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Unable to restore files to computer.

by Mary T-205113508737904897 / May 9, 2008 12:35 AM PDT

When My computer crashed, I was not concerned about losing my files as I had just carried out a complete backup (backing onto DVDs) using the Windows Backup supplied with Vista Ultimate. When I tried advanced restore to try and get my files back on to the computer. I put a DVD with backup on into the drive, and got a message saying that Windows was not able to find any backup sets on the drive. The backup is certainly on the DVDs, I just cant get the computer to see it.
I have some important documents in the backup, unfortunately I am not able to access them.
I would appreciate any advice.
Mary T

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Time to call the maker of
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 9, 2008 2:32 AM PDT

The DVD backup software. I can't tell if that's Microsoft or another name but without knowing the title of said software I can't comment.

For instance, Roxio, Nero and others have backup software which you may have used then after the OS was reinstalled you tried Vista's restore software but your DVDs are in some other format.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 9, 2008 2:32 AM PDT

Yes, I see you wrote "Windows Backup." Just hoping for a little more detail.

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In addition to Bob's comment ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 9, 2008 4:09 AM PDT

I note that you say - "I put a DVD with backup on into the drive, and got a message saying that Windows was not able to find any backup sets on the drive."

Regardless of the backup software the number of the DVD is important because normally only the first or (more often) the last in the series of DVDs will have the necessary info to point to it belonging to a backup set.

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Still not working
by Mary T-205113508737904897 / May 9, 2008 4:45 AM PDT

Thanks Bob and Edward, I tried disc 1 and then disc 8, the last backup DVD. But without any result. To check backup was on the DVDs I put the the backup discs in the drive and clicked on computer and then on the appropriate DVD drive, then clicked on the backup showed on the DVD, I got "cannot view XML input using XSL style sheet" Am not sure what to try next.
Mary T

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Windows hates backing up from CD/DVD drives
by inachu / May 9, 2008 5:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Still not working

I bet you 100% if you copied those files to lets say you had a second HD and point the backup program to there then I bet it would work.

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Just a ramble.
by Bob__B / May 9, 2008 7:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Still not working

I don't have I have nothing to look at or play with.

The backup you did.
Was it a file backup or a system backup?

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Complete System Backup Bob
by Mary T-205113508737904897 / May 9, 2008 9:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Just a ramble.

It was a Windows Complete PC Backup, using the backup system that comes with Vista Ultimate. In future I will not put my trust in the Windows backup. I wonder if there is any company that would be able to recover my documents from the DVDs?
Mary T

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Oww!!!! and ouch.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 9, 2008 9:46 AM PDT
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Winging it
by Bob__B / May 10, 2008 12:11 AM PDT

No Vista to look at.

I think what you have done is created a system IMAGE.

This sort of file does not lend itself to extracting a file or files...Vista may offer such a feature.

This sort of file is really more designed to over write everything/sys restore.

If you tried to restore this file from within vista and it did not function.

Try restoring it from outside vista....recovery cd?.

Nothing to lose but a little time.

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Confirming at least Vista Ultimate...
by glenn30 / May 10, 2008 1:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Winging it

does have a Backup and Restore Image feature. Mine is saved to a USB hard drive.

Just information... keep winging it! Wink There must be a solution.


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Take a look at this link ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 9, 2008 9:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Still not working

It details each type of backup and restore IF you are using Vista's Backup and Restore Center.

We are all assuming that you are logged on with an Admin Account.

Besides using the Backup and Restore Center while within the OS you can also restore by booting the installation Disk to the Recovery Environment. This method is detailed near the bottom of the linked page.

What is the file extension of the files you see on the DVDs?
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Restoring Backup
by Mary T-205113508737904897 / May 9, 2008 7:45 PM PDT

Sorry this is going to be long winded, but want to let you know what I have done up to now.
When the computer crashed my first thought was to try System Restore via safe mode, System Restore would not start up. After many attempts and many crashes, I finally carried out a full system restore from my backup DVDs and a message said the backup had been successful, a few seconds later the screen went black, writing on the screen said that files were corrupted and Windows would try and repair them. After a few hours of doing what ever Windows does, it crashed again. The next time I started the computer up I got a short message saying there was no operating system. I then started from scratch and reinstalled Windows. I now have a computer that works better than it ever has, but I don't have my documents and photographs. Have followed Microsoft instructions on how to restore my files from backup DVDs, but each time I get the message "Windows was not able to find any backup sets on the drive".
When I insert any of the DVDs into a drive to see what is on them, lots of XML document files are shown with a long string of letters and numbers, but no file extensions. When I try to open these, I get the message "The XML page cannot be displayed Cannot view XML input using XSL style sheet. Please correct the error and then click the Refresh button, or try again later. A name was started with an invalid character."
There are also a few files with the VHD extension, but these won't open either.
I am not bothered about losing my music I can always replace that, but my documents and photographs are irreplaceable.
My computer is 64bit with Vista Ultimate.
Thanks for all the advice, Mary T

