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I’m hugely disappointed

Using Nero BackItUp Restore crashes my hard drive

Help please. I cannot restore a volume of my local 2TB HDD using Nero BackItUp 12. The HDD has three volumes/partitions - E:, F: and G:. The Windows 7 Pro o/s is on a separate SSD C: drive. The E: drive is used only for the Windows Page File and Temporary files, F: is used for most Program Files and G: is used to store all my documents, photos, music, etc.

The F: and G: drives have been backed up regularly as drive backups, not file backups, over the past four or five years using Nero BackItUp 12 (v.12.5.7000). The backups have been incremental and saved to a desktop HDD (Drive H:). Recently the local HDD suffered mechanical failure and was replaced with a new similar 2TB HDD which was partitioned and formatted in the same manner as the original.

I successfully restored the F: drive Using Nero BackItUp 12 but find I cannot restore the G: drive. Each time I try it results in the target G: drive being de-formatted (if that is the correct term), i.e. the G: drive vanishes from the drive list in Computer and it then shows as Unallocated in Windows Disk Management. The volume size is about 1.7TB so it takes over three hours each time to reformat it as NTFS.

Not being able to restore the G: drive will lose me four and a half years of documents and media so that's fairly disastrous from my point of view. If anyone can offer any advice on how to successfully restore that drive it would be hugely appreciated. Thanks.
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  • Hi Jim-

    I assume you're restoring each backup separately.

    Even though you set the size of the G: partition on the new drive to what it was on your failed drive, I would try making it maybe 10 or 20 GB larger than the original just to eliminate anomalies from trying to be exact. Of course, you'll need to shrink one of the other volumes (E:?).

    Also, when you do the G: restore, are you telling it to use the default target? If so, I would try browsing to the target.

    Another option would be trying to restore individual files/folders from the backup.

    Just some ideas.
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  • Many thanks for the reply Wither 1.

    You have correctly identified an issue I had when I first tried to restore to the new HDD. The E: and F: partitions of the original HDD were both 100GB and the G: partition was the balance of the 2TB total capacity (1.62TB after formatting). I formatted the replacement HDD in the same way but when I tried to restore the G: drive i got a notification that there was not enough disk space. To overcome this I reformatted the the new HDD to make the E: drive 50GB instead of 100GB. The F: drive was left as 100GB but it meant that the G: drive increased by almost 50GB. After doing that I no longer received the warning of inadequate target space.

    Yours is a very relevant point about specifying the target, and source. When I initially backed up to my desktop HDD (H:) a main folder and two subfolders were automatically created. The subfolders were F-Drive Backup and G-Drive Backup. When I recently opened the 'Please select your backup to be restored' screen I found that 'Backup Location' correctly pointed to the F-Drive subfolder when successfully restoring that drive. However, for the G: drive the Backup Location was shown as the main folder, not the G-Drive subfolder. My next step was to use the Browse button at top-left of the screen to choose the G-Drive Backup subfolder and nda file as the source. After doing that Backup Location still pointed to the main folder, as before. Moving on to the next screen, local disk (G:\) was correctly chosen from the drop-down list as the Target for restore.

    Because Nero BackItUp 12 created 'drive backups' there is unfortunately no option to restore individual files/folders. If I select the Restore Files option I get a pop-up saying 'Backup information file could not be opened'. In retrospect I really wish I had selected Folder Backup instead of Drive Backup when I originally set up the backup regime. Too late now.

    I have tried restoring several versions of the G-Drive backup nda files from the most recent back to earlier this year. Each time it has caused the target G: drive to lose its formatting. Reformatting takes 3+ hours so I cannot quickly try different options. Perhaps someone can shed some light on why Restore attempts result in the target G:\ drive losing its formatting?
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  • I'm not sure why the .nji or .nbi files couldn't be found. I assume your running BackItUp from your C: drive. You didn't indicate any problem with that drive so the .nji file should be there. Look here-

    C:\Users\"your username"\AppData\Roaming\Nero\Nero 12\Nero BackItUp

    The subject files should be in the Files folder.

