How To Use CrashPlan To Backup Data To QNAP And Backup QNAP’s Data To CrashPlan Central

Normally, CrashPlan won’t allow you to backup computer data to network share/drive.  Nonetheless, you can get around this if you’re using iSCSI.  In the video right after the break, I show you how to create iSCSI with QNAP (Network Attached Storage) server,  connect to QNAP’s iSCSI target, and format iSCSI share as NTFS share for Windows 7/8.  This way, you can use CrashPlan software (free or paid) to backup data from a local computer to QNAP’s iSCSI share, and you can go one step further by backing up the data of iSCSI share (on QNAP or whatever NAS that may be) to CrashPlan Central (cloud service for hosting backup data).  Enjoy!!!

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18 thoughts on “How To Use CrashPlan To Backup Data To QNAP And Backup QNAP’s Data To CrashPlan Central

  1. Dear Vinh-

    You had helped me set up a SCSI on my QNAP so I can view it through Windows. It had worked (I thought) but now I have a crisis of crises and I need tech help fast.

    The PC crashed and I basically had to have the entire OS reloaded.

    1) My QNAP can now only be accesses again via the browser. I have configured it on the NAS itself as a SCSi, so why wouldn’t it just attach in the same way as an external drive to the new PC? Please help: I want to re-attach the NAS without reformatting it again and losing all the data there. It should have been configured already to work as a SCSi

    2) When I look at my QNAP files via Linux (browser), nothing is updated since Jan, when I set up the SCSi with you. 80% is there, but no adds or changes since Jan 21 2015.

    BUT HERE’S THE MYSTERY:

    > I have backed up to Crashplan from the NAS, by having Crashplan access the NAS via the Windows Explorer drive letter I set up (G); and…

    > I have even backed up to a couple external drives, as a precaution, from the NAS, via the Windows drive letter; but…

    CRASHPLAN AND THE EXTERNAL DRIVES ARE FULLY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST FILES AS OF MY LATEST BACKUP BEFORE THE OS CRASH (JUNE 13,2015), BUT THE NAS, WHICH I BACKED THEM UP FROM, NOW SHOWS NO CHANGES SINCE THE FIRST UPLOAD OF DATA BACK IN JAN 2015. HOW CAN THE SOURCE DRIVE HAVE LESS DATA THAN THE DESTINATIONS?

    When it was connected as a G: drive, I could see/access everything; now so much is gone….

    I really need you help! JOSHUA

    • I haven’t played around with creating new ISCSI targets/LUNs for QNAP in a long while, and so I’m pretty rusty now. Nonetheless, here I’m going to try to see if I can help you in anyway. No promise.

      The first approach you can take to see if you can fix your problem is to try to use Microsoft Windows ISCSI initiator to reconnect the QNAP’s ISCSI share to your new computer. If this would work, then you have already fixed the problem of not being able to connect and browse the available ISCSI share on QNAP.

      If you still have problem of reconnecting to the ISCSI share on QNAP after using Microsoft’s ISCSI initiator. Try the second approach.

      The second approach is to disable and re-enable ISCSI target on QNAP to see if this will help you reconnect to it using Microsoft’s ISCSI initiator. So, first go to Storage Manager > Target Management > the right target and expand the target to highlight the target and use the Action option in the menu to disable and re-enable the target. After this, try to use Microsoft’s ISCSI initiator from Windows to reconnect. Make sure you have the right target/LUN credential.

      If the second approach is still not going to help. I advice you take a look at http://docs.qnap.com/nas/4.0/SMB/en/index.html?iscsi_service.htm to see if anything there would be able to give you an idea of how to fix your problem. Here is my suggestion for the third approach, but this is last resort and don’t blame me if you got things even more mess up. A warning, do not follow the third approach if you aren’t brave enough.

      Third approach is to un-map a specific LUN from a specific target, create a new target for a specific LUN, map the specific LUN to the new target, use Microsoft’s ISCSI initiator from Windows to help reconnect Windows to QNAP’s ISCSI share, and then finally use CrashPlan to backup to the share again.

      About your mystery problem that you’ve described, I still don’t understand it fully. Can’t say what is going on there. Can’t help you with what I don’t understand or know what is really happening.

      • Hi Vinh-
        Thank you for a speedy reply. I will try your solutions. As for the mystery problem, I will try to explain better: after I made the QNAP into a SCSi, I would access it via windows explorer : I made it drive “G”. Crashplan would backup from the NAS’s G drive, and I would back up a few external seagate drives by accessing the NASS via G. All was fine. 800GB of data backed up in all placees.

        After the OS crash, I have been accessing NAS via Chrome (its Linux interface). But there is only 600 GB there. Dozens of files are misssing, and the backup dates are six months old. Everything I’ve added since Jan 2015 is not showing when I view via Chrome. It is not only scary and frustrating but, like I said, all the external drives and Crashplan, which were backed up from the NAS, had all the data, but the NAS, the source, no longer had it… Is that more clear?

