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CrashPlan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

CrashPlan is the recommended backup solution for desktops and laptops. CrashPlan is cloud-based and is offered at no cost to members of the MIT community. This page details some of the most commonly asked questions about CrashPlan. Additional information can be found in the vendor knowledge base.

Where can I get it?

Who can use CrashPlan?

  • Everyone in the MIT community can register for CrashPlan for their desktop and laptop computers.

How much does it cost?

  • CrashPlan is available free of charge to all MIT community members.

Where can I find installation instructions for my operating system?

Can I use CrashPlan to back up my server? Can I use it on a multi-user workstation?

  • CrashPlan is not designed to be run on a servers or multi-user machines.
  • With CrashPlan installed, any user on the system can download any other user’s data. If privacy between users is a concern, do not use CrashPlan.
  • Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) will continue to be available for backups on servers.

Does CrashPlan Encrypt the data to back up?

  • Yes, CrashPlan encrypts the data to be backed up. Code42 regards data security as the most important component of their backup services, that's why CrashPlan encrypts your backup files before any data is sent to your backup destination.

When installing, do I choose “New Account” or an “Existing Account"?

  • If you have never used CrashPlan at MIT, choose “New Account.”
  • If you’ve already used CrashPlan and are setting up additional devices or computers, choose “Existing Account.”
If you have have never used CrashPlan at MIT and you choose "Existing Account", you will get an error after you enter your username and password: "The information you entered is incorrect". The solution is to select "New Account"

How much data may I back up to CrashPlan?

  • You can backup up an unlimited amount of data for up to 5 devices / computers.

Do I need to log in via Kerberos username and password?

  • Yes. This is how our CrashPlan installation knows you are a member of the MIT Community. Your Kerberos Username and password are not stored within the CrashPlan software, on the server or the client and are not stored with your data in the cloud. The CrashPlan application passes authentication over to MIT’s authentication servers to verify that your Kerberos Username and password combination are correct.

How do I initiate a backup?

  • Your first and subsequent backups are automatically started once you have installed CrashPlan on your computer.

What if the backup is incomplete and I need to shut down or sleep my computer?

  • CrashPlan will pause and resume as needed when you shut down your computer or when it goes off of the network.
  • The backup will resume when you boot up or resume your computer.

My CrashPlan backups seem stuck. I only see a 99% backup, how can I fix this?

We sometimes see problems with the "cache" that CrashPlan uses. See:

Clear CrashPlan Cache

What directories/files are backed up with CrashPlan?

Why are some options greyed out?

  • IS&T has done extensive testing of CrashPlan and has chosen the best options for our community, based on our experience and findings.
  • For additional information or specific questions, contact the IS&T Help Desk.

What's the frequency of backups?

  • Crash plan backups up by default every 15 minutes.
  • This is the recommended setting, however if you would like to make an adjustment, contact the IS&T Help Desk.

How long does CrashPlan keep versions of my backups?

The following information is adapted from the desktop application settings.

     For one week, keep a version:           Every 15 minutes
     After one week, keep a version:         Every day
     After 90 days, keep a version:          Every week
     After one year, keep a version:         Every month

Note: There are a few exceptions:

  • Deleted files are removed from CrashPlan backups after one month.
  • If your machine stops backing up, backups are removed after one year.
  • If your Kerberos account is deactivated, backups are deleted after 60 days.

How long are deleted files kept?

All versions of a deleted file will be removed a month after it's been deleted from your device.

What does it mean when CrashPlan says “CP will continue to run after I quit” ?

  • What you’re actually quitting is the CrashPlan client software management console.
  • The CrashPlan program that does the backup is a service that will continue to run in the background, even when the software management console is closed.

Should I adopt a machine?

How can I cancel a CrashPlan account?

How do I pause a CrashPlan backup or configure it to run them at a specific time?

CrashPlan tells me some files could not be backed up. How can I find additional details?

How do I backup multiple users sharing one machine? Example: I've got a number of machines that are shared with multiple users. Even though no one user "owns" the machine, I need to make sure they're being backed up with CrashPlan.

  • This is something the Help Desk can assist with. We can create a CrashPlan service account, one per department, for machines that no one owns. A CrashPlan service account uses a restricted Kerberos username. it can be used to backup as many devices (more than 4) as needed. Please contact the IS&T Help Desk to request a CrashPlan service account.

What happens when I leave MIT?

  • Unfortunately, functionality is not available for accessing a backup from a non-MIT individual CrashPlan account. Backups cannot be transferred from one account to another account. Your CrashPlan account is dependent on your Kerberos username. When your Kerberos username is deactivated, you CrashPlan account is also deactivated and the backup data is deleted after 60 days.

Is CrashPlan available now?

Yes! CrashPlan became available to the MIT community in 2015.

Can I restore my data without installing the CrashPlan client?

Search the vendor knowledge base

Contact CrashPlan Support

How do I get my CrashPlan Application logs to send to Code42?

How do you transfer a machine (backups) from one CrashPlan user to a new CrashPlan user?


What are the three CrashPlan Reports and what do they each mean? Why am I not getting any?

By default users are not set to receive CrashPlan Reports. To get them, open CrashPlan and go to Settings > General and next to "Email:" click on Configure. There you can turn on reports and set the time-frames you'd like them to cover.

Some department admins may have configured reports for you, and you may or may not be able to edit them. If you have questions about report settings you are unable to change, consult your departmental IT staff.

  • Standard Weekly Report - A general status report sent to you weekly about your backups and statistics related to them.
  • CrashPlan Alert Message - Warning email sent when you have not backed up with a minimum time frame you've selected.
  • CrashPlan Critical Warning - Warning email sent to you when you have not backed up your system for a longer period of time you've selected.

CrashPlan keeps sending me all these reports, but I don't understand them. What does "Selected" "Files" "Backup %" "Last Completed" and "Last Activity" mean?

See: CrashPlan's What to do after receiving a backup alert

Why is my backup percentage so low in my reports? Am I not backed up? Why isn't my backup finishing?

Don't be fooled by low percentages. If a report runs while CrashPlan is performing a full file verification scan, your Backed Up % may display a low percentage. Your backup is still okay! The next time the report generates when the scan isn't taking place, the percentage will reflect the actual percentage complete.

See Also

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

August 03, 2020

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