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WinXP Backup can't read file created just yesterday

Posted on 2004-10-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
After being notified that my machine had been compromised by some kind of BOT, I was required to re-image my system.

Prior to doing so, I ran a backup using the    WinXP Pro system's   All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Backup  utility to save various data files, shortcuts, and other items which were critical.

After re-imaging (requiring a low-level format) to an XP SP1 environment with a software firewall, applying SP2 and followon patches and activating antiviral protection, I now find that the backup program can't restore the backup file.  It reports a less-
than- useful

                "The backup file contains unrecognized data and cannot be used."

OK, so what recovery options do I have?  Is there some way to try to recover this backup file so I can restore some or all of its content?
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Question by:jlw011597
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9 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:nihlcat
ID: 12357391
This article from MS looks like it's right on.  I hope it works!:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;305381
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Expert Comment

by:nihlcat
ID: 12357471
Oops, actually that's not 'on' at all, that's for a backup made in 9x.  Duh.  Well, the backup file may contains hooks to your old registry.  I don't suppose you have a backup of that right?  Did you ever use the ASR process?  If not, I don't know if you will be able to proceed with this restoration, but I am hopeful someone can prove me wrong on this one...
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Expert Comment

by:nihlcat
ID: 12357909
I just tested in my lab and was able to restore one bkf file from one W2K box onto another with no problems.  I don't have 2 XP stations right now to test with.

I have found a BKF recovery tool and testing with it right now.  Seems to have promise:

http://www.backupwhiz.com/software/diskrecovery/othertools/bkfrecovery.html

  I'm still hoping someone else has a better answer though
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Author Comment

by:jlw011597
ID: 12358258
Only problem (following your link, I downloaded the trial and it CLAIMS it could work) is the price tag, I doubt my employer will consider the value of my lost work at $199 (it's my fault I didn't have a better backup, so it's my time to recover what I lost)
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:nihlcat
nihlcat earned 250 total points
ID: 12358306
Yeah, I was running the eval portion of it just now, and realized that it was only SHOWING me the files it could recover, not actually recovering.  I am irritated now!  There doesn't seem to be a good freeware app for doing this.
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
msice earned 250 total points
ID: 12359494
"my machine had been compromised by some kind of BOT" This could be the reason your backup file is corrupted. These folks might be worth a look http://www.payam.com.au/microsoft-bkf-backup-recovery.htm
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Author Comment

by:jlw011597
ID: 12359583
Indeed.  Why are all the companies that write these recovery programs based in Australia, I wonder?  (.au)

I found one that looks to be the solution but still wants $97 before it'll do the restore (RepairMyBackup).

At least it's a little cheaper.  These payam guys are even higher priced ($220) than the first one ($199).
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Author Comment

by:jlw011597
ID: 12606241
Wound up using RepairMyBackup (the $97 solution).  Licensing allows us to install this on a general unit Helpdesk workstation and recover any of our user's backups accessible to this workstation via the network, so since what I experienced will happen again, we'll have the investment spread over multiple users recoveries.

Apparently the BOT caused the corruption of the backup .BKF file, hense my accepting  msice's answer; however it really didn't feel right assiging all the points to that one user since it was nihlcat's comments that got me looking in the right directions to start with.  Thus, splitting the points.

Thanks!
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:nihlcat
ID: 12606256
Glad you have a resolution.  Sorry, it required som $$$...

Congrats!  =)
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