How do I restore files

Back when the hard drive was working I did a full file backup and did incremental backups. The hard drive I backed up has now died as expected and now I want to know how can I restore my files. I tried to do a full image backup but it wouldn’t work, it would only do incremental image backups. I backed up my all my things onto a second hard drive on my pc and have it. if there’s anyways to restore my things I would like to know thanks.

If you did a full file backup, followed by multiple incremental backups, to your backup drive you should be able to restore all those files to any drive of your choosing. From the Administration Manual:

9.2 Restoring file backups

When performing file backups UrBackup creates a file system snapshot identical to the client’s file system at that point in time. As such, you can simply make those file system snapshots available to the clients via any file sharing protocol or application, such as Windows file sharing (or samba), FTP/SFTP, WebDAV…

You can also create a user for client(s), which allows the user to browse all backups of the client(s) via the UrBackup web interface and download individual files or whole directories as ZIP (limited to max. 4GB).

Since UrBackup 2.0.x users can directly access the web interface from the client if a server URL is configured. Either they right-click on the UrBackup tray icon and then click “Access/restore backups” which opens the browser, or they can right click a file/directory in a backup path and then click on “Access/restore backups” to access all backups of a file/directory (only on Windows with Windows Explorer).

When browsing backups the web interface will show a restore button if the client is online. The restore will ask for user confirmation. If the client includes a GUI component (tray icon), the user confirmation will popup for all active users on the client to be restored. If not acknowledged in time (timeout) or if declined the restore will fail. You can change this behaviour in C:\Program files \UrBackup \args.txt by changing “default” to “server-confirms” on Windows, or by changing the restore setting in /etc/default/urbackupclient or /etc/sysconfig/urbackupclient on Linux.

UrBackup is setup this way because a theoretical data loss scenario is an attacker taking control of your backup server, deleting all backups and then deleting all files on the clients via restores.

On Linux (and the other operating systems) you can also restore via command line from the client using urbackupclientctl browse and urbackupclientctl restore-start.

You will need to install the UrBackup Server and Client on the machine you wish to use to do the file restoration, then browse your backups on the backup drive (you’ll probably only care about the most recent incremental, if all you’re looking to do is get everything back as it was when that last incremental backup was taken), and choose to restore from it.

Here are some screenshots:
The Server Backups Main Page:

You may have only one computer you were backing up, I had 2, and the backup drive is attached and the server has been set up to look on it for the backups to restore from.

The File Backups Page:

The last (most recent) incremental backup is shown at the top of the page and they get older as you go down the page. You’ll likely want to select the most recent backup, then you will see:

The Individual Backup Page:

It is from here that you can choose what you want to restore. I’m not going further because I don’t want or need to do a restore on the machine from which I’m grabbing these screenshots.

1 Like

I don’t know if I did something wrong when backing up but I can’t see the backups of my other drive on the web interface, it’s only showing the drive that I swapped in. Maybe there’s a way to get to get my old client but I can’t see my old one.

You really need to post some screenshots of what you’re doing.

There is no “old client” nor “old server” to get involved, unless the Server was on a separate machine from your client. I’m also really confused as to why a backup would be showing up on a drive you swapped in, unless you actually took what had been your backup drive and swapped it in as a replacement, in which case you’d need a different spot (most likely) to recover to.

There are just too many unknowns right now, and your descriptions of the sequence of events and what you have done is not nearly precise enough to give accurate guidance. I regret that, but at the moment it’s true.

1 Like

what screenshots do you need, I’m just really confused. The hard drive I swapped in was from my other pc so I’m basically using my other pc on this one, the hard drive that has the backup is still in my pc.

here is the drive that has my backup of my old drive.

here is the backups page, DESKTOP-H2U1V4U is the pc that’s backed up. the DESKTOP-H2U1V4U that you see in the screen shot isn’t the actual one, I just tried to add a new client but didn’t know what I was doing that’s why it’s showing.

Well, you’ve got a functioning Server from the looks of things and that server appears to be aware of the backups taken for DESKTOP-H2U1V4U, although I don’t know why the date for Last file backup is blank (unless, of course, it’s only reporting for the last file backup IT did, rather than the prior server did).

