How to Restore Files and Folders from a File Server Backup

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You can access backed up files directly from the backup folder if the files are in a standard format, such as ZIP, or in their plain original file formats. All files of all types may also be restored using BackupChain’s restore function.

Optional: Select the backup task from the Backup Task List.

Select Restore from the main menu and proceed with Restore Files and Folders:

Then you need to fill in the details about the backup location. This information is usually preset with the task settings:

Note: You need to select the root folder in this step.

If you open the folder in Windows Explorer, the root folder may look like this:

Notice the C_ folder (for C: drive) and the BackupChain.config files. These files are necessary for restore operations.

Once you confirm the backup folder location, the backup set selection screen will open:

Selecting a Backup Set

BackupChain can restore a file/folder structure as it was at the time of backup, that is, it will restore only files that existed at the time of backup and restore the version of the file as it existed at the time of backup. Folders will be restored following the same principle.

Similar to above, you will be presented with a calendar view. Today’s date is shown in a color coded (blue) box. In the example above we see backups are available for the 16th, 18th, 19th, and 20th (bold). When we select the 20th (the most recent day is automatically preselected) BackupChain opens a list of backups to select from. On the 20th, there are several backups, the latest was taken at 2:28:04 PM.

Note: If we click Go Back now, BackupChain returns to the previous screen where the backup folder selection was made.

Choosing “I do not know when the data was backed up; show all data” will remove the calendar and present the cumulative view of all backup sets available in the backup store. This means that we won’t be able to restore the exact file/folder structure at a given time, but we can restore any file and folder and any file version we want.

This is useful when we don’t know for sure when a file or folder was deleted or backed up.

Restore Screen

Next, when you enter the Restore Screen, you open the folder structure to the left and navigate to the path you would like to restore:

To restore an entire folder, check the box in the tree to the left only. For example, you could select the node “HV2019” to obtain the latest version of each file in the folder. The latest version depends on the Restore Point filter at the top of the restore screen.

To restore a single file, click on the folder and you will see a file list to the right. At the top of our example is a file dated 9/25/2019 8:02:38 PM. Notice that as soon as you select a file at the top, the bottom half of the screen splits, and you receive a list with older versions of the same file appearing in reverse order, the newer ones at the top.

Important: If you want the latest file select the file at the top, by clicking the Restore box left of the file. Do not select the folder. To restore an older file version, select a file from the bottom list and check the Restore box, see example above. Do not select the file at the top half of the screen.

Hint: The entire screen and all three panels are resizable.

Hint: Use the date filter at the top to select a particular backup set or point in time.

Double-clicking on a file or clicking on the magnifying glass at the right of a file will open the Granular Restore option if it is a virtual machine disk and you have BackupChain Server Enterprise Edition installed, or it will selectively open and restore the selected individual file only. More information on Granular Restore may be found in the next sections that follow.

To proceed with the file restore click the Restore button at the bottom of the screen:

The Extraction Options Screen appears where you can enter a destination path. You may also enter a UNC network path as target. Note that the BackupChain’s Monitor application runs with your own user credentials and in your user session; hence, you may also use mapped drives and other network shares that you normally access.

Advanced Extraction Options

Select “Show Advanced Options” to change advanced extraction options, for example to enable restoring ACLs:

“Update Settings” controls how the files are to be restored. You have the option to overwrite all existing files without warning, extract only new files or new versions of existing files, or only new versions of existing files (refresh).

The section “File Retention Settings” determines what to do when a name clash occurs. The default is to ask before overwriting but you may also chose skipping files or automatic renaming.

The section “Miscellaneous Settings” contains three options:

1. The option “Don’t build folder tree” restores all files into a single folder.

2. Restore files to original location will use the folder information from the backup store to put the files back to the same original folder.

3. Password for decryption: Enter here the exact same password as entered in the backup task.

4. Temporary files folder: When restoring deduplicated files, BackupChain needs space for temporary files. Especially when you work with very large files you may need to provide a temporary file folder on a different (and faster) drive, if C: doesn’t have enough space left.

5. Restore ACL for directories and files restores the access control lists for each file and folder. Note this is only available if both file source and destination is NTFS.

Restore Progress

When you proceed with the restore operation, the restore progress screen opens:

In case of an error, check the logs via the View Logs screen for more information. The log viewer will open where you can export as HTML, amongst other options.

Restoring a Single File

If you want to restore a single file from a backup folder, simply double click on the file or click on the magnifying glass. Note: If you are using BackupChain Server Enterprise Edition and you select a virtual disk file (*.VDI, *.VMDK, *.VHD, *.VHDX) you can open the Granular Restore option and restore individual files and folders from inside a deduplicated or plain file virtual machine backup.

Once you click on the file you will see older file versions at the bottom half of the screen. In order to directly open one of those files, double click either on the latest version (above) or one of the older versions (list below). Instead of double-clicking you could also click the magnifying glass. For virtual disks, the screen above opens and you can pull out files and folders from the VHD without having to restore the entire VHD. For all other files that aren’t virtual disks, the following screen opens:

If you are dealing with an encrypted file you need to enter the password now. As you can see above, BackupChain uses a temporary folder on the system drive to restore the file. However, this may not be convenient for very large files. In those cases you may want to change the folder before clicking Open.

The option “open file using default program” can be unchecked so you can access the file directly from disk with any tool you like; otherwise, the default program registered with the file type will be called to open the file.

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