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How can I restore files from a tape created with NTBackup without a catalog of that backup?

Posted on 2014-01-30
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Last Modified: 2014-02-05
I need to restore some data from tape that was previously backed up. NTBackup is both the program used for backup and restore.

The issue:

In NTBackup, to perform a restore, you are required to select the files you wish to restore. The problem is there are no listed files to select, in effect, denying us the ability to restore.

Research:

Backups can be performed without error.

Restores can be performed without error (under the right conditions)

The pane that allows for the selection of files to restore in NTBackup is populated with files that have the extension V01 that reside in the  "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\catalogs51" directory

*.V01 files are catalog files generated by backups via NTBackup

Restores can be tested by doing a restore immediately after doing a backup. The restore works as expected and the restore pane is populated with the previously done backup's file list.

NTBackup, on startup, is selectively deleting V01 (catalog) files. The V01 files being deleted are files generated via a "backup to tape" process. V01 files generated via a "backup to file container" process are retained when NTBackup starts.

Archiving and replaceing V01 files after NTBackup has started does not make the catalogs visible in the restore pane. Also, replacing the V01 files after NTBackup has shut down and before it is started again has the effect of the V01 files still being deleted.

Current status:

At the moment all of our "assumed good" backups are useless as we can not restore files from them. The current operation of NTbackup is making it impossible. How can I get my files restored by either remedying the operation of NTbackup or by completely working around it?

Thanks,
D.
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Question by:DonovanV
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Author Comment

by:DonovanV
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Update: the described behavior is occurring in multiple versions of NTBackup.
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Expert Comment

by:ktaczala
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What is the OS?  Is this a server? or just a workstation?
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Author Comment

by:DonovanV
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Win 2k3 Server Standard SP2
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Author Comment

by:DonovanV
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Here are some images of the issue

Drives shows tape loaded
Media shown in pool
no entries to select from
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Expert Comment

by:Christopher Jay Wolff
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Can you check your registry to see  how many days of .v01 files are saved?
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Expert Comment

by:Christopher Jay Wolff
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You might also read this article from Microsoft about this problem in w2k.  It may still apply.  Of particular interest might be the paragraph under "More Information" that lists an alternate location per user, for restorable files rather than catalogs51.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325266


Hope this is helpful.
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Accepted Solution

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DonovanV earned 0 total points
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EE deleted my writeup for the fix on this issue as it timed out my login. I'm not going to rewrite it but I will link to my other write-ups I did.

Fix write up at BackupAssist forums

Fix write-up on ServerFault
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Author Closing Comment

by:DonovanV
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Exact fix for the problem
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