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    Home > CrashPlan > Latest > Troubleshooting > Testing And Adopting An Encrypted Archive With A Custom Key

    Testing And Adopting An Encrypted Archive With A Custom Key

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


    If you upgraded your account to use the custom encryption option, there are several additional steps to the adoption process. Specifically, you should test your data encryption key prior to adopting to ensure it is correct, because entering an incorrect data key will cause your archives to be deleted. This process assumes you have not changed operating systems.


    • 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 without restarting your backup. If it is lost or forgotten, Code42 Customer Champions cannot assist with access or recovery.

    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 changed, you may need to manually update your file selection so CrashPlan can synchronize with the destination and continue backing up files from the new file location.

    Step 1: Verify The Custom Key In The CrashPlan App

    If you are using the custom 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! You can test your custom encryption key from the CrashPlan app. 

    1. Download and install the latest version of CrashPlan
    2. Open the CrashPlan app
    3. Sign in to your existing account
    4. Do not enter your custom key on the Backup screen yet
    5. Click Restore
    6. Enter your custom encryption key
      • If you exported your custom encryption key from your previous machine, click Import and follow the prompt to select the text file containing your key
      • If you did not export your key, copy and paste it into the box and press OK
    7. If the file system of your backup displays, then your key is correct and you should proceed to Step 2: Restoring Your Files

    Step 2: Restoring Your Files

    Before you adopt a computer, it is important to replace all of the files you backed up previously onto the new computer. When adopting, CrashPlan looks for your files at the location they were on the old computer. CrashPlan needs to see the files on the new source computer in the same location as the old computer, so that the files are not marked as deleted and are not re-sent. 

    Before adopting, you can use any of the following methods to replace 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 And Resume Backup

    Once you have verified your custom encryption key and restored all of your data, 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 settings, file selection, version history, and backup archive
    • Inherits your previous backup archive and attempts to resume backup

    If the previously backed up files are not restored to the computer before adoptingyou 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. Click Backup
    2. In the Continue Backup message, click Adopt
      I don't see the option to Adopt

    Adopt Message

    1. Select the computer that you want to adopt
      If you're not sure which computer to adopt, check out these adoption tips from our Customer Champions

      Adopt Options

    2. Enter your Email and Password again and click Sign In 
      The Adoption Complete! message displays
    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

    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
    2. Continue the adoption process from Step 4
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    Last modified
    10:00, 10 Mar 2015



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