Office of Research Computing



CrashPlan Pilot F.A.Q.

This is a living document. Please check back frequently for any changes and updates.

What is CrashPlan? 

CrashPlan is a secure, continuous backup software product that protects your critical data. As you change your data, it stores and versions those changes. You can use the client software to view or recover your files wherever you may be. CrashPlan is not meant to completely restore your computer in the event of catastrophic failure (bare metal recovery).

What it is NOT? 

CrashPlan is a backup solution; it’s not a file synchronization utility. Such utilities (for example, Dropbox, Google Drive) are meant to provide a 1-to-1 copy of files across multiple clients. They make copies of your files and store them in a cloud repository. As changes are made to the files in any client, those changes are sent to the central repository and then pushed down to the other clients. If you delete a file on your iPad, the application will delete it from all other clients as soon as they connect to the cloud. This is not the case with CrashPlan.

Can I use it to backup my server? 

CrashPlan was not built nor implemented to backup servers.

What does it mean it is a pilot? 

We are assessing the viability of deploying CrashPlan across campus, as well as determining the right level of protection we can offer. Your participation in this pilot and your input will play a vital role in that determination.

Who supports CrashPlan? 

CrashPlan is a pilot program offered by the Office of Research Computing, and is not supported by ITS Help Desk.

How do I install/uninstall CrashPlan? 

An email message is usually sent to each user once they are added to the system. 

Can I invite my friend/colleague/coworker to use CrashPlan? 

At this point, CrashPlan is only available to a select pilot audience. If you and your group/department/center are interested in participating, please let us know at the email address in “I need help! I want to help!” section.

Where does it work (home/campus)? 

CrashPlan works on- (wired and wireless connections) and off-campus, as long as your network allows for the software to connect back to the server.

What files does it backup? 

By default, the system will back up all files under the user profile. If the total data exceeds the limit of 100GB, some files might need to be excluded by the user.

What is the data retention? 

If you erase a file that was previously backed-up, the system will keep that file for 90 days.

Can I delete my file and still access the backup? 

CrashPlan by default will keep multiple versions of a backed-up file.

Is my backup encrypted? 

The data is encrypted in transit and at rest, and cannot be decrypted at the destination without the user’s password.

What about redundancy? 

We are currently deploying a single backup server. CrashPlan software can backup to multiple destinations, including network and local attached drives, so you can create a “redundant” copy by telling your CrashPlan client to backup to your own local storage.

How do I recover a (deleted/overwritten) file? 

There are two ways to restore data: from the local machine (launch the client software and login) and from the web client (go to the pilot server access webpage and login). If you need some help, check this website or contact us at the email address in the “I need help! I want to help!” section of this FAQ.

What is my CrashPlan password? 

It is the same password as your AD (email) password.

I need help! I want to help! 

Please send an email message to

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