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External Hard Drive Backup and Data Recovery

During install Backblaze will backup any USB or Firewire hard drive you have attached to your computer. You can also add external hard drives from the Backblaze Settings panel.

Adding an External Hard Drive for Backup

You can add an external hard drive by opening the Backblaze Settings panel and clicking the "Settings..." button.

What Does Not Get Backed Up

Network (NAS) drives, remotely mounted computers or volumes, or shared volumes do not get backed up. The reason for this is not technical, but a business decision. Backing up mounted or network drives can easily be abused. A user could mount the 10 or 20 computers in their home or small business and back them all up to one account for $5/month. We are evaluating a service that would backup NAS drives for a small per GB fee.

TimeMachine drives do not get backed up. If you partition your drive into two parts; one partition for TimeMachine, and one partition for data, Backblaze will backup the data partition. We created a PDF to help users interested in partitioning their TimeMachine drive that you can download here.

Virtual Machines like Virtual PC, VMWare Fusion, Parallels excluded by default from backup unless another copy of Backblaze is installed on the virtual machine. However, these exclusions can be removed. Please note that these files are often very large and change each time they are accessed; thus, this could continually use your network to back them up.

How Do I Know my External Hard Drive is Being Backed Up Online

The best way to know for sure if a file on your external hard drive is being backed up online, is to sign into the Backblaze site and click "View/Restore Files". Another option is to view the "Files Scheduled for Backup" log in the settings panel. This log shows the next 1,000 files scheduled for backup

Backing Up External Drives After Renaming

If you change the name of your external hard drive, you will need to reselect it for online backup in the Backblaze settings panel.

Unplugged External Hard Drives

Backblaze works best if you leave the external hard drive attached to your computer all the time. However, Backblaze will backup external USB and Firewire hard drives that are detached and re-attached as long as you remember to re-attach the hard drive at least once every 30 days.  If the drive is detached for more than 30 days, Backblaze software interprets this as data that has been permanently deleted and securely deletes the copy from the Backblaze datacenter. The 30 day countdown is only for drives that have been unplugged. There is no countdown for local files.

If you are going on vacation for a long time, you can shut down your computer with the external drive attached. Backblaze does not detect that the external drive has been unplugged and won't start the 30-day countdown. You can then leave your computer off and unplug your external drive for six months, and Backblaze will still keep all your files backed up including those on your external drive. When you come back from vacation, make sure to plug your external drive back in BEFORE you turn your computer on.

When an external drive is plugged back in, it may take Backblaze a minute or two hours to schedule the files on the external drive to be backed up online.

Backup Files Seem to have Disappeared

This is usually because Backblaze backup software mirrors your computer. When you remove a file, Backblaze removes those files from the backup set. However, for up to 30 days after a file was removed you can still view and restore your files by selecting an older backup set from the pull-down menu next to "Files backed up till:".