Advanced Photon Source

An Office of Science National User Facility

How to use the CrashPlan PROe Backup Software

The APS IT Group is utilizing CrashPlan PROe for backup purposes for Macs and Windows computers and Linux laptops. CrashPlan PROe provides some nice features particularly aimed at user-end activation and restoration.

CrashPlan PROe's "client-pull" system provides a superior backup strategy over the previous backup systems. Laptops have been notorious for being difficult to backup. Now, as long as a laptop can see the backup server, either via VPN, APS AUTH N wireless, or wired, backups will run. Also, the new model allows the user to perform backups and restores on demand from the client software.

The IT Group will install the CrashPlan PROe software. There are two parts to the software: The CrashPlan PROe application, which is the user interface to the backup service, and the backup engine, which resides in the background and performs incremental backups at 15 minute intervals by default. The backup engine will throttle down according to your computer use.

Initial Login

You will be required to login initially in order to connect to the backup server and create a storage location.

If it does not launch automatically after installation, manually launch the CrashPlan PROe application from the Applications folder (Mac), Program Files folder (Windows), or Applications->Internet menu (Linux):

CrashPlan Application Location

You may wish to create an alias, shortcut, or symbolic link to the CrashPlan PROe application for easy access.

When it first runs, you will be presented with a window similar to the following:

Initial Login Window

Although counter-intuitive, when you first login, you will use "New Account". Please use your ANL DOMAIN credentials to connect to the server. You do have to enter your password twice. First and Last name are not required.

Once you have initially authenticated to the CrashPlan PROe server, you can use "Existing Account" when connecting from additional computers.

Initiating Backup

Upon successful login, you should see a screen similar to this:

Initiate Backup

The Backup Destination should default to CrashPlan PROe Appliance and the Files should default to your home directory – typically named after your username.

Click “Start Backup” to initiate copying your home directory to the server.

If you wish to backup more or less than your home directory, you can click the “Change…” button to specify what you want backed up. For most users, all that is important is their home directory.

The first backup may take a while, depending on how many and how large your files are. When it has completed the initial backup, the window should look similar to this:

Backing Up Progress

Clicking on the small 'i' under the progress bar will give you extra information on the backup process.

Please note that you can quit the CrashPlan PROe application at any time – the backup engine will continue to perform backups in the background as long as you are connected to the APS network via Ethernet, APS AUTH N, or VPN.

Menu Icon

Once the CrashPlan PROe software has been installed and setup, you may notice the CrashPlan PROe icon in your menu bar or Start bar. Clicking on that icon will pop up a menu similar to this:

CrashPlan Menu Item

From this menu, you can see your backup status, temporarily pause backups, open the CrashPlan application, and adjust the menu settings. You will not be able to manage your account however.

Restoring Data

In the event that you wish to restore one or more files, select the Restore tab on the side. The window will look similar to this:

Restore Files Window

From here, you can drill down into your folder structure to select the files you want to restore. Alternatively, you may also search for a file by name from the search box. As you modify a file over time, the file name can be drilled down into showing the various iterations. Since CrashPlan PROe takes “snapshots” of your data over time, it will remember files that you have deleted. Clicking the “Show deleted files” checkbox will reveal them to you.

Clicking on the highlighted words at the bottom gives your further choices.

Clicking on "most recent" pops up the following calendar:


With which you can specify the date and time of a particular version of a file.

Clicking on "original permissions" toggles it to "current permissions".

Clicking on "Desktop" allows you to restore the file(s) to the Desktop, original locations, or a folder of your choosing.

Clicking on "rename" toggles it to "overwrite" allowing you to decide whether you want to keep the existing file(s) or not.

Feel free to examine the other tabs and options, but leave the default settings unless you understand what they do.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the APS IT Group.

If you have any issues, please submit a Help Desk ticket.