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    Home > CrashPlan > Latest > Configuring > Testing and Adopting An Archive Encrypted With A Custom 448-bit Key

    Testing and Adopting An Archive Encrypted With A Custom 448-bit Key

    Applies to:
    • CrashPlan for Home
    • CrashPlan PRO
    • CrashPlan PROe


    If you are using the custom 448-bit data key to encrypt your archive, testing your data encryption key prior to adopting your backup archive is a best practice. After adopting, you are prompted to enter your custom encryption key. If you enter an incorrect data key, your archives will be deleted!

    This tutorial explains how to verify that your encryption key is correct before attempting to adopt your backups. This reduces the risk of needing to restart your backup.


    • If you lose or forget your custom archive encryption key, you cannot restore or adopt.
    • If you enter the incorrect custom archive encryption key after adopting, CrashPlan restarts the backup with the new encryption key and your old backup archive is lost. This cannot be undone.
    • There is no way to reset your custom archive encryption key. If it is lost or forgotten, CrashPlan Customer Champions cannot assist with access or recovery.

    Before You Begin

    Step 1: Test Your Custom Key

    You can test your custom encryption key from either the CrashPlan web app or the CrashPlan app by restoring a small number of files. 


    • If you test your key by performing a web restore from the CrashPlan web app, then your encryption key is temporarily escrowed on Code42's servers in order to decrypt the restored files. We suggest this as one option for testing your key because the consequences of entering an incorrect key are low when done outside the CrashPlan app. However, it's important to understand that the key is temporarily escrowed with Code42 during this process.
    • Alternatively, if you don't want to send your custom key to Code42, proceed to Option B: Verify The Custom Key In The CrashPlan App.

    Option A: Verify The Custom Key With Web Restore

    1. Sign in to the CrashPlan web app
    2. Select Computers on the left

    List of computers to restore from

    1. Select the Restore button to the right of the computer you wish to restore from
      You are prompted to enter your private key
    2. Copy and paste your custom encryption key into the text box and click OK

    Window to input key for restore.

    1. Restore a small number of test files
    2. After restore completes, proceed to Step 2: Adopt And Resume Backup

    If you are denied access to your backups during web restoring, DO NOT enter this key into the CrashPlan app. Entering an incorrect key in the CrashPlan app erases your backup archive.
    Retrieve your original key from the instance of the CrashPlan app where the key was generated, then retest it using the steps above.

    Option B: Verify The Custom Key In The CrashPlan App

    1. Open the CrashPlan app
    2. Sign in with your existing account
    3. Click Restore on the left
    4. Enter your custom encryption key
      • If you exported your custom encryption key from your previous machine, click Import and follow the prompt to select your key's text file
      • If you did not export your key, copy and paste it into the box and press OK
    5. Restore a small number of test files
    6. After restore completes, proceed to Step 2: Adopt And Resume Backup.

    Step 2: Adopt And Resume Backup

    Once you have verified your custom encryption key, you can proceed with adopting your archive and resuming backup. 

    1. Follow the steps listed in our Adopting Another Computer article
    2. Click Backup
    3. Paste or import the custom encryption key that you verified
      CrashPlan prompts you to confirm that you understand that the archive will be removed if the key is incorrect

    Warning dialogue if key is incorrect.

    1. ​Select the check box and click OK if you are certain the key is correct
      Important: If you are uncertain whether the key is correct, repeat the steps for verifying the custom key

    CrashPlan will synchronize your file selection with your backup archive. Backup resumes once synchronization is complete. 

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    Last Modified
    12:03, 21 Mar 2014

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