following:

  • High Risk Confidential Information (HRCI)
  • Personally Identifiable financial or medical information (PII)
  • Confidential business information
  • Human subject data
  • Personal or business financial information
  • Genetic information
  • Passwords or PINs.

More information about the Harvard Data Classification Table can be found here: http://security.harvard.edu/dct

CRASHPLAN USERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT LEVEL 4 OR LEVEL 5 DATA IS EXCLUDED FROM BACKUP.

You may exclude files or folders from being backed up through the CrashPlan user interface.

If you require assistance, please contact your Client Services Representative for assistance in blocking confidential data from being backed up with CrashPlan.

How many versions of my files does CrashPlan keep?

It depends on how long the file has been on your computer for, and how often it changes.  You can see the details in the CrashPlan Data Retention chart.

Every file that is part of the backup set is checked every 15 minutes for changes.

  • If a file has changed since the last check, a new version is backed up. Distinct versions are kept for up to 7 days.  This means up to 672 versions of any given file may be stored in the backup archive, depending on your usage of the computer.
  • Beginning on Day 8, provided no additional changes are made to a file, versions are compressed and backed up twice a day for the next 90 days.  Up to 180 versions may be kept.
  • Beginning on Day 98, the files are compressed and backed up once per week for a year.  Up to 52 versions are kept.
  • Beginning on Day 464, the files are compressed and backed up once per month, ongoing.  Up to 12 versions per year are stored, with no limit on how many years.

How long will CrashPlan keep my data?

With some exceptions, CrashPlan will keep files that are in the backup archive for a minimum of 90 days.  There currently is no maximum retention time established. Exceptions are detailed below:

Files that are deleted from the computer
These files are kept in the backup archive for a minimum of 90 days. On the 91st day, the files are marked for deletion from the backup archive and are no longer recoverable. They will be deleted from the backup archive during the next archive maintenance process.

Files that are removed from the backup set by you
These files are marked for deletion immediately and are no longer recoverable. They will be deleted from the backup archive during the next archive maintenance process.

Computers that are moved from CrashPlan
Computers removed from CrashPlan will have their archives moved from active storage to “cold” storage for 60 days. If the computer does not resume back up within 60 days, then the archive will be deleted, and the data will no longer be recoverable.

How do I enable CrashPlan's Unlimited Cloud Backup on my computer(s)?

If you would like to access cloud storage, please email crashplan_support@hms.harvard.edu to submit a request.

Will CrashPlan back up VM files/disc images?

No. Disc images (i.e. virtual machines stored on your computer) and local e-mail storage (e.g. .pst files) are excluded for backup by CrashPlan at HMS. 
You may, however, install CrashPlan on your virtual machine. This would allow you to back up profile settings and documents stored on your virtual machine. It will also use one of your allowed device licenses.

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Are mobile devices such as smartphone or tablets support by CrashPlan?

CrashPlan PROe has a mobile application that can be installed and used to view and download backed up documents. Use the links below to view the instructions for installation and configuration:

CrashPlan PROe for iPad

CrashPlan PROe for iPhone

Note: HMS IT CrashPlan backup service does not support the backup of smartphones. 

What happens to my CrashPlan backup when I leave HMS?

For most people, IT services, including this backup service, remains active for 30 days after end date. Once your HMS account is no longer eligible for this backup service, your account and backup content will be deleted. Please check with your departmental administrator or the Human Resources department for questions regarding your HMS status.

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Technical and Troubleshooting FAQs

When I open the CrashPlan Application on my computer, I am asked for a password. Why is this, and what password is it asking for?

When you launch CrashPlan on your computer, you will be required to enter your eCommons password before you can access any of CrashPlan’s backup and restore features.

This feature will help prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your data.

How do I troubleshoot performance issues?

CrashPlan provides troubleshooting tips on their web site. Visit: http://support.crashplanproe.com/doku.php/troubleshooting

How do I update my password in CrashPlan?

Your password for CrashPlan is managed using your eCommons credentials. Once you change your password in eCommons, this will also update your password for CrashPlan.

How do I temporarily pause CrashPlan?

You can pause CrashPlan from the menu/task bar.

On a Windows computer:

  1. Right click on CrashPlan Icon in Windows Task List
  2. (on the bottom right of the task bar)
  3. Select Sleep…
  4. From the Pop-up Window, select how long you want CrashPlan to Sleep.

On a Macintosh computer:

  1. Right click on CrashPlan Icon on the menu bar
  2. Select Pause…
  3. From expanded selection, select how long you want CrashPlan to Sleep.

You can also pause the backup process from within the CrashPlan application:

  1. Open CrashPlan.
  2. On the Backup tab.
  3. Under Backup Status and Alerts click on the "Play" icon at the end of the status bar.
  4. The icon will change to a "pause" icon. This will pause the back up process for 24 hours.

While installing, I received the message "The information you entered is incorrect." and I can't complete the installation. What went wrong?

