Latest Adobe Creative Cloud Update Breaks Backblaze

February 12th, 2016

Adobe Systems recently pushed an update to their Adobe Suite of products and services. On the Mac platform, updating one of these services, Adobe Creative Cloud (version: 3.5.0.206), will disable Backblaze from backing up your primary computer drive. This occurs once you have updated to the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud. This does not appear to happen on Windows systems. Backblaze has created a work-around to this problem which you can find on our Knowledge Base.

Update: 14 February 2016

We have tested the latest Adobe Creative Cloud release (3.5.1.209) and it appears to have fixed the original bug. We have published an analysis and timeline of the issue on our blog.

Update: 14 February 2016

Adobe has notified us that they have created and scheduled for update a new version of Adobe Creative Cloud (3.5.1.209) that fixes the bug noted in the post below. We will test their updated version and let you know what we find.

Update: 12 February 2016

Adobe has told us that they have pulled the Creative Cloud update (3.5.0.206) and they are actively working on a permanent solution. Stay tuned.

Original Post is Below

Background

The updated version of Adobe Creative Cloud (3.5.0.206) can delete files that Backblaze stores on the Mac system to manage the backup of that system. These files are in a hidden folder named .bzvol located in the “root” directory on the Mac system. When the updated version of Adobe Creative Cloud is started is deletes all the files located in the .bzvol folder. This disables Backblaze from backing up your primary hard drive and results in Backblaze displaying a pop-up similar to the following.

Backblaze Notifier

Here are two videos which show this in action: Video 1 and Video 2.

What This Means to Backblaze Users

If you have Adobe Creative Cloud on your Mac system and you have updated or will update to the latest version, it is highly likely that the Backblaze backup of your hard drive will stop. Any connected external hard drives will continue to be backed up. If you are a Windows user, this does not appear to be an issue.

The Backblaze Workaround

Backblaze has created a work-around that stops the Adobe Creative Cloud update from breaking your Backblaze backup. The instructions are located in our Knowledge Base. The instructions also cover what to do if you have already updated to Adobe Creative Cloud and have received the Backblaze pop-up noted above.

Should You Update Adobe Creative Cloud?

We have notified Adobe and the issue has been escalated within their organization. If you have not been auto-updated to Adobe Creative Cloud and have a choice to update manually, we recommend that you wait for a few days.

Andy Klein

Andy Klein

Andy has 20+ years experience in technology marketing. He has shared his expertise in computer security and data backup at the Federal Trade Commission, Rootstech, RSA and over 100 other events. His current passion is to get everyone to back up their data before it's too late.
Andy Klein

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  • 3901

    Backblaze can thank Adobe for losing this user. My boot drive wasn’t being backed up and no explanation for why the .bzvol folder was constantly deleted, so I went back to CrashPlan.

    • We’ll send them a bill ;-) enjoy CrashPlan, they’re a good group of folks too!

  • Linda Ekstrum

    Just wondering. I did update Adobe but I have not received a Backblaze warning and my two drives seem to be backed up appropriately. Do I still need to take this precaution?

  • yrsued

    Adobe just pushed a Creative Cloud Update about 30 minutes ago.

    I’m in wait and see mode now

  • John R

    I am disgusted at Adobe. A quick Google search and the only sites that appear are here, petapixel, Mac rumours and Mac World. Why aren’t Adobe contacting every user that has auto updated and warned / advised them? It is only chance that I have discovered that my machine is affected. This is negligence.

  • cozmot

    This isn’t anything deliberate, I’m sure, by Adobe, but another instance of their sloppy programming. Adobe is the bane of online security with its dreadful Flash, and its programs are bloated and slow.

  • samoleg

    Link “The instructions are located in our Knowledge Base” leads on main help page. Have to search for instructions myself? Wasn’t it easy to put DIRECT link for instructions?

  • LDMartin1959

    More and more Adobe shows itself to be a company that puts out schlock software. I really wish someone would come up with a really good replacement for Photoshop (please don’t say GIMP ‘cuz it isn’t a good replacement), then I’d be done with them.