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Been there, done that...
by DerfX / May 9, 2008 9:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Restoring Backup

...and had the same results. Unfortunately, I don?t have Vista and really can?t be any help to you in recovering your missing data at present. I will say that you should not give up and your pictures and stuff are probably on those DVDs but in some encrypted format that may take some time to unravel. Most likely, finding just the right way to access them.

I?m only writing because I?ve done the same thing myself using various backup utilities including Roxio and others that record your backups in some encrypted way that makes it impossible to see them without the exact same software setup the exact same way. It can be a real pain in the you know what.

I figured that there is no point in wasting media backing up your operating system or programs if you already have the CDs to restore them anyway. So the important thing to backup is your ?own? data like photos, letters, special downloads, music and such. So, I learned that it?s a good idea to keep everything you want to save somewhere within the ?My Documents? folder system so all you have to backup is ?My Documents? and you?ll be able to restore everything.

Personally, I like to use a straight forward copy and paste method of backing up all my files onto DVDs. This way, with any Windows Explorer or file search mechanism, you can look at the files you backed up and restore selectively or as a whole. There is a utility that I have used that makes backups pretty simple and hopefully, it?s still a freeware piece that you can download. What I like about it is that while it attempts to compress as much as possible, it still leaves the files in a format that allows you to view and access them with Windows Explorer.

The biggest advantage is being able to pop in a DVD and look for a particular picture that you lost or corrupted and find its backup, right in the spot where you would expect it to be, and just copy it back to your hard drive.

I hope you can find a way to access those DVDs. Don?t throw them away because sooner or later, you?ll stumble on the right combination to unlock those files. If you?re curious about the freeware program, you can look at it here?

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When you open the ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 10, 2008 2:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Restoring Backup

Backup and Restore Center does it show the information about the last basckup? Probably not since you probably haven't backed it up since you "started from scratch and reinstalled Windows".

Regardless, as the previous link I gave you points out, during the complete PC Backup shadow copies of files are also created (I don't know their format but it is likely they might be the XML files) along with the VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) files. Those shadow copies should have some or even most of your data files.

Try opening a command prompt and entering the following command (while the backup and restore applet is closed) -
%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i then try again.

Now, I don't have any Vista Cokmplete PC backup or even the media to play with but I did locate this thread that you might want to look through.

The VHD files are a virtual block by block copy of your drive and within that thread you will find how one person had success in recovering files by making use of good old WinImage WinImage is shareware so you can try it out for 30 days free but it is well worth purchasing (I haven't updated mine since version 5.5 so I didn't know it now supports VHD and several other images). BE SURE you download the appropriate 64 bit version!

Another user informed me that he had a similar problem but noticed that after his re-install he changed his username and password. He just created a new account with his old username and password and had full access to the backup files but had a message about restored files possibly being unusable because of a lack of credentials but a checkbox allows that to be ignored because it can be fixed later using the security tab for the folder's properties under an Admin account.

Do get back and let us know which of these options you tried and which you end up using.

Although I will be trying the MS Complete PC Backup I will also make good use of the laters version of Acronis True Image which is Vista Compatible and that I have never had any problems with, whether imaging or just backing up.

Good luck!

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Additionally, that previous link ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 10, 2008 3:20 AM PDT
In reply to: When you open the ...
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Grateful thanks for all the advice
by Mary T-205113508737904897 / May 10, 2008 7:09 AM PDT

Will hold onto the DVDs and experiment over the next few weeks.
Mary T

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Solution found!
by PayingItForward / March 29, 2009 12:24 AM PDT

i had the same problem, busted my head for hours trying to find a solution and it paid off.

don't use the backup tool to restore the vhd image on your portable drive, just plug in the portable USB or DVD; restart your computer and hit F8 during restart on the black screen; select repair your computer; follow the prompts and then select from external usb and walla! there u have it... should take like 2 hours for a 100gb image to restore.

irrelevant notes:
first let me point out i wanted to backup the entire computer and not just a file inwhich case you can try with the virtual server to mount the image, secondly, vista's own system restore doesn't really restore all files "system restore" is where vista in itself sets periodic points to reset the computer form its own internal resources...

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