We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you a podcast all about Citrix Workspace, moving to the cloud, and analytics & intelligence. Episode 2 coming soon!Listen Now


Backup tape was overwritten + corrupt .bkf restore - What are my options? Utilities?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I was asked to restore an e-mail backup from a couple of years ago. The Exchange files are dumped to a .bkf file and then written to tape. I tried to restore this but it crapped out about 70% of the way through. Out of 150GB, there'a bout 115GB of that .bkf written.

Due to negligence, the tape was then overwritten by an overzealous DB backup when there weren't enough tapes to write to.

Questions are these:

Is there anything that you can do with a partially written .bkf file?
Is there anyway to recover data from a tape that has been overwritten?

We'd like to view the contents of the .bkf and check for any intact Exchange databases but I'm not sure it's possible. If anyone has any tools they can recommend, we're very interested.
Watch Question

Expert of the Quarter 2009
Expert of the Year 2009

You need to speak to a data recovery company. They might be able to recover something, whether there is enough to recover from is a different matter.



Do you know if there are any utilities. I know tape isn't a hard drive so the same rules don't apply but maybe some utilities exist.

If I'm screwed, I'm screwed... I just wanted to put out the request for anyone that's been in a similar situation.
Expert of the Quarter 2009
Expert of the Year 2009

Everytime you touch the tape, you damage the data. If you need that data get it to a data recovery company.


With an LTO 2 tape, you will almost certainly not be able to get any of the old data off from any of the over-written section. A data recovery bureau MAY be able to retrieve the data AFTER the overwritten section, but if the original data was the same length or shorter than the overwrite, you're almost certainly screwed.

However, the data recovery bureau should be able to retrieve whatever's in the first 115GB chunk of the BKF file, assuming you've held onto it.

Whereabouts are you?


I am in Phoenix, Arizona and not far from Tempe, Arizona.

Thanks for the information. I did hold on to the 115GB chunk just to keep all potential options available.
Hmm, I'm in Britain so I can't help you. Ontrack probably can (www.ontrack.com), but be prepared to pay through the nose for it : (

Time to get googling for some competitive quotes, I think...

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.