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Using CrashPlan with WHS v1 (per podcast 154)


eagle63
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Hey guys, great podcast. You were talking a bit about CrashPlan on this podcast - specifically with WHS v1 - and I just wanted to mention a couple of things: First, I think the ability to backup to a friend's computer is one of the really cool and unsung features of crashplan. I have a couple of geeky friends and we all backup to each other - works great!

 

Secondly, using your WHS v1 machine as a CrashPlan destination is NOT a good idea. The reason is because Microsoft strongly recommends that you always use the UNC path (//server/documents, //server/music, etc) when writing to a share rather than a drive letter. Problem is, CrashPlan doesn't support UNC paths. (they've been saying that it's on their roadmap for over 2 years now but it still hasn't happened) So the only way to get it to work is to point crashplan at a path like D:/shares/backups. I'm speaking from experience here, as I did this for many months and wound up with all kinds of file corruption across my WHS. Using your WHS v1 machine as a backup source is fine, in other words, installing crashplan on your WHS machine and backing up the shares to another crashplan destination is no problem, and is outlined here in crashplan's support site: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/recipe/whs_installation

 

Note that if you're using WHS 2011 all of this is a non-issue since there is no drive extender, and therefore no UNC paths for the shares. Anyway, just wanted to give y'all a heads-up.

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Secondly, using your WHS v1 machine as a CrashPlan destination is NOT a good idea. The reason is because Microsoft strongly recommends that you always use the UNC path (//server/documents, //server/music, etc) when writing to a share rather than a drive letter. Problem is, CrashPlan doesn't support UNC paths. (they've been saying that it's on their roadmap for over 2 years now but it still hasn't happened)

 

Note that if you're using WHS 2011 all of this is a non-issue since there is no drive extender, and therefore no UNC paths for the shares.

An excellent point about UNC. Anytime I go to restore files to my WHSv1 from its external drive array I have to remind myself to use the UNC path to avoid bypassing DE and corrupting its indexing.

 

A small point of clarification on 2011. Like all Windows servers, 2011 does have UNC paths for shares, and you can access those shares from client computers using the UNC path. The difference is that you don't have to deal with DE's tombstone files or indexing so corruption is not the issue it can be with WHSv1.

Edited by ikon
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A small point of clarification on 2011. Like all Windows servers, 2011 does have UNC paths for shares, and you can access those shares from client computers using the UNC path. The difference is that you don't have to deal with DE's tombstone files or indexing so corruption is not the issue it can be with WHSv1.

 

Yep, absolutely - thanks for the correction.

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I am not sure I understand the issue. I have crashplan on my version 1 server and it is backing up my shares to the cloud. How do I know if this affects me?

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I am not sure I understand the issue. I have crashplan on my version 1 server and it is backing up my shares to the cloud. How do I know if this affects me?

You're fine then. The distinction is if you're using crashplan as a target for other computer's in your house to backup to. (or friends/family) Crashplan can be used to backup files to somewhere else, as a destination from other sources, or both. The problem only exists if you're letting other machines backup TO your crashplan instance on WHS v1.

Edited by eagle63
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You're fine then. The distinction is if you're using crashplan as a target for other computer's in your house to backup to. (or friends/family) Crashplan can be used to backup files to somewhere else, as a destination from other sources, or both. The problem only exists if you're letting other machines backup TO your crashplan instance on WHS v1.

 

Okay, thanks.

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Great topic. Since the podcast mentioned Crashplan, I've been interested. If anyone has some procedures written out( for WHS V 1), that would help.

Do I set aside a specific amount of space for Crashplan? or is it expanding?

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I have been using CrashPlan as a destination on WHSv1 since the early days of CrashPlan and WHS. There is an easy way to accomplish this and avoid the data corruption issue associated with DE.

 

I use a separate hard drive(s) just for the CrashPlan destination. When you add the hard drive to the system (internal, external or whatever), WHS will ask you if you want to add the drive as part of the storage pool - just say no! Add the drive to the operating system outside the control of WHS and assign it a drive letter. One of my drives is a 2TB external drive, assigned with the drive letter J: (for my friend Joe) and I configured CrashPlan to use J:\xxx as the destination folder. WHS is not aware the drive exists, no shares point to the drive and there are no corruption issues.

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I have been using CrashPlan as a destination on WHSv1 since the early days of CrashPlan and WHS. There is an easy way to accomplish this and avoid the data corruption issue associated with DE.

 

I use a separate hard drive(s) just for the CrashPlan destination. When you add the hard drive to the system (internal, external or whatever), WHS will ask you if you want to add the drive as part of the storage pool - just say no! Add the drive to the operating system outside the control of WHS and assign it a drive letter. One of my drives is a 2TB external drive, assigned with the drive letter J: (for my friend Joe) and I configured CrashPlan to use J:\xxx as the destination folder. WHS is not aware the drive exists, no shares point to the drive and there are no corruption issues.

True. I had automatically assumed, and I think eagle63 did too, that the drives are in the pool. His point and yours are both good: don't use WHSv1 as a destination for CrashPlan, unless your destination is a drive that's not part of the drive pool. A good tech tip for all WHSv1 users.

Edited by ikon
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