Using Backup to Restore Your Data


Topic Last Modified: 2005-04-26

The backup utility (Backup) in Windows Server 2003 helps you restore items (including files, folders, the System State data, and Exchange databases) that were previously backed up. This topic provides the information you need to restore items using Backup:

  • Performing a basic restore.

  • Rebuilding a catalog for a restore.

  • Selecting the advanced options for a restore.

  • Checking the success of a completed restore job.

When you back up your data, Backup creates a catalog on the local computer that lists all the files in the backup set. The Restore and Manage Media tab displays the files available to be restored by reading this catalog. If the catalog is missing or if you are restoring the files to a different computer or to a clean installation of your Windows Server 2003 operating system, you must rebuild the catalog.

You can delete any catalogs that you no longer want from the Restore and Manage Media tab. Right-click each catalog, and then click Delete Catalog.

For detailed instructions, see How to Rebuild a Catalog.

When you restore most types of data by using the backup utility (Backup) in Windows Server 2003, you can configure advanced restore options before you start to restore the files you have selected.

These options are not present in Exchange database restores.

You configure advanced restore options while you restore data. To view the complete procedure for restoring data, see "Performing a Basic Restore" earlier in this topic.

The Advanced Restore Options dialog box


To configure advanced restore options, in the Confirm Restore dialog box, click Advanced to open the Advanced Restore Options dialog box explanations of the advanced options. For more information about these options, see the online Help in your Windows Server 2003 operating system.

Advanced restore options

Advanced restore options Explanation

Restore security.

You can restore security settings for each file and folder. Security settings include permissions, audit entries, and ownership. This option is available only under two conditions: if you have backed up data from an NTFS file system volume used in the Windows Server 2003 operating system, and you are restoring that data to an NTFS volume used in a Windows Server 2003 operating system.

Restore junction points, and restore file and folder data under junction points to the original location.

You can restore the junction points on your hard disk and also the data that the junction points point to. If you do not select this check box, the junction points will be restored as common directories and the data that the junction points point to will not be accessible. If you are restoring a mounted drive and you want to restore the data that is on the mounted drive, you must select this check box. If you do not select this check box, you will only restore the folder containing the mounted drive.

When restoring replicated data sets, mark the restored data as the primary data for all replicas.

You can perform a primary restore. A primary restore ensures that restored File Replication Service (FRS) data is replicated to your other servers. Select this option only when you restore the first replica set to the network. Do not use this option if one or more replica sets have already been restored.

Restore the Cluster Registry to the quorum disk and all other nodes.

You can ensure that the quorum database is restored and replicated on all nodes in a server cluster. If you select this option, Backup will stop the Cluster service on all the other nodes of the server cluster after the node that was restored is restarted. The whole server cluster will therefore be down during an authoritative restore of the data on the quorum disk resource. For more information, see the online Help in your Windows Server 2003 operating system.

Preserve existing volume mount points.

You can prevent the restore operation from overwriting any volume mount points that you have created on the partition or volume that you are restoring data to. This option is useful when you are restoring data to a whole drive or partition. For example, select this option if you are restoring data to a replacement drive and you have already partitioned the drive, formatted it, and restored its volume mount points. By doing this, you ensure that your volume mount points are not restored. Do not select this option if you are restoring data to a partition or drive that you have recently reformatted, and you want to restore the old volume mount points.

It is important to verify that the restore occurred without errors.

When the restore completes, make sure that the Restore Progress dialog box shows Status: Completed. If the status displays Status: Completed with Errors, or Status: Failed, the restore was not successful.

Restore completed successfully


If the restore failed or had errors, click Report to view the Report log file, which displays the errors that occurred. If errors exist, research the possible causes of the errors.

Each session of Backup adds information to this log file. You might have to scroll to the bottom of the log file to find the log information that relates to the most recent restore attempt. The following is an example of a restore log with errors:


Restore Status

Operation: Restore

Backup of "SERVER01\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group"

Backup set #1 on media #1

Backup description: "Set created 12/27/2003 at 3:12 PM"

Restore started on 1/28/2004 at 11:01 PM.

Unable to restore data to SERVER01\Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group, check the application event log for more information.

Restore completed on 1/28/2004 at 11:01 PM.

Directories: 0

Files: 0

Bytes: 0

Time: 1 second


By default, the Restore log file is set to record only a summary of the restore process. If you receive error messages during the restore and want more detailed data to troubleshoot the problem, you can perform the restore again using detailed logging, and then search the log to find out exactly what happened. For more information about enabling detailed logging, see "Selecting the Default Settings for Backup."

When you have finished checking the Restore log, make sure to also check the application event log for errors. For detailed instructions, see How to Check the Application Event Log for Errors.

When the Status field in the Restore Progress dialog box is marked as Completed, it means that Backup has successfully finished copying files to their appropriate destinations. However, if you are restoring an Exchange database, transaction log file replay needs to finish before you mount the database. For more information about this issue, see "Make Sure That the Restore Process Was Successful" in Recovering an Exchange Database.