Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

FAQ: Data Protection Service

The Data Protection Service syncs up your data anytime your computer is connected to any network. There is no need to be on the campus network to protect your data. Unlike archived backups (TiBS), this is a data protection service that will only sync data from your user profile. Visit the Data Protection Service page for more detailed information about this service.

The data protection system used is Code42 CrashPlan. Here are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about the SCS Data Protection service.

How do I subscribe to have my data protected? To subscribe, register your computer for Data Protection via our Equipment Registration form.

Is my laptop eligible for this service? Any laptop that is running one of the operating systems supported by SCS Computing Facilities is eligible for this service. Unlike archived backups (TiBs), network and software support are not required to enroll in the Data Protection Service.

How can I determine if my data is being protected? You should see an icon in your system tray or task bar for the Code42 CrashPlan client, or you can start the client manually through the Start menu. On the main client page, click on Tools/History and it will show the last time the client successfully copied files to the server.

Which files are protected by this service? All files that are located in the Users folder are automatically defined to be synchronized to the server for backup. In addition, all files in your user profile are copied, as well as certain system and application settings. File types that are not synced are:

  •  .vmdk
  • .iso
  • .vmem
  • .vmsn

Is there a limit on the amount of data that can be protected? Currently, there is no limit of data per person.

How does this service differ from traditional backups? Unlike traditional backups, this is a data protection service that will only sync data in your user profile. The SCS Data Protection service does not back up system files. Restores initiated using this service cannot be used to restore/rebuild a broken computer.


Data Protection (CrashPlan)

Archiving (TiBS)

Available from any network?



Self service restore?



Restore to other system?



Data retention period?

6 months


Data limit?



Customize backup files?



System restore possible?



Data written to tape?



Other support charges required?




Can I limit how much network and CPU is used by this service? The amount of network bandwidth and system CPU consumed by the client can be adjusted from the "Tools/Options" page in the Code42 CrashPlan client. We recommend that you not change these settings unless directed to do so by SCS Computing Facilities; changing these settings may prevent the Data Protection Services from working correctly.

How do I restore my data? You can restore data that has been copied to the SCS Data Protection server yourself using the Code42 client.

To perform a self-initiated, selective restore, you can use the Code42 CrashPlan client following these steps:

  • Open Code42 CrashPlan client by clicking the tray icon.
  • Click the "gear" icon and click "open Code 42".
  • Click the "Get Files" button next to your device.
  • Select the checkboxes for the desired folders and files for restoration.
  • Click "Get Files".
  • Select the destination you want to save the files to.
  • Select overwrite or rename option if same file exists in target directory.
  • Do not change permissions. (Should be set to "Current")
  • Click "Go".
  • *A Download Activity window will display the restore progress.

To perform a full restore (after having your SCS computer rebuilt), you can use the Code42 client following these steps:

  • Install Code42 client. This will require your Andrew credentials. 
  • "Set Up Device".
  • Select "Replace Existing", and click" Start".
  • Select the device that you're replacing by hostname.
  • Click "Select Files".
  • Select entire drive (C:\ folder on Windows, Macintosh HD on macOS) and check the box.
  • Click "Get Files".
  • Save selected files to: "Original Location".
  • If the file already exists: "Overwrite".
  • Do not change permissions: "Current" should be selected.
  • Click "Go". (Wait for download to complete).
  • Click "Continue".
  • Click "Next".
  • Click "Continue".
  • Enter your Andrew credentials.
  • Restoration complete.

How long will my data be protected? Currently there is a 6 month data retention period. The most recent copy of your synced data will always be available as long as you are subscribed to the service.

If my computer crashes, can I use this service to restore my documents? Yes. The SCS Data Protection service backs up all files under your user profile. You can use the Code42 CrashPlan client to restore your files to another computer.

If my computer crashes, can I use this service to restore my operating system? No. The SCS Data Protection service is not designed to do full system backups and restores.