Email Timeline: Backup Errors and BKF Recovery

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Backup Errors and BKF Recovery

Data backup is necessary to prevent or minimize data loss. If at any point of time your data stored on hard disk gets accidentally deleted, overwritten, or is corrupted, the backup file will rescue you. Sometimes it happens that the backup file itself gets corrupted. This can be a horrible experience for some having important data. Backed up data can be restored from the disk by using tools provided by the operating system or any other recommended backup recovery tool.

Windows has a built-in backup tool NTBackup. This tool was first included in NT and in all the following versions 2000, XP and Server 2003. NTBackupstores its backup files in its own BKF backup format. Back up files can be stored on tapes, floppy disks, hard disks, and pen drives. When the backup location is a tape drive, the backup is stored in MTF format. NTBackup tool is integrated with task scheduler, so you can also schedule your backup activities at a desired time. Windows Backup and RestoreCenter tool replaced NTBackup in Vista and later Windows operating systems. Windows Backup and RestoreCenter uses (VHD) format for saving backup files.

In server operating systems,NTBackup has been replaced by Windows Server Backup.NTBackup is used for reading older format BKF files in Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2.

Errors in BKF File

At times your BKF file can get corrupted. In that case you can get one of the following messages.
·         The backup file is unusable.
·         [Unrecognized Media]
The backup file is unusable. You must erase it, or choose another file.
·         [Insert media]
The fixed media is full. You cannot back up all of the specified data to this disk device.
The backup operation will stop.
·         [Unrecognized Media]
The backup file contains unrecognized data and cannot be used.
·         [Backup Utility]
An inconsistency was encountered on the requested media.

Precautions to be taken for Consistent Backup

It can be that you have taken a backup of a large sized file that spans to more than one storage media. Or, it is also very much possible that you have added new backup files to the same BKF file and the backup file has become large. In this case, many users create multiple backup sets. When a user tries to restore files from the backup, the first storage media does not gives any error but when you insert the second device, the error message is shown. You can resolve this error by restoring from only one backup set at a time.

If the backup device you are using has a USB interface, you may get error while restoring from it. This problem is due to the file ‘usbstor.sys’, the USB driver that creates an I/O queuing problem.

When your backup spans to multiple tape drives, you can get a request for the first tape after you finish taking backup from the first tape itself. You may get the error message, “An inconsistency was encountered on the requested media”. To resolve this error, you have to update your Windows operating system.

Restoring from BKF file can also give an error message if you have selected the ‘Verify data after the backup completes’ option while taking the backup. This problem is again due to the ‘usbstor.sys’ USB driver. Download the latest version of Windows operating system to resolve the issue.

Another common reason for BKF error is the pre-ejection of the plugged in storage media from the system, while the backup operation was still taking place. Beware that this type of activity can cause data loss or even disk crash. If you don’t want any error due to this activity, always remember to stop the device before plugging it out.

It can be also possible that you have taken a backup in an older version of MS Windows, like Windows 95/98/Me and trying to restore it back into a newer version like Windows XP/2000/2003. This activity may give you the error, “An inconsistency was encountered on the requested media”. This error is because newer versions of Windows recognize only BKF format rather than QIC format created by older versions. The solution available for this is to restore using an older version of Windows that supports QIC format.

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