Backup your Drobo 5N to CrashPlan Central

Drawing of streets on paper with toy cars on top.
A crash plan before CrashPlan.

Below are the steps for creating a Drobo read-only user, creating a batch file to automatically mount your share, setting up a task to automatically execute your batch file when your computer logs on, and last but not least, adding the new share to CrashPlan for backup.

Create a read-only Drobo user

  1. Open the Drobo dashboard
  2. Click on Shared toward the right
  3. Make sure you are logged in as the admin
  4. Click on the Share Settings button below
  5. Switch to the Users view
  6. Click on the Add button below
  7. Enter a username and password, press OK
  8. Switch back to the Shares view
  9. Ensure the user has read-only access to the share you want to backup

Create a batch file to mount Drobo share to the computer

  1. Open Notepad – Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad
  2. Paste the following line of code: net use {DRIVE LETTER}: \\{DROBO IP}\{SHARE NAME} /USER:{DROBO IP}\{DROBO USERNAME} {DROBO PASSWORD} >> C:\Users\{PC USERNAME}\drobo.log 2>&1 2>&1
  3. Replace {DRIVE LETTER} with a letter on where you want to mount the share, for example Z.
  4. Replace {DROBO IP} with the IP address assigned to your Drobo, for example, You can find the IP address in the Drobo dashboard by clicking on Status and then selecting Network Information from the drop-down.
  5. Replace {SHARE NAME} with the name of the share you want to assign to that drive letter, for example, Photos. Your shares are listed under Shares in the Drobo dashboard.
  6. Replace {DROBO USERNAME} and {DROBO PASSWORD} with the username and password you created earlier in step #7.
  7. Replace {PC USERNAME} with the username you use to login to your computer, for example, Ryan.
  8. The final code might look something like this: net use Z: \\\Photos /USER:\crashplan hU8CvRw9 >> C:\Users\Ryan\drobo.log 2>&1 2>&1
  9. Save the file as drobo.bat in your home directory, for example, Ryan.

Storing the drobo.bat and drobo.log files in your home directory is just one option. You can really store them anywhere you like.

Setup a task to execute your batch file when your computer logs on

  1. Open Task Scheduler – Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Task Scheduler
  2. Go to Action > Create Task to create a new task
  3. Enter a name like Drobo Share for CrashPlan
  4. Click on the Change User or Group… button
  5. In the text field enter the word SYSTEM and press OK
  6. Click on the Triggers tab
  7. Click on the New… button
  8. Select the task called At log on from the drop-down and press OK
  9. Click on the Actions tab
  10. Click on the New… button
  11. Ensure Start a program… is selected as the action
  12. Click on the Browse… button and select the drobo.bat file you create earlier and press OK
  13. Press OK to create the task
  14. Restart your computer so the share can be automatically mounted

Once the computer restarts, your newly added drive will appear as “Disconnected Network Drive,” which is to be expected.

Add your new share to CrashPlan for backup

  1. Open CrashPlan
  2. Make sure you are on the Backup tab
  3. Click on the Change… button
  4. Select your Z: drive (or whatever letter you decided to assign)
  5. Press Save

CrashPlan should start indexing all your files on the Drobo share and begin backing them up right after. If you have more than one share, you can repeat the code for as many shares as you have (one line per share).

If you have any questions or problems, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Featured image by Markus Spiske.

Comments (18)

Previously posted in WordPress and transferred to Ghost.

March 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Very good…worked well.

Interesting thing I noticed…

I implemented your solution in an effort to allow a brother (who lives in another state) to use some excess capacity on the Drobo. Prior to implementing your solution I had configured Windows 7 Pro to backup to Drobo 5N (and was working well). After I added batch file I noticed, while attempting to make a change to the backup settings, that I could no longer connect to the network share. It would error out with the following:

The specified network location cannot be used. Verify the path points to a correct network location and that the supplied credentials can be used for write access to the folder.

