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Windows tray for CrashPlan displays "Unable to connect to backup engine"

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan for Small Business
  • CrashPlan PROe

Overview

This troubleshooting article describes a scenario where you are able to run the CrashPlan app, but the CrashPlan Tray app displays the message Unable to connect to backup engine.

Affects

Version 4.3.0 of the CrashPlan app on Windows

Diagnosing

When this issue occurs:

  • The CrashPlan Tray app (the CrashPlan icon in the notification area) is dimmed and disabled. On hovering over the tray icon, it displays, "Unable to connect to the backup engine."
  • The CrashPlan app opens and functions normally.

Under the hood

This issue occurs when the CrashPlan app is installed in a folder other than the default location. The default locations are listed below.

  • Installed for everyone: C:\Program Files\CrashPlan
  • Installed per user:
    • Windows Vista and later: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\<Local or Roaming>\Programs\CrashPlan
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Programs\CrashPlan
Windows XP and language setting
In Windows XP, the Program Files folder may be localized on disk. If you are using Windows XP, and your operating system is set to use a language other than English, then installing to the default folder can result in this issue. If you are experiencing this issue, contact our Customer Champions for Code42 for Enterprise support or CrashPlan for Small Business (previously CrashPlan PRO) support.

Recommended solution

Step 1: Completely uninstall the CrashPlan app

Follow our instructions to completely uninstall the CrashPlan app. It is important to perform the steps for both standard and complete uninstallation.

Step 2: Install the CrashPlan app in the default folder

  1. Download the latest version of the CrashPlan app for Windows:
  2. Double-click the CrashPlan EXE file, then click Next to begin the installation wizard.
  3. Click Next to accept the default installation type, which is Everybody (all users).
    The CrashPlan app will be accessible to all users on the computer. Alternatively, if you have multiple user accounts on your computer and want to back them up separately, see our guide on per user installation.
  4. When prompted to select an installation folder, click Next to install in the default folder: C:\Program Files\CrashPlan
  5. Follow the prompts to complete installation.
  6. Sign in to your CrashPlan account.

Step 3: Adopt your previous computer

After completely uninstalling and reinstalling the CrashPlan app, you will be prompted to adopt your previous computer.

  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.