Over the weekend I actually had some downtime and was hoping to play a little Planetside 2 until I noticed that my Windows 7 desktop was down to only 8GB of free space on my 256GB SSD. A quick check with WinDirStat found that I had over 133GB of files in C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan, even though I had installed the software into D:\Program Files (x86)\CrashPlan. I’ve been testing CrashPlan for the past 30 days trying to decide if it was the best tool available for me to use in backing up the numerous desktops and laptops throughout the house. I had been manually backing up my desktop (along with the loving wife’s) over the years using a few hastily written scripts and kludgy batch files. I was searching for something a little more reliable and less prone to human error (or lack of attention to performing the actual task of backing up). I took to Google like all skilled engineers do but was unable to find any quick solutions to the problem although there was a mention of how to change the cache folder to a different directory. I wanted a solution to cover all the potential data under C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan and not just the cache directory.
I decided to create a symbolic link (yes you can do that in Windows 7 and later) from C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan to D:\ProgramData\CrashPlan. I had to stop the CrashPlan service, move the data, delete the original folder and then create the symbolic link with the following command;
mklink /d C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan D:\ProgramData\CrashPlan
If you don’t have User Account Control (UAC) disabled you’ll need to run the Command Prompt as an administrator in order to properly execute the command above.
With those steps done I restarted the CrashPlan service and verified that everything was fine by launching the CrashPlan application.
Any comments about CrashPlan? I really like it so far, and you can’t really complain too much when it’s free (if you backup to a local hard drive). I have yet to restore a file so I’ll have more to say when I get a chance to actually test that portion of the solution. I did have to make a few tweaks to the configuration – notably setting data de-duplication to minimal in order to speed up the backup time.
Update: Wednesday July 3, 2-014
I just realized that the WD My Passport that I was backing up to was itself having issues. Upon unplugging the USB drive and reconnecting it I was prompted the format the drive – not good! So it may have been an issue with the destination that was causing CrashPlan to store all the backup information in the cache directories on my SSD. Now I need to go run some discovery software to see what I can recover from the USB hard drive.