CrashPlan might be filling up your hard drive

OK, this is no longer a coincidence: All CrashPlan users should please check the free space on your Macs’ hard drives.
On your desktop, click on “Macintosh HD,” then go to the File menu > Get Info…

If the Space Available looks low, say less than 10 GB, it might be that (pardon the expression) a CrashPlan log has grown unusually large. Open up Macintosh HD > Library > Logs > CrashPlan, and look for engine_output.log. See how big it is. I’ve now seen 30 GB, 80 GB, even 600 GB.

Throw engine_output.log in the trash, and empty your trash (right click on the trash can or Finder menu > Empty Trash…).

If the trash won’t empty, restart your Mac and try again.

Perhaps your hard drive is full for other reasons, in which case the excellent freeware Disk Inventory X can help:

Should I backup my computer?

Every computer owner must keep active, daily backups of all of their data. We like to use the 3-2-1 Commandment of Backups:

Thou shalt keep: 3 copies of any data, on 2 different media on-site, and 1 copy offsite.

Put another way:

A file doesn’t exist unless it exists in three places.

The 3-2-1 rule applies to any piece of digital data, however minor, small, or seemingly unimportant.

  1. Copy 1 is the drive inside your Mac,
  2. Copy 2 is an external hard drive in your home or office, which gets backups via the Time Machine software, connected either directly to your computer or over your internal network,
  3. And the 3rd copy happens across the internet, frequently to a service such as Carbonite or our current favorite, Crashplan.

We have established easy, elegant, and cost-effective methods to achieve 3-2-1, and we will work with you to find the solutions that best fit your business.

Here’s a scenario:

Let’s say you are maintaining good, solid, daily 3-2-1 backups. And then, in normal use, your Mac’s hard drive fills up, and you need to free up space. Before we do that, we just need to consider 3-2-1: if you delete something from your Mac, that means that you have to copy that stuff to a 3rd destination.

The easiest solution for that is simply another external drive. Think of it as an archive—you know you’ve got the data on Time Machine and Crashplan, so you can either do a manual, organized copy to the Archive Drive, or set some different software to automatically build the archive as you go, depending on your workflow.

It’s worth noting that Apple will release Mountain Lion this summer, which will let you set Time Machine copying to multiple drives. That’s going to ease a lot of our decisions in this arena.

Give us a call. We’ll help you choose the right devices, at the price that fits.