Have you double clicked on DESKTOP-H2U1V4U to drill down into what backups exist for that computer (AKA client for that computer that took them)? I gave a screenshot of the sort of thing you should see there as the second of my screenshots earlier. Then, if different folders were being backed up as separate entities, then then you would see something like I showed in the third screenshot for the Individual Backup Page. There would be one such as this for every backup listed in the “List of all backups” page, but you’d only be interested in the most recent one if you want to restore everything to its most recent state.

You’re not doing a “bare metal” system image restore, so the entire restoration process for files is handled within the UrBackup web interface.

1 Like

DESKTOP-H2U1V4U Is no longer accessible, the drive died for that vm. The reason on why it’s showing up is that I tried to add I new client and just typed the name in. I don’t think I can get access to the online backup of DESKTOP-H2U1V4U. Since I replaced the dead hard drive with one from a different pc that already had things on it I don’t think I can access the client of DESKTOP-H2U1V4U, that’s what I meant by “old client”.

You had to be backing up the computer (whether real or VM is irrelevant) on to some media, somewhere. It is that media that contains the backup from which you need to recover.

You can tell the Server to open up any backup media of your choosing, not just the one that’s active at the moment for taking ongoing backups.

Unfortunately, my machine that was hosting my server has gone “belly up” at the moment and I’m in the process of trying to fix it. So, I can’t do any step-by-step, screenshot-by-screenshot accounting of opening of backup media other than what UrBackup is using at the current time to back things up.

I don’t know of any recovery/restoration software that doesn’t allow you to choose the actual source drive/medium from which to restore, and it’s sometimes not necessarily the backup medium that’s in active use at that very moment.

1 Like

Oh I see, I have the drive that has the backup on it so I guess I’m good just need to know how to restore.

I’m sorry for confusing you and giving you a difficult time you’ve been very helpful, I’m very confused on these things myself as this is the first backup I’ve done on a drive ever.

Well, you’ve at least got one, and so long as you don’t overwrite it, you still have one.

You should be able to set the server to look in on that D: drive wherever you originally specified the backups to be put (which may just be on D:, I can’t know that) then go through the restore process.

See the Administration Manual for UrBackup Server 2.5.x, specifically Section 8.1.1 about setting the backup storage path in Global Server Settings. Once the server has been “pointed to” your existing backup archive, you should then be able to restore from it.

I can’t really be of much further help at the moment, as I still have not gotten my machine that’s been functioning as my server back online yet.

1 Like

I’m clueless on how to set the server to look on the D: drive, I read section 8.1.1 and it’s just so confusing.

Maybe these files could be helpful

You choose the repository location where the server looks for existing backups (and/or will create new ones) in the Settings panel:

Based on your previously offered screenshot, yours should be D:\BackupMain.

Look at what my repository folder has at its top level:

Once the server has been pointed to a repository location where the folder named urbackup exists, it should have access to any/all backups that were taken from the server instance that created them.

In my case, to continue the example, I’m going to stick with my first client. You may have only one client. If you have more than one, make sure to click on the one you wish to use for your file restoration. After you do, you will be taken into the Backups page for that client:

After clicking on the backup you wish to use (probably the most recent one), you’ll see:

From this point onward, I cannot be absolutely certain what you may or may not want to do. I am going to presume you will use a straight “Restore” for one or more of the folder hierarchies you elected to backup. In this case, I chose the Restore button for “Public” to illustrate the next thing you’ll see:

This is where I stop my walkthrough of the steps to restore from a repository taken earlier and where the “original server” that took that backup no longer exists or the client no longer exists. You can point the server at any UrBackup repository, and provided you point it at the correct folder for that repository, the rest of it is taken care of through the server as it will load what needs to be loaded from that repository to allow you to pick and choose as needed.

1 Like

I allowed the preparation process to complete, and when it reaches its end, and the restore is at the point where it could begin, you are presented with a dialog asking whether you want it to do so or not:


In my case I cancelled, as I have no reason to actually restore these files at the moment.

