Recover Files and Folders

Updated: May 17, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

You can use the Recovery Wizard in Windows Server Backup to recover files and folders from a backup. Before you begin, you should:

  • Make sure at least one backup exists on an external disk or in a remote shared folder—you cannot recover files and folders from backups saved to DVDs or removable media. In addition, if you are recovering a computer running Windows Server 2008, make sure that the backup is not a system state backup. File and folder recovery is not possible from a system state backup. For instructions for creating a backup for file and folder recovery, see Configuring Automatic Backups and Performing a Manual Backup.

  • Make sure the external disk or remote shared folder that is hosting the backup is online and available to the server.

  • Determine what files or folders that you want to recover.

You can also use the Wbadmin start recovery command to perform this task. For examples and syntax for this command, see

To recover files and folders using the Windows Server Backup user interface

  1. From the Start menu, click Administrative Tools , and then click Windows Server Backup .

  2. In the Actions pane of the snap-in default page, under Windows Server Backup , click Recover . This opens the Recovery Wizard.

  3. On the Getting Started page, do one of the following and then click Next :

    • Click This server .

    • Click Another server . On the Specify Location Type page, do one of the following and then click Next :

      • Click Local drives . On the Select Backup Location page, select the volume or drive that contains the backup from the drop-down list. On Select Server , select the server whose data you want to recover.

      • Click Remote shared folder . On the Specify Remote Folder page, type the path to the folder that contains the backup. In the folder, the backup should be stored at \\< RemoteSharedFolder >\ WindowsImageBackup \< ComputerName >\< YourBackup >.

  4. On the Select Backup Date page, select the date from the calendar and the time from the drop-down list of backup you want to restore from. Then click Next .

  5. On the Select Recovery Type page, click Files and folders , and then click Next .

  6. On the Select Items to Recover page, under Available items , expand the list until the folder you want is visible. Click a folder to display the contents in the adjacent pane, click each item that you want to restore, and then click Next .

    The SHIFT and CTRL keys will enable you to select a group or specific set of items.

  7. On the Specify Recovery Options page, under Recovery destination , do one of the following:

    • Click Original location .

    • Click Another location . Then, type the path to the location, or click Browse to select it.

  8. Under When this wizard find items in the backup that are already in the recovery destination , click one of the following, and then click Next :

    1. Create copies so you have both versions

    2. Overwrite the existing versions with the recovered versions

    3. Do not recover the items that already exist on the recovery destination

  9. Under Security settings , select the Restore access control list (ACL) permissions to the file or folder being recovered check box, if needed, and then click Next .

  10. On the Confirmation page, review the details, and then click Recover to restore the specified items.

  11. On the Recovery progress page, you can view the status of the recovery operation and whether or not it was successfully completed.

Additional considerations

  • To recover files and folders from a backup using Windows Server Backup, you must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If a volume being restored has restricted permissions, the files and folders in the volume will not be displayed in the Restore wizard if the Administrators or Backup Operators groups do not have permissions and ownership of the files that you want to restore. However, you can perform a block level backup and restore using volume recovery without these permissions.

  • You can also perform this task remotely for another server using the Connect To Another Computer option in the Windows Server Backup Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Make sure that you are a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators group on the remote server. If you are a Backup Operator, ensure that the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) security settings on the remote computer are set to allow Backup Operators to connect to it.

    You can only use this feature if the local and remote servers are running the same version of Windows—either both running Windows Server 2008 or both running Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition, you cannot use this feature to manage a computer running any version of Windows client operating system.

Additional references

Community Additions