When I first got my Synology DS1815+ to replace my existing file server that was using Windows Storage Spaces on Windows 10, I was excited to continue using CrashPlan to backup my family’s computers. Unfortunately, I soon found out that while the Synology can run CrashPlan after reading the tutorial from PCLoadLetter, it was not anything like I was used to for administration. Using CrashPlan installed on the Synology required modifying configuration files on all of the computers that I wanted to backup, instead of simply logging into my CrashPlan account as I had done before. So, I promptly gave up and used Synology’s Cloud Station Backup for 6 months. 

Cloud Station Backup worked well, but I always got the feeling that CrashPlan had always worked better, especially when handling deleted files. Therefore, I endeavored on a way to use CrashPlan to backup to my Synology in a different way. I tried all the tricks you might find when Googling for “CrashPlan backup to network drive”, or similar. Unfortunately, CrashPlan was smart enough to not allow backing up to network drives using any of those techniques.

Feeling a bit adventurous, I looked into iSCSI as a solution and found my answers.

You will need:

  1. A Synology NAS (or other iSCSI target, but I will not cover the setup)
  2. A computer that will be always on which has a connection to the NAS and the internet for incoming backups

Setting up iSCSI Target

  1. Navigate to your DSM in a browser
  2. Open “Storage Manager”
  3. Navigate to “iSCSI LUN” and click “Create”
    alt text
  4. Select “iSCSI LUN (File-Level)” and click “Next”
  5. Configure the LUN
    alt text

    1. Choose a name such as “Backups”
    2. Choose which volume the LUN data should be stored on
    3. Enable thin provisioning
    4. I recommend an “Advanced file LUN”, but the regular should work fine
    5. Choose how large you want the LUN to be. Make sure this is quite large because you cannot change it later and because of thin provisioning you’re not giving up all the space you setup here.
    6. Click “Next”
  6. Configure the iSCSI Target
    1. Choose a name
    2. Leave the IQN as it is
    3. Enable CHAP if you want authentication
  7. Click “Next”
  8. Click “Apply”

Setting up CrashPlan PC

  1. Download and install CrashPlan on a PC that can run 24/7, or at least as much of the time as you want to do backups
  2. Open “Services” by typing Win+R and entering services.msc
  3. Find “CrashPlan Backup Service” and right click, then click “Properties”
  4. Stop the service if it is running and set Startup type to “Manual”
  5. Click “OK” and close services
  6. Open Windows iSCSI Initiator which is located in All Programs->Windows Administrative Tools->iSCSI Initiator
    alt text
  7. In the “Target” text box enter the domain name or ip address of your NAS, then click “Quick Connect”
  8. Your NAS iSCSI target should now appear under the “Discovered targets” part of the “Targets” tab.
  9. Switch to “Volumes and Devices” and click “Auto Configure”
  10. Open disk management by typing Win+R and entering diskmgmt.msc
  11. You will be prompted to initialize a new disk. Choose MBR formatting
  12. Right click on the new disk and select “New Simple Volume”
  13. Click through with default settings and wait for the format to complete
  14. Now you have an iSCSI connection that looks like a local drive. Setup CrashPlan to backup to a directory on this new iSCSI LUN
    Remember when we set the CrashPlan service only to run manually? Now we will fix that. Because the iSCSI can take some time to mount after a reboot the CrashPlan backup service needs to start after the LUN has had time to connect. We will achieve this using the Windows Task Scheduler.
  15. Create a blank text file somewhere on your computer and name it something like “startup.bat”
  16. Edit that file so it contains the following:
    @echo off
    rem for 1 minute delay..
    timeout /t 60
    net start "CrashPlan Backup Service"
  17. Create the scheduled task to start the backup service on a delay
    1. Run the Windows Task Scheduler by typing Win+R and taskschd.msc
    2. In the menu bar select Action->Create Basic Task
    3. Give your task a name and possibly a description
    4. Choose “When the computer starts” for when the task should begin
    5. Choose “Start a program” as the action
    6. Click “Browse…” and browse to the file we just created
    7. Click “Next”
    8. Check the box “Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish”
    9. Click “Finish”
    10. In the properties panel check the box “Run with highest privileges” and click “OK”
  18. Reboot, wait 1 minute and check that CrashPlan is working as expected
  19. Install CrashPlan on the computers that you want to backup and set the backup destination appropriately

Leave a Reply