    • Jim Campbell

      Affinity Photo is about 90% there as a PS replacement and is very reasonably priced for a traditional perpetual license. I say that as a PS user since v1.0 and CS6 holdout…

  • Chris Macho

    Hi guys, appreciate the blog post, but even after reading this I had to hunt for what to do if my CC has updated and what I should be doing now that it is broken. For anyone else, here it is: https://backblaze.zendesk.com/entries/98786348

    • Sorry we didn’t make it clearer Chris, thanks for linking again!

  • Stephanie

    Of COURSE I got the email on this about 2 hours after having run the update! But, I got lucky, in that there were some much older filenames in the main directory. Oddly, in viewing the directory from 2 days ago from my Time Machine backup, it appears those old files weren’t deleted at all. I suppose I should consider myself really lucky! I’m not certain which apps own the older files (cryptic names), but I’m hoping this Cloud Update doesn’t mess with anything else in there!

    Thanks for the VERY prompt head’s-up!

    • Sorry we couldn’t get there sooner for you!

      • Stephanie

        No, I wasn’t being facetious! I really meant thank you – you were VERY fast about it! Seriously, some companies would have waited for complaints before ever informing their customers (Note how Adobe’s said NOTHING), and you informed us within what must have been a maximum of 2 hours! That really is impressive! I really do thank you. I just wish Adobe’d pulled it 2 hours earlier! It’s their fault, not yours.

        Seriously – Thank you for coming out with not only a warning, but a workaround solution really really quickly.

        • You bet Stephanie! We just got lucky because we had a “.bzvol issue” pop-up that acted like an early warning system in this case. It worked out in our favor! Thanks for sticking with us :)

          • Robert Trevellyan

            Don’t be so modest. Having that popup is good engineering.

  • Bruno Quinquet

    Hello, thank you for you support.
    Before I could find the workaround information, I simply copied the
    .bzvol file contents from a time machine backup. I thought I was safe
    because my “Latest File Uploaded” status updated from “1 day ago” to
    “Today”. However, this morning (Sat 13th Japan Time), I had the dreaded
    message again and .bzvol is empty. I guess I am going to follow the
    “.bzvol is missing” instructions.

    Does this mean that Adobe
    repeatedly erases the folder (not only on install)? Or that Backblaze
    doesn’t recognize my copy as valid?

    • It’s repeatedly being erased. I’ve done the same thing and determined this. Follow the instructions in the KB article to create an effective workaround. https://backblaze.zendesk.com/entries/98786348

    • It will continue to erase the contents of that folder. The solution is to create a “sacrificial folder” that is alphabetically lower, so if you create “/.adobe_erases_this_folder” folder, then the contents of that new folder are erased instead of your other folders (as long as the above is alphabetically before all other folders). CAREFUL: not to create a folder that starts with a “space” (” “) because that sorts alphabetically before all other folders.

  • david foster

    If I have not received the error message can I assume that I do not have this issue?

    • David, you may not have been affected with your BACKBLAZE data, but if you have a hidden file on your root directory, or a file with a space at the front of the name, that data still might have been removed if you updated and signed in to Creative cloud on your Mac.

  • Adam Rosenberg

    After updating I also can’t get the back blaze icon to appear in the menu… it’s gone – tried toggling it off and on again in settings and no luck. Is this happening to anyone else?

  • Why are they deleting .bzvol in the first place?

    • Andy Klein

      It appears they deleted the files in the first folder they found alphabetically. We don’t believe it was intentionally aimed at Backblaze or .bzvol, we just happen to be early in the alphabet.

      • Yeah, I doubt that would be intentional, but it is odd behavior. Perhaps we need a meta-backblaze to backup our backblaze metadata.

      • Loren Pechtel

        That would be utterly inappropriate behavior. Why in the world would they ship a loose cannon like that??

        • It may be inappropriate, but we’re the ones who allowed CC to retain administrative privileges to automatically update in the first place. Poor practice on our part, present company included. I unchecked the auto update “feature” in CC as soon as I read this.

          • LDMartin1959

            The issue really isn’t about the automatic update. It’s a useful smokescreen but the real issue is Adobe’s software deleting files and folders essentially just for the h*ll of it, which is basically what they are doing: “Hey, we found a folder. Let’s delete it without checking what it is or if it’s even one of ours.”

          • Loren Pechtel

            Which is why I called it utterly inappropriate. You don’t kill something without being sure it’s what you want to kill.

    • Makes you wonder what other files Adobe has been deleting off our computers without our knowledge!