Reinstalling client after reinstalling Windows

I current have a laptop running Windows 32-bit that I’m going to be moving to Windows 64-bit which will require reinstalling Windows.

What is the necessary procedure such that when I re-install the urbackup client on the freshly formatted laptop that the urbackup server will recognize it as an existing client so that all previous backups are kept?

Use the same name for the computer

I’m fairly sure you also need to use the “download client for Windows” drop down list in the server, and select the right client name so you get an installer with the keys already set up.
Otherwise, as far as I understand, the server will think the new client is an imposter and reject it.

Alright, sounds like I don’t have to go fishing for the client key files then which is really what I was concerned about - thanks for the responses.

@alyandon did this work out for you? Did it maintain the previous backups on the server and not start all over despite a fresh windows install? I am in the same position of having to reformat my computer main OS drive.

Yes, downloading the client for that specific client through the server web UI as @tin suggested worked. The server recognized it as the old machine and all previous backups were kept.

I tried to move a user to a new laptop and it doesn’t allow access to the old backups. So maybe this only works if reinstalling on the same hardware, but if you change to a different computer for the same user then, you have to backup the keys so you can restore them on the new laptop.

You might be able to get around that if you added the option share_hashes on the old clients folders first, run one backup (incremental should be enough) and then add the new client and on the folders that are the same you also add the option share_hashes.

Share_hashes creates entries in the database with the hashes and then compare new backups if they exist in the database first, if so, they use the old files and just symlinks them (I think). It takes up a little bit of extra data (the hashes in the database f ex) but overall it saves a LOT of space since you share the actual data of the files between clients.

Just be mindful that if you add options to a directory, the default options gets removed so you have to manage that as well (won’t follow symlinks f ex).

If you then do not want to keep the old client in your urbackup you can remove it and the files SHOULD be relinked to the new client (the last part is the only thing I have not tried, I still have my old clients on my server, but all other works) and all other files/directories will be removed in the nightly cleanup.

After that you can also remove the option share_hashes and save some more space unless you want to share the files to another client ofc. ONLY if you deleted the old client ofc, otherwise you have to keep the share_hashes option or new files will be created.


You might be able to use the server_ident from the old client on the new, but since dowloading the client from the webgui did not work it might not work this way either.

It says that share_hashes is default. Is there other options that need to be set to allow this to work? I have tried it a few times now and I end up having to move the files manually to the new computer. The files are still linked to the account, but the windows client can’t see the old files or recover them themselves.

I… I honestly did not know that. LOL, thank you for informing me… I used it as an option and It just worked. (It also added quite a bit of data after me adding the option, maybe it was not default back then, this was a while ago).
But this option is between clients, not the same client.
I mean, it would work if you added a new client I guess, but the first backup would take long time, but not add much data.

Have you tried restoring them from the web gui?
The structure of the folders obv have to be exactly the same. (same letter on drives etc)