Resolve extreme scale from large manifest files for CrashPlan for Small Business


Extreme scale due to large manifest files can cause issues such as slow loading of file restore options, file restores that take a long time to complete, restores that time out, and problems with synchronization. This article describes what a file manifest is, what causes extreme scale, and what you do to resolve these issues. 

About large manifests

A manifest file is a binary file that stores the file paths in the archive. A history data file is a binary file that stores the version information of all backed up files. During the restore process, CrashPlan checks the manifest file to identify the path to use when restoring a file. CrashPlan also checks the history data file to confirm that the file exists and fetches the file for you.

Causes of extreme scale

Backup archives can reach extreme scale due to large manifest files as a result of:

  • Backing up file versions at a high frequency 
  • Retaining more file versions than necessary 
  • Backing up system or application files (like app data, temp data, file databases, and so on) that the CrashPlan app is not designed to back up. For more information, see What should you back up with CrashPlan for Small Business?

Recommended solution

You can manage the size of the manifest file and the history data file by updating your file selection, updating frequency and version settings, and changing the Remove deleted files setting.

Step 1: Reduce the file selection

Remove files and folders from your file selection: 

  1. Open the CrashPlan app. 
  2. Go to Manage files
  3. Uncheck the box next to:
    • Windows: C:
    • Mac: / or Macintosh HD 
  4. Verify any external drives you want backed up are selected. 
  5. Navigate to the folders and files you want backed up. User files are typically stored in a User directory or Home folder. 
  6. Select the check box next to the files and folders you want backed up. 

For detailed instructions, see Change the file selection (CrashPlan for Small Business).

Step 2: Update frequency and versions settings 

Updating the frequency and version settings for your backups can help reduce the size of your manifest file and the history data file, resolving issues with file restores and synchronization.

You can update frequency and version settings from the CrashPlan app or from the CrashPlan console. When adjusting these settings: 

  • Reduce the frequency of backups (from every 30 minutes to every hour, for example).
  • Decrease the number of file versions that are backed up.

Step 3: Start archive maintenance

To reduce the size of your backup archive and enact the file selection and file version changes from the previous steps, manually start archive maintenance:

  1. Sign in to the CrashPlan console. 
  2. Select Devices > Active from the navigation menu. 
  3. Select the device for which you want to start archive maintenance.
  4. From the device details, select the Archive Options icon Archive_Options_Icon-415-export.png.
  5. Select Maintain Archive.
    A message informs you that running archive maintenance may cause the archive to become unavailable for restore or backup until maintenance finishes. 
  6. Click OK.
    Your job is added to the queue. Depending on the size of the manifest being reduced and the number of changes you have made to your versions settings, archive maintenance may take over 24 hours to complete.

Next steps

  • You can confirm the issue is resolved when you can navigate the restore files options (from the CrashPlan app or the CrashPlan console) without experiencing any slowness.
  • If the issue does not improve, reach out to our technical support team for further assistance.
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