Jun 262012

I thought about titling this ‘CrashPlan Crashes’ but realized it would not help others find it and it doesn’t really explain what was happening. I have been using CrashPlan for quite a while and have even upgraded to the family plan. But fairly recently, every time I opened the main CrashPlan program it would let me do my stuff for about 30 seconds then close down with no error message. The tray icon seemed to close as well.

I did some research and found the solution to the problem. It appears that something I am doing (probably the number of files I am backing up) causes the CrashPlan backup engine to run out of memory. The solution? Allocate more memory to CrashPlan.

The simple solution:

  1. Stop the CrashPlan backup engine
    1. Open Cmd window as admin (start window: cmd then ctrl-shift-enter)
    2. From the command prompt: net stop CrashPlanService
  2. Locate your favorite text-editor, right-click and Launch as Administrator
  3. Open the file: C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\CrashPlanService.ini
  4. Find the line containing: -Xmx512m (was the 4th line in my file)
  5. Edit to something larger such as 640, 768, 896, or 1024. E.g.: -Xmx1024m
  6. Save the file
  7. Start the backup engine
    1. From the command prompt: net start CrashPlanService

According to CrashPlan this number sets the maximum amount of memory that CrashPlan is allowed to use. CrashPlan will not use that much until it needs it. They recommend starting out setting it to 768, and go higher only if you continue experiencing problems. You can set it as high as 2048 on 32-bit systems, or even higher on 64-bit systems.

Sure enough, I changed it to 768 and have not had any problems.

Update: I got a new computer and on this one changing to -Xmx768m was not enough. After some more reading I changed 2 items on the line: -Xms512M -Xmx4096M. This solved my problem and may play with reducing them now to see when the problem pops back up. I discovered that the -Xmx switch determines the maximum amount of memory that will be used, while -Xms is the initial (minimum) size.