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Windows Server 2012 -- restore 75 day old file

Does anyone have an easy way then
the below to FIND the lost file since
I am willing to DROP "BackupExec 2012"
for a DAS, SAN, etc ?
------------------------------------------------------
User calls saying they created a file
sometime on 6/3/14, saved it, waited
a few months, and cannot find it now,
stating that they might have MOVED it
to a different location or deleted
it in the last 75 days.

I currently have BackupExec 2012 and
lots of tapes which makes the process of
"finding all times a file has been modified
or deleted in the last 75 days" VERY slow.
------------------------------------------------------
Steps, if using "incremental" BACKUPS
       ** restore 5/30/14 "FULL" end-of-month backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/02/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/03/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/04/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/05/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there

       ** restore 6/06/14 "FULL" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/09/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/10/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/11/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/12/14 "incremental" backup,
            see file is NOT there
------------------------------------------------------
Steps, if using "differential" BACKUPS
       ** restore 5/30/14 "FULL" end-of-month backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/03/14 "differential" backup,
            see file is NOT there

       ** restore 6/06/14 "FULL" backup,
            see file is NOT there
       ** restore 6/12/14 "differential" backup,
            see file is NOT there
0
finance_teacher
Asked:
finance_teacher
2 Solutions
 
Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Anything that makes itself visible to windows previous versions would let you properties the folder and see any version that was different. For example I rsync my share to a FreeBSD box with a zfs share and take a snapshot every hour. These snapshots are setup with previous versions support. So when I need to retrieve a file, I browse to the SMB share of the zfs and right click show previous versions.

I know windows backup also ties to previous versions, not sure what else.
0
 
SelfGovernCommented:
I'd first perform a search on the user's machine for the file using keywords -- some content in the file that would help to identify it.
If it was a document created in Word or Excel or other office applications, there is often a useful find utility that will only search for documents of that application's type (i.e., in excel, it will only search for Excel-related docs).  Start your search at the root directory, and it will search subfolders.

If neither of the above work, look in BE's catalog and see if you can find it (this requires knowing the original file name, or at least some useful part of it).

If you're using incremental backups, you're right that to some extent you're out of luck.  However, if you're using differential backups, you may well be able to restore the full and differential from half-way through and see if the file is there.  If it is, and the user hadn't modified it until it was "lost", then the copy you find should be good enough.  If it's not found there, go half-way back to day one again and see if you can find it, repeating until you find the file.

This type of problem is one reason why people are moving to backup appliances like HP's StoreOnce or EMC's Data Domain -- you get to keep a lot of data in a relatively small amount of space, and can perform restores of individual files relatively easily and quickly.  There is a hardware cost, so it's not a "no brainer', and you can't keep data on them forever (typically 3-6 months), so you'll still want to use tape for your long-term archives.  

By the way, the problems you're having with trying to restore from a 75-day set of incrementals is one reason that people perform a periodic full backup -- once a week, typically.   Makes the restore much less trouble, and gives a much higher chance of success.
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