*Details*: The network path was either typed incorrectly, does not exist, or the network provider is not currently available. Please try retyping the path or contact your network administrator. (0x800704B3)

It wasn’t until I removed the batch file task/routine that I was able to reconnect.

I believe the problem might have been this:

Note from the link: “In my experience, mounting a network drive can lead to problems with other network drives if the credentials are different. Say you’re using \\server\data as user chris and \\server\backuplocation as user administrator, then you can only “net use” one of them simultaneously.”

I tried a few solutions to get around this…but since I am mostly a novice at this stuff…not sure if I will be able to get Windows Backup and CrashPlan to work together.

Ryan Sechrest
March 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for flagging this. I haven’t run into any issues with other network resources, but I also don’t use different set of credentials. You might try creating a Drobo account with the same username and password or perhaps try setting up the net use without credentials.

September 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Brilliant. I just finished backing up my desktop and looked for how to backup what’s on my drobo and found this post. 2 minutes later I’m backing everything up.

Thank you.

February 1, 2015 at 12:29 am

Hi Ryan,
Is there any reason this wouldn’t work on Win8 with a Drobo 5N today?

I’ve followed the steps, the .bat appears to run, but the drive doesn’t mount.

Ryan Sechrest
February 2, 2015 at 8:51 am


I don’t know for sure, because I’m not running Windows 8, but try running the command in the bat file manually to see if there are any errors. That’s the only part I can see breaking down.

February 3, 2015 at 3:44 am

I’ve run it manually to no avail.

Could this be because my Drobo is network attached?

Ryan SechrestPost authorFebruary 3, 2015 at 8:51 am

No, because I set it up with my Drobo 5N on Windows 7, which was network-attached as well. I’m assuming you already ensured that the IP addresses match and that the user account was created successfully? Is there anything in the drobo.log file? Can you access the mounted Drobo normally at the indicated drive letter? Is it just not showing up in CrashPlan?

February 7, 2015 at 3:06 am

Yes, good assumptions. I checked those details (IP, User & PW, Account created successfully)

Yes, I can access the network attached drive under the selected letter but it doesn’t show up in Crashplan because it’s still a Network Attached drive and hasn’t mounted via the bat.

As far as I can tell, no drobo.log file has been created.

February 7, 2015 at 3:15 am

Ok… I’ve just realised what I did wrong.

And I’d rather not admit it online.

Ryan Sechrest
February 7, 2015 at 4:24 am

If there is anything I should add or note in my directions to prevent others from missing something as well, let me know, but glad to hear it’s working for you now.

February 7, 2015 at 3:28 am

Also – Instructions work perfectly. Thanks!

April 29, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Hey Ryan,
So after it working successfully for a full backup, the bat. no longer mounts the drive.

I’ve tried reassigning the drive to another letter (e.g. changed Z: to Q:) but doesn’t make a difference.

Is there any known issue that would stop it working after a time?

April 29, 2015 at 7:42 pm

The bat. is working but attaching as a network drive so it’s no longer working for backup (e.g. Crashplan)

Ryan Sechrest
April 30, 2015 at 11:50 am

In other words, because it’s attaching as a network drive now, it doesn’t appear in CrashPlan as a physical drive that can be backed up?

May 3, 2015 at 12:12 am

Sure – As best I can tell, now the bat. isn’t doing anything.

Won’t mount. I’ve tried many things including deleting it and the task and rewriting from scratch.

May 12, 2015 at 5:45 am

I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with it.

The bat. connects the Drobo share -> Backup works, etc… -> Shutdown PC

What happens now is the Drobo still has that drive mounted.

Restart PC, bat. does nothing as the drive is mounted as Network drive (the Drobo dashboard maps the drive as it was still mapped in the drobo).

Makes sense?

May 12, 2015 at 3:31 am

Any ideas why it wouldn’t be working?

michael madison
May 21, 2015 at 11:46 am

where can I find info on this for Mac?