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This article applies to Code42 for Enterprise version 4.

Other available versions:

Version 6 | Version 5icon.qnmark.png

Code42 Support

Adopt a computer

This article applies to Code42 for Enterprise version 4.

Other available versions:

Version 6 | Version 5icon.qnmark.png


Adoption is the process of having one computer take over for another, which is used in circumstances such as: moving a backup to a new computer, replacing an old computer, replacing your computer's main hard drive, or recovering after an operating system reinstall. By reconnecting to the previous computer's backup archive, you avoid repeating the potentially lengthy, initial backup.


New computer setup recommendations

When replacing a computer, we recommend setting up the new computer with the same user name and drive letter that you used on your previous computer. If the user name or drive letter on your new computer is different than on your old computer, you may need to update your file selection to include the new location of your files. CrashPlan can then synchronize with the destination and continue backing up files that now reside in a new location and have a different file path.

Step 1: Download and install CrashPlan

  1. Download and install the latest version of the CrashPlan app
  2. Sign in to your existing CrashPlan account

Step 2: Replace your files

Before you adopt a computer, it is important to replace all of the files you backed up previously onto the new computer. Any files you don't restore from your existing backup will be retained as deleted files and are less visible, which could lead to unintentional data loss. Additionally, if the previously backed up files are not restored to the computer before adopting it, you may have an extended wait to restore your files while CrashPlan synchronizes your device with the backup destination.

Before adopting, you can use any of the following methods to add your original files onto your new or re-built computer:

  • Restore files from the CrashPlan app.
  • Copy or transfer files from the old computer to the new computer. Some example methods:
    • Copy files with your operating system’s standard tools such as the Finder, Windows Explorer, cp command, or rsync command.
    • Restore files from a Time Machine backup.
    • Transfer files using Windows Easy Transfer.

Restore files to original location
To resume your previous backup as fast as possible, restore your files as described in our tutorial on restoring all files to a new computer or drive.

Step 3: Adopt previous computer

Now it's time to adopt your previous computer so that CrashPlan sees your new computer as a continuation of your previous computer. When you adopt:

  • Your new computer is immediately linked to your existing backup archive, file selection, version history, and backup settings
  • Your new computer inherits your previous backup archive and attempts to resume backup
Information on your new Computer
Any information backed up from your new computer before adopting must be backed up again after adoption. Before adopting the previous computer, make sure your new computer has all the information you need.

If the previously backed up files are not restored to the computer before adopting, you may have an extended wait to restore your data while CrashPlan synchronizes your computer with the backup destination. Any files that cannot be found during synchronization will be flagged as "missing" and you must follow these steps to restore them.

  1. In the Continue Backup message, click Adopt.
    I don't see the option to Adopt.

Click Adopt

  1. Select the computer that you want to adopt. You can identify which computer to adopt in three different ways:
    • Computer name
    • Time of last backup
    • Archive size

Adopt Options

  1. Enter your Email and Password again and click Sign In.
    The Adoption Complete! message displays.
Is my backup starting over?
After adopting a previous computer, a scan launches to compare the contents of your backup file selection against your existing backup archive. It may look like your files are backing up again, and the estimated time to complete may seem unusually long. However, CrashPlan uses data de-duplication to identify what is already backed up. CrashPlan will only back up what has changed (For example: folder paths if files have moved, new files). This is a normal part of CrashPlan's operation, but if you are concerned, there are several ways to confirm that your backup isn't starting over.

Step 4: Update your file selection

Once the adoption is complete and all previous settings are applied to your new computer, verify that your file selection includes all of the files you want to back up. If you restored your files to a different location (for example, under a folder with a different user name or drive letter), CrashPlan does not automatically detect the change in file paths. To continue your backup, update the file selection to add the locations of your files on the new computer (without deselecting the old locations) using the steps below.

In version 4.5 and later of the CrashPlan app, the default backup file selection is added to your backup file selection automatically after adopting a computer. You should verify that this update includes the folders you want backed up on your new computer.

DO NOT deselect the folders from your old computer just yet! Once these file paths are removed from your file selection, there is no way to add them back because the paths do not exist on your new computer. Deselecting files removes them from your backup archive and there is no way to recover them.
  1. From Backup, click Change.
    Note that your previous computer's file selection is dimmed if the files are not restored to the original location.
Folders May Differ
If the usernames of the two devices involved in the adoption are different, or the drive letters on the two devices differ, then some folders may appear in the adopted file selection that do not actually exist on the new device.
  1. Keep the previous folders selected. CrashPlan automatically removes any files that are deselected.
  2. Add folders from your new computer to your file selection.
  3. Click Save.

Step 5: Wait for CrashPlan to synchronize your file selection

After you add folders from your new computer to your file selection, the CrashPlan app synchronizes your file selection. It detects the files you restored to your new computer, and recognizes them as the same files you previously backed up from your old computer. Any new files added to your selection are analyzed and prepared for backup.


Step 6: Clean up your file selection (optional)

Use caution when changing your file selection
  • Always wait for backup progress to complete before deselecting files. The time needed to back up depends on data de-duplication and the size of your backup selection.
  • You should only deselect files that you want CrashPlan to permanently and immediately delete from your backup archive.
  • There is no way to recover deselected files.
  • You will lose any historical versions associated with the deselected folders and files. Even if the file verification scan has updated the new location information for your files, any versions associated with the old deselected location will be lost.

When backup progress completes, you may choose to clean up your file selection by removing the old "missing" locations of your files.

If you are not concerned with maintaining historical versions, and you want to clean up your file selection by removing the old file and folder paths, you must follow these steps exactly in the sequence presented:

  1. Verify that the new location for the files is included in your backup file selection.
  2. Keep the original file location selected. Do not deselect any files at this time.
  3. Allow your backup status to reach 100% complete.
  4. It is now safe to deselect the old files and folders. You can restore these files from their new location on your new computer.

When you change the backup file selection, a scan launches to compare the contents of your backup file selection against your existing backup archive. While on the surface it may look like CrashPlan is starting your backup over, this is a normal part of CrashPlan's operation. There are several ways to confirm that your backup isn't starting over.

If you have any questions about the steps outlined in this tutorial, please contact our Customer Champions for Code42 for Enterprise support before proceeding.

Video step-by-step