I am attempting to restore data from an LTO Ultrium 4 backup tape. The backup was originally done via NTBackup. When I attempt to restore the data that was backed up, I am unable to view or select the appropriate backup. How can I make the backup available within NTBackup so that I may select the files I wish to restore.

Drive showing media loaded

Tape shown as part of the media pool Backup\LTO Ultrium

NTBackup showing no media in the Backup\LTO Ultrium pool

  • I have discovered that NTBackup is deleting the V01 files located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\catalogs51. Those seem to be the catalog files that allow ntbackup to make its selections for what is restored. They are being deleted on startup of NTBackup every time. Not sure why though. – Digital ink Jan 30 '14 at 0:54
  • Update. NTbackup is just deleting all V01 files on init. It doesn't matter whether the removable storage service is restarted or not. – Digital ink Jan 30 '14 at 17:57
  • Yikes! That's some unexpected behavior. – Evan Anderson Jan 30 '14 at 18:20
  • Update: NTbackup will delete all V01 files that were generated by doing a backup to tape on init. NTbackup will NOT delete V01 files generated by doing a backup to a file container on init. The above behavior is displayed in multiple versions of NTbackup. – Digital ink Jan 30 '14 at 18:40

If you haven't I'd consider stopping/restarting the "Removable Storage" service. (It has been years since I've worked with this, admittedly, but I do seem to recall seeing hiccups where NTBackup wouldn't recognize a tape as inserted to permit it to be cataloged.) Once you get it to show up in NTBackup you should be able to catalog the tape to permit restoring from it.

  • Lots of mentions of that online. The issue has persisted through both service restarts and server reboots. If I could just get the media to show up i'm sure I could catalog it or something. No luck yet though. – Digital ink Jan 29 '14 at 21:26
  • You might consider stopping the Removable Storage service altogether-- NTBackup is capable of talking directly to tape drives (though you'll get an angry message when you start it about the Removable Storage service being unavailable). – Evan Anderson Jan 29 '14 at 21:36
  • I gave it a go but did not see any method or tool that would allow me to select the tape in the drive for cataloging. In effect, I still had no way of selecting something to restore. – Digital ink Jan 29 '14 at 22:14
  • As it turns out, restarting the removable storage service is what starts the problem. Once the removable storage service is restarted ntbackup will wipe all V01 files (catalog) from its storage that were created before the latest restart of the RS service. – Digital ink Jan 30 '14 at 17:45

After many useless hours with MS support I have finally figured out how to remedy the issue on my own. I'd like to log the result here for anyone else that may have this issue. The root cause seems to have been a corrupt Removable Storage Service database. In short, by forcing the re-creation of the database, NTBackup will allow me to re-catalog individual tapes if needed. Here are the details:

I followed the instructions in this article to force the RSM service to recreate its database files. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/235032. You can see here that my RSM database is new. enter image description here

I then loaded the tape i wanted to restore from into the drive. I verified the tape drive saw it and that the media pool "import" had it listed. Then I launched NTBackup to look for the tape item. Once I located it I issued the command to allocate the tape to the backup pool. I was taking a chance here that it would not wipe my tape. It did not. enter image description here

Now that my tape was allocated I was able to execute the catalog command and then was able to select the files I wished to restore. enter image description here

The restore was completed without error after that. I hope this helps someone in the future.


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