Saturday, February 8, 2014

Using CrashPlan to backup a network folder

By default, CrashPlan will not backup a network folder. I have an external USB drive attached to my router, and I wanted to backup one of the folders on that drive (as a source, not a destination).

I found this article that helped me get it working (copied below for longevity):

  1. Change the “CrashPlan Backup Service” service to run as an account which has access to every file which needs to be backed up everywhere, including the network share(s)
  2. Restart the “CrashPlan Backup Service” service.
  3. Create C:\NetworkShareLinks
    (name the folder what you like – as you complete the following steps, this folder will host symbolic links to network shares)
  4. Create C:\NetworkShareLinks\<MACHINE_NAME>
    (where <MACHINE_NAME> is the name of the machine/IP hosting the network share)
  5. From Command Prompt inside C:\NetworkShareLinks\<MACHINE_NAME>, create a symbolic link for each network share you want backed up from <MACHINE_NAME>:
    (where <SHARE_NAME> is the name of the network share on <MACHINE_NAME> and <FULL_SHARE_PATH> is the full UNC path to the network share)
    (example: mklink /D MyMusic \\Victor\MyMusic)
  6. Include C:\NetworkShareLinks\<MACHINE_NAME>\<SHARE_NAME> and its files in CrashPlan’s files to backup
    (the CrashPlan software isn’t afraid to show what it thinks are local files, even though they’re actually on the network share – thanks, symbolic link!)
  7. After your next backup finishes, verify C:\NetworkShareLinks\<MACHINE_NAME>\<SHARE_NAME>’s files appear in CrashPlan’s list of restorable files


  1. Does this setup still work for you? I used to have this setup and it worked great. But recently CrashPlan seems to changed behaviour and does not backup content of the symbolic links any more.

  2. Yes, it is still working for me. I am using CrashPlan v3.5.3