CrashPlan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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CrashPlan Basics

CrashPlan is an automated online backup solution for data stored on your primary WFU-issued computer.  Your data is automatically backed up on a periodic basis and can be recovered easily in the event of computer failure other data access needs.

The Wake Forest University version of CrashPlan is available at no charge to all faculty and staff, not including the Medical Center.


Students, WFU retirees, and Faculty/Staff wishing to make a purchase for a personal computer may purchase their own separate discounted CrashPlan here.

  • This discount only applies to the initial 1-year purchase, not each subsequent renewal
  • A valid WFU email address is required to verify eligibility

The installation of CrashPlan is automatically pushed out to all faculty and staff computers on the Wake Forest domain.

If your computer is not registered with SCCM or Casper, CrashPlan will not be automatically installed.  Please contact the Information Systems Service Desk.

Please refer to our Restore Data video for step-by-step instructions, or view the written instructions.

Wake Forest will support the Windows and Mac OS clients for CrashPlan.

By default, CrashPlan only backs up data in the “Users” folder – data stored on an external drive will not be backed up.

Exceptions can be made under special circumstances, after a one-on-one consultation. Please contact the Service Desk if an exception is necessary.

No.  CrashPlan is a data backup solution, not intended to be used for storage or archiving purposes.  It is meant to securely backup data and recover it when necessary.  Google Drive, on the other hand, is for storing and sharing files, and archiving them for long durations.  It also provides the ability for quick anytime access and group collaboration of online files.

The institutional version of CrashPlan is not available for personal use, however – Students, WFU retirees, and Faculty/Staff wishing to make a purchase for a personal computer may purchase their own separate discounted CrashPlan here.

  • This discount only applies to the initial 1-year purchase, not each subsequent renewal
  • A valid WFU email address is required to verify eligibility

Data & Storage

No. CrashPlan will automatically backup your data as long as your computer is connected to the internet from anywhere.

The data is redundantly stored on multiple Wake Forest owned servers at Wake Forest owned locations.

CrashPlan will only backup files in the user’s home directory:

  1. Windows = c:\Users\”username”
  2. Mac = /Users/”username”

Any and all file types within the user’s home directory are backed up with the exception of the following file type extensions:

  1. .cab
  2. .dmg
  3. .DS_Store
  4. .exe
  5. .iso
  6. .msi
  7. .pkg
  8. .tmp
  9. .vhd
  10. .vm

No.  This feature is not user configurable.

No, there is no storage limit per user for backups.  However, please remember that CrashPlan is specifically a backup tool and is not intended to be used as an archiving tool.

Data is stored on the CrashPlan servers for as long as a user’s computer is checking in to the servers.  If a file is deleted from a user’s computer,  it will be stored on the servers for one year after the last check in date.

  1. Incremental backups occur every 15 minutes.
  2. The backup interval is not a user configurable setting.

Files are retained on the CrashPlan servers for one year after they have been last updated from the user’s computer.  This would pertain to deleted files and computers that have not checked in with CrashPlan in over one year.

No.  Neither the Trash nor the Recycle Bin are within the user’s home directory, therefore they are not backed up.

Please refer to our Advanced Topics video for step-by-step instructions.

No.  Your computer must be connected to the internet for the data backup to run.  If you are offline for more than 15 minutes, then the next time your computer connects, the backup will automatically begin.

Security

Only a select group of Wake Forest Information Systems staff members can access the data and this will only be done with authorized approval.

Any data within the user’s home directory will be backed up.  If any personal data is stored within this directory structure, then it will be backed up.

Users can create a folder within the Documents directory called personal_data – any files stored under this directory will not be backed up by CrashPlan. 

Files and folders stored on the root of the hard drive (C:) or Macintosh HD will not be backed up by CrashPlan.

Yes, in fact the data is doubly encrypted.  It is encrypted once during transmission and again on the storage servers.

Yes, in order to provide an extra level of security, Google 2 Step Verification needs to be enabled on your WFU Google account to access https://crashplan.wfu.edu.  If you do not have 2SV turned on, you can still restore data from the CrashPlan client on your computer.

Faculty may opt out of the CrashPlan data backup process – please submit a ticket to the Information Systems Service Desk and someone will contact you.

Staff using WFU-issued computers may not opt out of CrashPlan.

Advanced Topics

If there are certain networks that you would like the backup to be paused while you are on (i.e. mobile hotspot or hotel connection), then follow the steps in the Advanced Topics video:

The speed of the backup cannot be changed, but the amount of CPU usage can be.  If you feel there is a need to change it from the default setting, then follow these steps.

      1. Launch CrashPlan from your System Toolbar.
      2. Click on the gear icon in the lower right corner of the screen
      3. Choose Options
      4. Sign in with your WFU username and password.
      5. On the Usage tab change the field, “When user is present, use up to: ___ % CPU”.

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