    To get around your problem, I suggest that you create a bootable disc. In Backitup, click on Tools and the Create ImageTool Disc. It will take you to a website which will explain how to make the disc.

    If you have a UEFI system, open the MBR-BIOS and disable SecurBoot. Then, boot your computer from the bootable disc. This will launch a version of Linux and Windows will not be operating. Run the restore from there.
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  • Thanks again for the further suggestions.

    BackItUp is indeed run from the SSD C: drive and, having followed the path suggested in your post, I found that the Files folder does indeed contain the files 'G-drive backup Merge.nji' and 'G-drive backup.nji'. The Files folder also contains G-drive nbi files corresponding with the dates of the nda files in the G-drive backup folder of the desktop HDD.

    After failing a few times to restore the G: drive while in Windows I did recently create an Image Tool Disc which I used to reboot the computer. It took me through the steps to restore the G: drive backup but unfortunately did not succeed. The G:\ drive target volume of the local HDD again lost its formatting. I will try that again today. BTW I did try restoring the G-drive backup to another 6TB desktop HDD but again it resulted in that drive losing its NTFS formatting.

    My feeling is that either I am doing something wrong or there is something in BackItUp Restore that is not functioning as it should for the G: drive. The role of nji, nbi and nda files is beyond my knowledge so I am struggling at this level. It seems strange that the F: drive restored perfectly but when following exactly the same procedure the G: drive restore fails.

    Thanks again for helping out. It really is appreciated.
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  • OK, I booted again from the Image Tool Disc, hit Enter when the BackItUp screen appeared and then followed the on-screen instructions. For the 'Target to restore to' I specified the local HDD G:\ drive. A notification appeared saying the backup failed but this time it did not remove the NTFS formatting from the target drive. I accepted the option to save a log file but its contents are meaningless to me.

    Still scratching my head but at least this time I do not need to re-format the G:\ drive.
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  • Thing is, neither BackItUp, the ImageTool nor Linux has the ability to change the size of your partition and Windows is not running when you use the bootable disc.

    I was out picking up leaves this morning and was thinking about this and have a number of thoughts.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but, from what you said earlier, you didn't do a straight drive backup. You used LiveBackup which is an incremental backup. I don't know how long this backup ran but I suspect the size of the files is far greater than the original size of the partition.

    In addition, if you used LiveBackup and are restoring from your C: drive, you wouldn't select Restore Files. Instead, you would only select the backup at the top of the list. Then, you can either restore all folders listed in it or pick files from the folders to restore.

    It's been quite a while since I did this so I'm a little rusty. Perhaps you could copy and paste the contents of the log here.
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  • Many thanks again for your advice Wither 1. It really is very helpful.

    Looking at the Nero BackItUp 12 home screen in Windows 7 the top part of the screen has Nero LIVEBackup. I did not use that and can't remember exactly why but I think I felt it did not really suit my requirements.



    The lower part of the home screen has 'Additional Tasks' and then 'Create a Backup' from which I chose 'Drive Backup'. In the new window that opened I ticked (Local Disk G:\) in the left-hand pane. In the next screen 'Please select your target' I selected 'Removable Devices' (H:\) which is my desktop HDD. The next screen was 'Please select your backup options'. I selected 'Incremental Backup' on the understanding that the initial backup would be a full backup and all future backups would be incremental. I then defined a weekly time schedule. Under 'Options' I left compression as 'Normal' and below that I believe I ticked 'Enable verify after backup'. I left the other boxes unticked. I then clicked 'Back Up Now' which started the first backup and after that the weekly backups happened automatically to schedule.

    I believe I followed exactly the same procedure for backing up the (F:\) drive.

    Immediately before the local HDD failure its G: drive partition had a formatted size of 1.62TB of which 0.13TB had been used. When I initially formatted the replacement HDD the G: drive partition had very similar capacity, i.e, around 1.62TB. However, when I tried to restore the G: drive from the backup on desktop drive (H:\) the 'Please select your backup to be restored' screen told me that (G:\) was '133.92GB used of 1667.70GB'. I am not sure why the 1667.70GB required was more than the actual 1.62TB capacity of the original G: drive partition but it resulted in BackItUp telling me there was not enough space on the drive to do the restore. I overcame that by reformatting the new local HDD to increase the capacity of the G: drive partition to 1.67TB. After that I no longer was notified of insufficient space to restore to G:.

