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Cataloging old media

I was trying to restore some files from an external USB Drive that is no longer in the Backup Exec database. So I was going to do an Inventory and Catalog.

It was my understanding (from a similar issue a fwe weeks ago) that I had to configure the Storage Media when I plugged in the Drive (otherwise the drive is read as Drive 0001 or something generic).

Once I configured the drive, all my data was wiped out. 

So, two questions, 1.) can I "undelete" my bkf files (i can still see them in several different undelete programs including NTFSUndelete in linux) and 2.) what is the proper method for re-instating old backup media?

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8 Replies

Re: Cataloging old media

BEX 15 can import legacy B2D folders that were created by older BEX versions, but AFAIK it cannot import B2D storage that is using the "new" format (I'd love to be corrected here!).

You can try to undelete the .BKF files and then inventory and catalog the B2D storage. Success is not guaranteed (undelete is tricky).

For importing B2D storage that is using the "new" B2D format, the following procedure should work (not tested)

* Create new B2D storage on an empty drive

* Copy the .BKF files from the old drive to the new B2D storage

* Inventory and catalog the new B2D storage



Re: Cataloging old media

This might have been caused by DLM - did you copy in or still have the original catalogs for the backup sets in that USB drive present on the Backup Exec server - as if you did within 1 hour of reconfiguring the drive it will reclaim/delete any expired sets and I suspect all of the sets were expired.

Normally Backup Exec 15 marks a USB disk that has been offline for longer than a couple of weeks as Read Only just to cover for such situations  - however this only happens if you leave the drive in question configured in Backup Exec and don't delete it. Note: You can also set Read Only manually in the properies of the device inside of Backup Exec.

Next the DLM expiry is in part maintained by the catalogs so if you don't have the original catalogs Backup Exec (afaik) should stick on 1 year expiry as new catalogs are generated.


Finally if you are not sure about the status of any disk containing backups sets you are about to reconnect to a Backup Exec server than you can always disable DLM using the information in this article:

After using this article and getting the drive visible and cataloged inside of BE you could then manually set the read only status on the drive which would then allow you to re-enable DLM against other devices and you can use the retain settings to change specific expiry on Backup sets as well.



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Re: Cataloging old media

it sounds like i just need to disable DLM. the USB drive catalogs are gone, and i had deleted the device from BE. when i plugged the drive in a few months later, it appears as Drive 0001 and i figured i would do an inventory on it (thinking that "inventory" was just going to look at the drive and see if it found any Backup Exec identifiers that would signal the application to say "hey this drive was used for backup! it used to be called 'such and such'")

that didn't happen. running the Inventory just deleted the 4.5TB i had on the drive.

anyone know how to recover that?? "undelete" apps can see the bkf files but can't seem to actually bring them back. (even tried "ntfsundelete" under linux)

Re: Cataloging old media

Not sure how you know that the catalogs were gone before your data was deleted - as when we do reclaim/delete data from a device we also delete the catalogs - which kind of means if you are checking this after the fact it is too late to confirm.


Your real mistake was deleting the device (in combination with the catalogs for the backup sets on it almost certainly still being present.) - I will be doing some test on this just to confirm the scenario.


If you had left BE aware of the device, then it would have automatically been marked as read only once it had been offline for an extended period (default for NAS & USB is after 2 weeks, default for Removable/RDX cartridges is after 4 weeks)

If you are in the habbit of deleting such devices (or possibly have other devices in then same state already) then your only (long term) solution is to disable DLM before re-attaching the devices and then either set specific retains on the sets on the device OR mark the device as Read only manually in its properties (which will then allow you to re-enable DLM)


For the short term I cannot help with your undelete problem however you may have to send the drive to a specialist company if available software cannot recover the bkf files.

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Re: Cataloging old media

Ok so from my tests today - this has nothing to do with whether the catalogs remain present or not and directly relates to removing a disk storage device completely from Backup Exec instead of leaving it managed by Backup Exec but recorded as offline for long enough to go read only.

As previously mentioned if you have any other disks in the same state that still contain backup sets then disable DLM with the registry change + service restart  before you reconfigure the drives.


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Re: Cataloging old media

There is one minor link for having the existing catalogs or not - the problem may occur only after an inventory if you have the catalog files still on the server, but will need an inventory and catalog to occur if you don't have the existing catalog files.

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Re: Cataloging old media

Just for info - I have passed this scenario over to our engineering team for them to review, just to see if we can provide a mechanism to avoid the unfortunate result of this scenario in the future.


For the time being disabling DLM using the registry details provided in the link (and then using the retain or change of expiration capabilies to protect any older exired sets that might be needed for restores) is the best answer

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Re: Cataloging old media

i appreciate all the replies!  i haven't yet had a chance to look over them, but it seems that my take away will be to just disable DLM via the registry - which seems really archaic - and then go through all my backup media and set everything to retention.

in the mean time, i made a video that shows what i'm doing. it seems that my biggest flaw was that i removed the media from Backup Exec