      • I think I have some understanding of your mystery problem. I don’t have an absolute answer to how to solve it, but here is my analysis and suggestion. First, I still think you need to be able to access your ISCSI QNAP share the way you have done before the crash with new computer, and so I still suggest you try to get it to work again. Once that’s done, try to access the same share to see if the mystery problem clears up or not as this may let you see the missing files/folders again. If this isn’t going to solve the mystery problem, then I suggest you to check to see the QNAP’s drives are still healthy and functioning normally. QNAP has settings that allow you to check to see if the volumes are healthy and whatnot. Also, make sure your ISCSI shares are adequately spacey (enough space) for your data need, because I fear that your QNAP shares’ quota(s) may have ran out of space, thus explaining the files are not backing up somehow. Perhaps, you may want to increase ISCSI shares’ volume/space. Another thing, check to see your physical hard drives in QNAP server are still having enough space for more data, because without enough space files will not be backing up for obvious reason.

      • Also – I don’t think the data loss could be because of some SCSI space allocation, or hard drive space: like I said, all the data was there when I accessed via G, and that is from where I uploaded to Crashplan and external drives. If it was full, it would not have been available from G,,,,

      • Hi Vinh – OK, I used iSCSI Initiator to successfully connect to the NAS, but it is still asking me to format the drive (NAS) before I can use it. I have not changed the NAS since I configured it in Jan to work as an iSCSI – what do I do now?

      • This is a strange behavior which I have yet to encounter, if ever will be encountering. I don’t have the answer, but I Googled and found the link http://forum.qnap.com/viewtopic.php?f=180&t=94536. It seems that you have to play with disable and enable the target from both Microsoft iscsi initiator and the QNAP server itself. The answer from the link kind of vague for me, but this is all I can find for you at the moment. Good luck!

      • You’re welcome, and I hope you will be able to fix the problem and regain all the data!

      • When I try to open G it says that “the volume does not contain a recognised file system. Make sure that all file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted” I know it is not corrupted because I can access most files from the browser – so maybe it I will keep trying the enable/disable idea you suggested. Thanks again,,,,

      • The link in the last post that I posted for you to check it out, it mentioned that the key is to disable all targets before trying to re-enable the specific target that you want to work with. Why don’t you try to disable all targets first before re-enable a specific target to see if you can recover data without doing anything crazy on the LUN.

      • Furthermore, you should also try to update QNAP to latest firmware to see that will fix most problems on your QNAP.

  2. Dear Vinh-

    OK, I did all you said and it worked great, thank you. I named my new “drive” G and it was on my PC’s directory. After a power outage and everything shut down, it is no longer there when I started up again. What do I do?

    Joshua

  3. dear Vinh; I watched your youtube video about setting up a scsi drive on QNAP to trick it into thinking the NAS is a hard disk on the PC. It is really good, thanks. I am not an IT guy and no one could help me. I have made it through 90% of the setup. I have a few questions: 1) In Computer Management, at 17:20, if I right click on the volume and click “format”, will I lose all the data already on my NAS? 2) Somehow I did a quick format when creating that drive (named it G) without losing data. Now I have an empty G drive on my PC, and all my data still under Network (the NAS). I am confused; this is the same volume isn’t it? If I copy data from the NAS to G, is it making a second copy in a different partition? Totally confused… please help – thanks! Joshua

    • Hi Joshua, a NAS is like a physical server (machine or just a computer) which allows you to have plethora of options in storing data. Creating iSCSI on QNAP involves with telling the NAS to make a virtual network share which in itself is a virtual partition. When you got a network share (just a folder in NAS) going on in QNAP and assign the network share as iSCSI, you can then use iSCSI initiator on Windows machine to link to an iSCSI network share on QNAP, allowing the network share on QNAP to act and behave as if it’s an internal hard drive on your Windows machine. On Windows machine, the brand new iSCSI drive/partition (network share on QNAP) needs to be format (or partition further if you want), because the iSCSI share (drive/partition) is acting just like a brand new internal hard drive. Since QNAP NAS creates iSCSI network share for Windows (and other OS(s) such as Linux) by assigning a new network share folder once, thus when you format the iSCSI drive on Windows, you’re actually only formatting the network share folder in QNAP. After all, the brand new QNAP network share folder (iSCSI node/drive/partition) has no data, thus when Windows formatting the new iSCSI drive is like formatting a brand new hard drive (or partition). Once you begin to store data into the created iSCSI drive on Windows, the data get store into QNAP’s designated network share that responses to the iSCSI drive on Windows, making the iSCSI drive on Windows as a partition or drive with data. If you try to format the same iSCSI drive on Windows after you already store some data, you will lose the data as any other used drive on Windows machine (data will also be lost in the specific network share on QNAP). I hope this has been helpful.

      • Hi Vinh-I read through your reply carefully. First of all, thank you so much for being so helpful! Really kind of you. I am travelling today but will reply in a day, as I still am nervous about formatting ‎.Talk soon-JoshuaPS: nice music… Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: EssayBoardSent: Friday 23 January 2015 03:07To: jwbarton@fusionconsulting.inReply To: EssayBoardSubject: [New comment] How To Use CrashPlan To Backup Data To QNAP And Backup QNAP’s Data To CrashPlan Central

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        Vinh Nguyen commented: “Hi Joshua, a NAS is like a physical server (machine or just a computer) which allows you to have plethora of options in storing data. Creating iSCSI on QNAP involves with telling the NAS to make a virtual network share which in itself is a virtual partit”

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