1 Like

I added followed the instructions, I wanted to wait a day to see if it’ll detect the backups that I did but it hasn’t. I don’t know what I did wrong. I haven’t changed anything on the backup drive at all so what could possibly be wrong.

I hope someone else has some suggestions. I am, at this point, entirely tapped out other than suggesting you might try restoring via the UrBackup Restore CD, but I don’t know why it would find anything that the server is not finding if you point it to the same repository. But it’s worth a try.

I say the following not to rub salt in what has got to be an open wound, but your situation proves the old saying among IT techs: “A backup is not a backup unless you can restore from it.” Any time you decide to use any new backup software, you should also be using something else you’re already familiar with, and continuing to do that until you have a chance to perform a successful restore with the new software. You have to practice doing restores when you know you aren’t under pressure and when you have two different options - one you know and have used, and a new one you’re trying to learn.

Right now I’m using EaseUS To Do Backup for my full system images, along with UrBackup for same, because I have already recovered via EaseUS on several occasions but have not yet done one from UrBackup.

As far as I see (this thread is a bit too long) you have a new server installation with old server’s storage attached. That is not enough, you also need to restore UrBackup’s database files so it knows about the clients, jobs etc.

Perhaps you will find them in D:\BackupMain\urbackup so just stop the server, copy/paste everythinf from that location to wherever your installation expects them to be e.g. /var/urbackup on proper os :wink:

Pretty sure this is what you’re talking about.

I copied the files from my server database backup on my other drive. I’m afraid that with me installing urbackup on my new drive and setting it to D:\BackupMain that it might have overwritten the database backup with the new one. It say that the files have been modified which doesn’t make sense unless they got overwritten.


Ok let’s start from the beginning. I’m making some assumptions here so just adjust where necessary.

Before the failure:
Two hard drives. C with your stuff and UrBackup installation, D as a backup storage. UrBackup was using C:\Program Files\whatever to store its configuration, databases etc. It was also making a copy of these in D:\whatever\urbackup\ just in case.

After the failure:
Replace C, install UrBackup server on it, attach D. Restore from D:\whatever\urbackup\ to C:\Program Files\ and then point UrBackup server to D: if necessary.

Now you did it other way around. Did it overwrite theses files? I’m not sure to be honest. I was always assuming that it is making a copy of databases at the same time with a regular backup job (which your new installation hasn’t done), but maybe it is a separate activity just like cleanup.

It’s something I definitely want to check next week when at work. If I were you, I would stop/disable UrBackup Server service and frantically look for VSS copy, restore point or whatever can hold D’s state from a couple of days before.

@Tassau From the manual:

If checked UrBackup will save a backup of its internal database in a subdirectory called ’urbackup’ in the backup storage path. This backup is done daily within the clean up time window.

I’m afraid this is bad news for you. Did you actually try to restore these databases etc from your D: drive?

Assuming that it was overwritten, all I can advise now is look into VSS snapshots of D: (if any) with something like NirSoft ShadowCopyView and double check that your first drive is really really dead - quite often you will get a lot of data with something like PhotoRec or Recuva. There is also a [very] small chance that they will be able to recover old version of these database files from your D: drive. Just keep in mind that, like with other tools, you can make things worse if used incorrectly.

Depending on how important and valuable all that data is, you can also try one of data recovery shops. They do wonders but it will be expensive.

Oh and the obvious option I didn’t mention - did you try to look around in the D:\BackupMain\oldcomputername directory? Your data is still there, not ideal with all these symlinks and I don’t know about Windows, but on Linux server it is still very much readable and not that difficult to get stuff back manually.

This is what I had presumed as well. And given what had been posted before the latest exchanges, it appeared that the eitire UrBackup database should have been in this user’s D:\BackupMain folder (but apparently isn’t, or was overwritten).

For my own education, is it safe to assume if you connect an old UrBackup’s repository to a new UrBackup Server, and then change the Backup Storage Path as shown in Post #11, that the Server is then able to use that Repository to restore from? I’d certainly hope so. If not, then how, exactly, do you go about telling a UrBackup Server that was not the creating server to use an alternative backup repository to restore from? This is a need that does arise.