It looks more complex than it is as most of it happens automatically.
However there was one part I was keen to eliminate as a result of implementing some new backup strategies, namely to us CrashPlan to get backups onto my NAS (Network Attached Storage).
CrashPlan's home version, the paid version, allows all sorts of wonderful destinations for your backups:
- External hard disks
- Friends computers
- CrashPlan Cloud Servers
- Other computers on your network
It does not, however, let you backup to a mapped network drive. In fact there are a lot of programs that won't let you access a mapped network drives as if they were a real drive. I cannot suggest their motives as I am sure they vary.
The reason this happens is that actual disks get mounted using device drivers whereas mapped drives don't and once your software has decided to exclude on type or another there's not much you can do about it.
When I searched for an answer I couldn't readily find one. What I did see was a lot of folk poo-pooing why anyone would want to do this in the first place.
Well, my reason was that by getting CrashPlan to do the backup I could eliminate 4 encrypted volumes and the related synchronisation process required to keep that data secure on a non-PC machine (NAS). I could also eliminate the need to further migrate/copy those volumes to off-site backups (external hard disks).
NB: In case you don't know what a "mapped drive" is, it is a directory on a remote machine that is given an alias so that it looks like a disk drive.
So, to explain how I solved this...
In the picture below you can see the Z: drive looks much like the C:, D:, E: and other "drives" on the computer. Z: is a mapped network drive connected to the "Info" volume on my NAS called Terry:
The problem is that CrashPlan knows it isn't a real drive and as such I cannot backup to it:
It is plain to see that Z: is not among the available drives to backup to. But the mysterious "R:" drive is!
NOTE: N: and Y: are external drives that I don't have plugged in at the moment.
So what is drive R: you may ask?
Well, drive R: is a TrueCrypt volume on my NAS drive.
Once I have mounted the TrueCrypt volume CrashPlan automatically sees it as a physical drive and backs up to it :-)
NOTE: Shown above for selection. Shown below is the completed automatic backup to the drive.
So I am pretty happy about that :-)
I suspect this trick will work with many, if not all, of the other software that misbehaves in the same way. I say "misbehaves", they probably do it on purpose to get us to fork out for the "network" or "Pro" version of their software.
NOTE 1: The creation of a TrueCrypt volume requires some skill and attention. Be very careful with how and where you go about this. Having said that, once you know what you are doing it is easy and there is plenty of documentation of the TrueCrypt web site.
NOTE 2: Creating a large TrueCrypt volume is not a fast process so prepare yourself for a wait of a few hours while the volume is encrypted/created.
NOTE 3: Details of how to fully set up a CrashPlan backup destination to a drive is available through their web site and/or the program's help system.