Troubleshooting CrashPlan Backup Completion Issues

CrashPlan Pro

When using CrashPlan Home or CrashPlan Pro for online data backup, you may notice that your backup never fully completes. You may get a status email that says 99.9% or 100% completed with last completion date weeks or months in the past. You may start wondering why Crashplan never catches up and finishes the backup. Here is an example of what I see in my CrashPlan log emails sometimes.

CrashPlan Email Log

CrashPlan Email Log

In my experience, it’s not that your internet is too slow or that you have too many files that need to be backed up again every day. It’s that Crashplan is having trouble accessing a specific file or folder that has been selected for backup.

There is an easy way to find out which files or folders CrashPlan doesn’t have access to.

Open the C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan\log folder.

Inside you will find a file called backup_files.log.0

Copy that file to a different location (you can’t open this file if it’s in use by CrashPlan).

Then double click on the file to open it and choose Notepad to open it with.

The file will look similar to this:

I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 d2e9eefef5bf7e096dee6be94f3d5ca7 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 c8dc77dba0da3454dc8b5c9009e65e93 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 83ce8fff98e976c2ff3be1d23cc9190b 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 0767af0e1471ec8d01502e8793ff8cbc 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 899644bd3322949766a4c9c7fb628864 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 af987dc3545e753c27f6331dc062241b 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 0e3938f366c7ff7509f622cc8746c72a 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 a64da407130b71be94afe9f87d20a329 0 C:/Users/. . .
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 [Default] Completed backup to CrashPlan Central in < 1 minute: 44 files (17.40MB) backed up, 388.10KB encrypted and sent @ 3Mbps
I 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – Unable to backup 16 files (next attempt within 15 minutes)
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .
W 01/25/16 10:10PM 42 – C:\Users\. . .

Each line that starts with I is a file that was successfully backed up.

Each line that starts with W is a file that CrashPlan wasn’t able to back up.

You can use Control+F to search through the document for lines that start with W. I find that if you search for W plus the first two digits of the date you are looking for, you won’t get stuck on all of the files that have a W in their name. So try searching for this:

W 03/

The next step is to figure out why that particular file is locked. Sometimes the files are inside an encrypted folder. If you inadvertently turned on file encryption on that folder, you can disable it in Windows by right clicking on the folder, choosing properties, and clicking advanced. There you can uncheck “Encrypt contents to secure data”.

Sometimes the files are locked by whatever program uses them. If this is the case, maybe you don’t need to backup this particular file, so you can uncheck that file in Crashplan’s backup settings. By opening Crashplan and on the backup tab choosing “change”. From there you can uncheck specific files and folders from the backup.

If the file needs to be backed up, but is locked by the program that uses it, either CrashPlan has to wait until the program isn’t locking the file to try to back it up, or you will need to schedule a copy of the file to be made on a regular basis so CrashPlan can back it up.

If the problem file isn’t needed at all on your PC and you don’t want it to be backed up, you could just delete the file. But please be careful, you don’t always know if a file is important or not.

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