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CrashPlan Backup System

What is CrashPlan?

CrashPlan is backup software that allows Windows, Mac, and Linux computers to automatically back up their data to a central Reed-owned data center. Data is encrypted before it leaves the user's computer, travels over a secure network connection, and is stored encrypted on redundant backup servers on campus.

Reed offers CrashPlan as a backup solution for current Faculty and Staff members.

What Data Does Crashplan Back Up?

CrashPlan backs up important data stored in your home directory on your computer (e.g., on Macs: /Users/<username>; on Windows: C:\Users\<username> or C:\Documents and Settings\<username>).

CrashPlan does not back up multimedia files (movies, music, video). Talk to CUS if these files are important for your work.

click here for a full (and detailed!) list of excluded file extensions ...not for the faint of heart!

How Often Does CrashPlan Back Up?

CrashPlan will back up your data as long as your computer has an Internet connection no matter where you are--on campus, at home, or abroad. CrashPlan automatically runs in the background without user intervention and is constantly monitoring the system for new and changed files. Versions of files are backed up and remain on Reed's servers for one year, making it easy to retrieve a file that was accidentally deleted or modified.

CIS staff are notified when a computer has not been backed in 7 days and will get in touch with the user to find out why. 

Installing CrashPlan 

If you are a Reed College faculty or staff member, CrashPlan is available for you to use on your primary machine. Contact CUS at cus@reed.edu to arrange installation.

The Initial CrashPlan Backup

The initial backup CrashPlan performs on your machine may take days to complete, depending on the amount of data on your machine. Your computer can be used normally during this time - including putting the computer to sleep, shutting it down, and working on important documents. 

Subsequent Crashplan Backups

Once the initial backup is complete, CrashPlan will constantly monitor the system to backup new and changed files - you won't have to schedule specific times to back up your data. CIS staff will monitor the backups and contact you if your computer doesn't check in for more than one week.

Excluding Folders or File Types from CrashPlan

If there are certain folders or file types that you want excluded from CrashPlan backups, follow the instructions below.

  • Begin by opening the CrashPlan application (found in your Applications folder)
  • Click the "Settings" tab on the left. 
  • Click the "Backup" tab on the right.
  • Click the Configure button next to "Filename patterns to exclude".
  • In the narrow box, add the foldername or the extension type you want to exclude (e.g., for a folder titled My Stuff, enter /My Stuff. To exclude all .jpg files, enter *.jpg).
  • Click the "+" icon to add it to the exclusion list (enter one item at a time).
  • Click OK when done.

Want to exclude email from CrashPlan backups? Thunderbird typically stores its files in the following location: ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/XXXXX.default (where XXXXX are random characters). Apple Mail stores its files in ~/Library/Mail.

Restoring Data From a CrashPlan Backup

If your computer fails in some way and you need to use your CrashPlan backup to restore your machine, these are the steps to get your machine up and running again.
 

From Your Computer (recommended method)

  • Begin by opening the CrashPlan application (found in your Applications folder).
  • Click the “Restore” tab on the left.
  • Select the files that you’d like to restore.

    restore step one

  • Select the location you'd like to restore to (probably your primary Hard drive)

    restore 2

  • Select “restore”, and you’re done!

From The Web (only available from on campus)

  1. Go to https://recuerdo.reed.edu:4285/manage/account/myaccount/my_computers.vtl
  2. Enter your Kerberos username and password.
  3. You should see a list of all the machines you backup using crashplan. click "restore" on the one you wish to restore.

    .

  4. Now you'll see a scrolling breakdown of the filesystem of the machine. Click the checkbox next to folders or drives you wish to restore. If you need to restore the whole machine, click the highest level checkbox (the first one in the list).

    a

  5. After selecting those items you wish to restore, click the oval "restore" button below the file system list.
  6. After CrashPlan has assembled all of the data, you'll se a link to download the restored files to your machine.

    a
  7. Now you've got your files back, and you're done!

If Your Computer is Lost or Stolen

If your computer is lost or stolen, please contact CIS staff immediately! We'll help you get your data out of CrashPlan and onto a new computer.

Faculty and staff should contact CUS at cus@reed.edu or x7525.