During the set up of CrashPlan you may receive an error message. If you can't solve the issue by following one of the suggestions below, please call the HMS IT Service Desk at 617-432-2000 for support.

Error: "The information you entered is incorrect."
Possible Cause You Should:
The user is not eligible for CrashPlan. View the CrashPlan PROe eligibility policy to see if you are eligible to use CrashPlan.
The eCommons ID entered into the Username field is incorrect. Verify the eCommons ID is correct; re-enter if necessary.
The eCommons password is incorrect.

Verify that the eCommons password is correct, and re-enter it.

Note that repeated attempts to connect with an incorrect password may cause an account lockout.

You selected New Account, when there is already an account for this user.

This failure is common and typically means this eCommons account has been used in the past for backing up other computers. Try selecting Existing account.

You selected Existing Account, when this account has never been previously configured.

This failure is less common, but can happen if the account was initially created a long time ago, but never used, or made inactive due to lack of activity.

Try selecting New Account. If you are still unable to login, call the IT Service Desk at 617-432-2000 to determine if this eCommons account may already exist.

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I'm receiving a “Upgrading CrashPlan PROe.” message. What should I do?

This message will occur under if:

  • The software version installed was an older version that is incompatible with the server version.
  • The server software was recently upgraded, and the currently installed client software is being upgraded as a result.

It is OK to allow this upgrade to complete, and should not take more that 5-10 minutes.

Sometimes I get an alert or warning e-mail that my computer has not been backed up in at least 3 or 7 days. Why?
 
CrashPlan monitors connectivity and backup status for all computers that connect to it. If a computer does not connect to the CrashPlan server it cannot backup.

If the computer remains disconnected for 3 or more days, CrashPlan will generate an “Alert” e-mail message and send it to you and your departmental Client Services Representative.

If the computer remains disconnected for 7 or more days, then a “Warning” e-mail is generated and sent to you and the departmental Client Services Representative.
The “Warning” message will be repeated weekly until the connection issue is resolved.

A couple of the more common reasons for the computer to not connect to the CrashPlan server is long weekends (i.e. a 3 day holiday weekend), vacation time off or leave of absence, especially if the computer is shutoff or otherwise not connected to the Internet during these times. In these cases, usually just connecting to the Internet for a few hours will update the connection status with the server, and cause the Alert or Warning messages to stop. This will also update the computer backup, ensuring that all of your data is backed up. Keep in mind that the Alert or Warning messages may start again if the computer is not connected for 3 or more days.

There may be other circumstances in which a connection to the backup server will not occur, and generate these messages.  If you think the alert was sent incorrectly, please contact your departmental Client Services Representative or the HMS IT Service Desk at 617-432-2000.

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While installing, I received the message "Unable to connect to mybackup.med.harvard.edu:443, check your network". How can I fix this?

During the set up of CrashPlan you may receive an error message. If you can't solve the issue by following one of the suggestions below, please call the HMS IT Service Desk at 617-432-2000 for support. 

Error: "Unable to connect to mybackup.med.harvard.edu:443, check your network."
Possible Cause You Should:
The eCommons password is incorrect.

Verify that the eCommons password is correct, and re-enter it.

Note that repeated attempts to connect with an incorrect password may cause an account lockout.

The Registration Key entered is incorrect.

Verify the Registration Key and re-enter it.

The Server URL is incorrect

Verify the server URL and re-enter it.

The correct server URL is: mybackup.med.harvard.edu

Note: The TCP Port number (:443) is not required when entering the server URL.

 

What is de-duplication?

De-duplication is a method of eliminating all but a single copy of information, so that the backup is efficient. Complete details about data de-duplication can be found on the CrashPlan web site.

What is a Backup Set?

A Backup Set is a the group of files selected to be backed up. By default, all data in your user profile will be backed up. You can, however, create additional backup sets or add/exclude files from the default set. Visit the CrashPlan web site for information about Backup Sets.

Can I use Time Machine & CrashPlan at the same time?

Yes. CrashPlan and Time Machine complement each by making multiple copies of your data in different locations. When the Time Machine hard drive is connected, you will have an hourly backup of everything on your hard drive. When using CrashPlan, you will have a backup of your most critical files every 15 minutes, no matter where you are.

Can I use CrashPlan to backup my Time Machine files?

You can, but you shouldn’t. It just doesn’t work well. Aside from there being no need to send additional copies of backup data offsite, due to differences in the way Time Machine and CrashPlan perform backup, you run a strong risk of exceeding your CrashPlan quota of 100 GB. In addition, you may slow down your CrashPlan backup to the point it may never complete its backup, or slow down your computer.

For more in-depth details, see this website:
http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/articles/time_machine

Who do I contact for help with CrashPlan?

For additional assistance installing or using CrashPlan, please send e-mail to: crashplan_support@hms.harvard.edu

 

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Last Updated

March 30, 2016