Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using MS Backup on a Windows Server 2003 to backup our key folders at my work. The backup is set up as an incremental backup job where it only backs up any files that have changed since the last time the backup was run. Periodically I have to restore some files out of it, and it has been a royal pain to find the date where that file was last modified and exists in the backup.

My question is two-fold:

  1. Is it possible to somehow specify that I want the "latest" edition of a particular file in the backup file when restoring? If so, how?
  2. Is it possible to get the "latest" edition of an entire folder in the backup file? If so, how?

Thank you so much for your responses.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

NTBackup is pretty plain-vanilla. There's no functionality to view the catalogs of multiple backup sets in a single amalgamated catalog, which is what it sounds like you're looking for.

If you can't get another tool that has the functionality you're looking for you might try:

  • Writing out "full" logs (/l:f command-line argument) when your backups run and searching these logs for the files you're looking for. At least, with logs, you can use command-line tools to search for strings.

  • Switching to differential backups. At least then the file will be on the latest backup set if it's been modified since the full. Obviously, this'll require more disk space to store the backup sets.

share|improve this answer
What is "another tool" that might have that functionality? – hjoelr Jul 15 '10 at 22:34
Symantec Backup Exec, for example, will let you search all the catalog files (albeit, unless they've done something different in the most recent version, the performance is terrible). – Evan Anderson Jul 15 '10 at 23:35

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.