How to fix unstable continously synchronizing CrashPlan service

CrashPlan has been backing up my stuff for several years. Been very happy with it and it has already saved me from losing everything in a complete hard drive crash.

The last few months however it as been extremely unstable and never been able to complete a full backup. Which is very very bad. I’ve basically been stuck at 90% for a couple of months and the missing 10% in my case is over 100 GB. A lot of potential loss.

Symptoms

  • Highly unstable user interface.
  • Keeps “synchronizing”.
  • Backup never completes.
  • High CPU usage of the CrashPlan service and memory usage close to 512 MB.

Contacted their customer support and after sending them my CrashPlan log files it turns out the poor CrashPlan service is a Java application and, by default, runs on a JVM limited to 512 MB of memory. Probably usually OK, but I have a lot of files. So basically the service has been garbage collecting itself to death these months and not gotten anywhere.

How to fix it

  1. Open an elevated command prompt.
  2. Stop the CrashPlan service.
    C:\> net stop CrashPlanService
  3. Open the configuration file for the CrashPlan service.
    C:\> notepad %ProgramFiles%\CrashPlan\CrashPlanService.ini
  4. Change -Xmx512M to for example -Xmx1024M or -Xmx2048M, depending on how much memory you have to spare.
  5. Start the CrashPlanService.
    C:\> net start CrashPlanService

If your problem was lack of memory, it should now run more smoothly. Does for me anyways :)

  • http://twitter.com/msevestre Michael Sevestre

    It did the trick for me too! Awesome

  • RobertSeattle

    Also seems to have done the trick for me as well but a mere start often fixed this as well. CrashPlan developers really need to take a look at this. Also – the Synch start and stop times should be in the History so we can prove to them how long it is taking.

    • http://www.geekality.net/ Torleif Berger

      I thought a restart of the service/computer would fix it as well, and right afterwards it did seem like it ran fine, but after a while it just got stuck again.

  • R

    Any idea how to do this on a Mac?

    • http://www.geekality.net/ Torleif Berger
      • trawk

        Apparently regular users don’t have access to this link Torleif. Could you please verify? As a Mac user, I am having the exact same problem you describe so would be very pleased to try out your method.

        • http://www.geekality.net/ Torleif Berger

          Hm, looks like they must have messed up their forum or something. I can’t access the guide either. Even after logging in :/

  • http://spacebar.ca/ Simon Carpentier

    Thank you for saving me hours of research!

    • http://www.geekality.net/ Torleif Berger

      That’s why I blog!