How to get CrashPlan to back up to a network drive (NAS)

I know it appears this blog is exclusively focused on backup technologies for the enterprise, specifically related to EMC products. That is my primary area of focus currently and I’m using this blog as a repository of my ongoing learning’s in this area. I would not be a very good backup expert if I did not protect my data at home. In the past I’ve used Mozy, Carbonite, Mainland’s mCloud (for important files only) and now Crash Plan to provide an offsite copy of my data. These products are great for quick recovery of files and some have an option to deliver data on external media of  large restores for a price.

I recently bought a Seagate Goflex NAS. We use it for primary storage of some media we download. All other important documents, pictures and music are on an internal 2TB drive. I started using Crash Plan a few months ago. I really like the ability to perform backups to multiple targets. My plan was to perform a backup to the Crash Plan cloud and to also create a copy on the NAS for quick recovery. The GoFlex like many home NAS devices leverages some dark arts to make themselve available on the network. It’s NIX based and I found many guides online regarding hacking them, getting root then leveraging samba. Also a great way to void your warranty and a lot of work for me as I’m not that smart.

The Goflex NAS creates some drive mappings, but the Crash Plan app does not allow backups to a network drive mapping. Instead I used windows 7 native VHD function to create what appears to be  a local drive that Crash Plan can use, but is actually a file sitting on my NAS. Here is how.


Go To computer management and right click on disk management and select create vhd.


Browse to the destination to store the vhd file. This should be on your NAS device. Select the desired dynamic or fixed disk increment or static setting. If fixed ensure it is large enough to ingest the backup data.


In a moment you should see the new disk. Right click and initialize.


Right Click on the volume again and select new simple volume. and assign a drive letter.


Then go to Crash Plan >Destinations and select the folders tab.Browse to the new drive letter and select start backup!

Wow! Was that ever fun. Super glad I spent my evening at home configuring backups. Can’t wait until tomorrow to go to work…please kill me.


Category: backup recovery | 1 comment

  • Vinny says:

    Doesn’t this break once the user logs off of Windows since the network drive gets unmapped? Does the VHD stay mounted somehow so the Crashplan service can continue to backup while you aren’t logged into the machine?