ZCB can store your backups on any Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. It can also back up data that exists on a NAS.

Some setup is required. The amandabackup user created by ZCB during installation must have access to the NAS device. The amandabackup user is integral to ZCB operations, and without proper permission, backup and restore operations will fail. Please see  What is the amandabackup user? for more details. 

The same setup is required to restore data from backups on a NAS.

Files on a NAS (or any other network location) cannot be backed up if they are open, locked, or in-use at the time of backup. ZCB uses VSS snapshots to back up files that are open, locked, or in-use on local disks, but snapshots cannot be extended to network locations. This includes NAS devices.

Such files will be skipped, and ZCB will attempt to back them up again during the next backup run. A warning will appear on the Monitor and/or Report pages in ZCB if any files are skipped.

ZCB will fail a backup run if too many files cannot be backed up. Please see Error: Backup failed for too many files... for more details.


Five basic steps must be performed before backup or restore involving a NAS device can function. 

  1. Create the amandabackup user on the NAS device
  2. Grant amandabackup permission to one or more folders
  3. Map the shared folder(s) to Windows
  4. Open Zmanda Cloud Backup and configure your backup set and select your shared folder(s)
  5. Start your backups

Example Setup

In this example, we will be configuring a Synology NAS device for use with ZCB. The NAS can be used as a local storage location for backups, files on the NAS itself can be backed up, or both.

Although the example text and screenshots will be specific to Synology devices, the basic steps will remain the same no matter what sort of device is in use. 

Step #1: Create amandabackup on the NAS device

Most NAS devices do not integrate with Windows or Active Directory, and thus amandabackup must be created manually via the device's control panel.

If amandabackup was added automatically, this step can be skipped.

The password chosen for amandabackup in the NAS must be exactly the same as the password for amandabackup on the machine where ZCB is installed.

In the Synology dashboard, users are created in Control Panel > User

Step 2: Grant amandabackup permission to one or more folders

Grant permissions to amandabackup to any folder you plan to utilize for backup purposes.

The exact steps will vary by manufacturer. For some devices, you may be able to add amandabackup to an administrators user group. On others, you must grant permissions explicitly to amandabackup

Some devices may allow you to grant Full Control to amandabackup, and this option should be used if available. If not available, amandabackup must have read/write permission to the folder. 

If you plan to save your backups to a folder on the NAS:

Create a new folder. This folder will be where your backups are saved. 

Synology users can create new shared folders easily via Control Panel > Shared Folder.

Then, grant amandabackup permissions to that folder.

Synology users, select your new folder in Control Panel > Shared Folder, then click Edit above. The edit menu will appear. Grant permission to amandabackup and any other users who need to access this folder. Here, you can see that Read/Write permissions were granted to amandabackup.


If you plan to back up data that is already on the NAS:

Find the folder(s) that contain your data. Give amandabackup read/write permission to all folders involved.

Synology users will still use Control Panel > Shared Folder.

Step 3: Map the shared folder(s) in Windows

Now we need to map the drives to Windows, so that the drives can be found from within the ZCB user interface.

In Windows Server 2008 R2 and above, the Map network drive... option can be easily found by right-clicking the Network or Computer items in Windows Explorer.

Launch the Map network drive wizard, then browse to your folder or enter the path to your NAS. 

The example Synology NAS can be found at \\HomeNAS\CSB Backups

Drive mapping options can also be found at the top of Windows Explorer windows. Drives may be mapped via other methods, such as Powershell or batch scripts. Older versions of Windows may behave differently.

Step 4: Open Zmanda Cloud Backup and select your shared folder(s)

Once permissions are set and the drive is mapped, the shared folders will be visible in ZCB.

You may select the folders for backup, or use the folder as a storage location, or both.

In this example, I've placed some files in the shared folder on the NAS. You can see the files in both Windows Explorer and in ZCB!

Step 5: Start your backups!

Simply save your backup set. Backups will begin automatically according to your chosen schedules. You can also use the Backup Now option to begin an immediate backup.