    Just to recap, the Nero BackItUp 12 program is in the C: drive Program Files (x86) folder and the nbi and nji files are also in the C: drive, in C:\Users\"username"\AppData\Roaming\Nero\Nero 12\Nero BackItUp\Files. The C: drive is a separate SSD drive that was unaffected by the local HDD failure. BackItUp 12 sent all backups to my desktop (H:\) drive where it created a series of nda and txt files. The F: drive backups restored perfectly using Nero BackItUp 12 in Windows. When using exactly the same procedure the G: drive backup will not restore, nor will it restore using the Image Tool method outside of Windows. Restore attempts result in the target G: drive losing its NTFS formatting.

    After a failed attempt to restore G: using the Image Tool two log files were saved: 'log file.txt' and 'log file_dev.txt'. Both are very lengthy documents and I wonder whether they are simply too long to paste here? Is there a particular part that I should be looking for?

    Thanks again for helping with this. Otherwise I am really stumped as to what to try.
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  • Thanks for the explanation. I didn't look at the options for a drive backup. I use v12 everyday to backup personal files but that's an "Update" type backup.

    Since you did do a drive backup, you would select Restore Files. However, you're saying there's no option to select individual files but that capability should be there. I don't think it was there in the previous version of Backitup but I didn't check.

    Would you upload the logfile.txt to a service such as dropbox and provide a link to it. In dropbox, you would need to select Share, Create Link and Copy Link.

    It also might be helpful to go to Computer Management and provide a screenshot of the partitions for the drive.
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  • Here is a screenshot of Disk Management:



    Disk 0 is the SSD C:\ drive. Disk 1 is the new local HDD partitioned into three volumes E:, F: and G:. Disk 2 is my desktop H:\ drive to which BackItUp 12 sent all backups. Disk 3 is a more recent 6TB desktop HDD not used by BacjItUp 12.

    It is the G: partition of Disk 1 that reverts to 'Unallocated' each time G-drive restore fails.

    I've never used Dropbox but will find out how to upload the txt file ASAP, as requested.
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  • OK, I've created a Dropbox account and uploaded the log txt file. Then selected Share, Create Link and Copy Link. If I have done that correctly I am hoping this link will work:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/owy5v4fy65m...

    If not please let me know and I will retry.

    Thanks
    Jim
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  • This is what ends the restore process-

    01:02:42 Warning: Bytes Requested = 2048, Bytes read = 0, File path: /tmp/NeroBackItUp/MountedDrives/Seagate BlackArmorDAS35/sdc1_NTFS/Nero BackItUp 12 backups/G-Drive Backup/20150814_153002_G-drive backup.txt

    01:02:43 Warning: Bytes Requested = 2048, Bytes read = 0, File path: /tmp/NeroBackItUp/MountedDrives/Seagate BlackArmorDAS35/sdc1_NTFS/Nero BackItUp 12 backups/G-Drive Backup/20151030_153021_G-drive backup.txt

    01:02:43 Warning: Bytes Requested = 2048, Bytes read = 0, File path: /tmp/NeroBackItUp/MountedDrives/Seagate BlackArmorDAS35/sdc1_NTFS/Nero BackItUp 12 backups/G-Drive Backup/20151204_153001_G-drive backup.txt

    01:02:43 Warning: Bytes Requested = 2048, Bytes read = 0, File path: /tmp/NeroBackItUp/MountedDrives/Seagate BlackArmorDAS35/sdc1_NTFS/Nero BackItUp 12 backups/G-Drive Backup/20160212_153003_G-drive backup.txt

    01:02:44 Warning: Bytes Requested = 2048, Bytes read = 0, File path: /tmp/NeroBackItUp/MountedDrives/Seagate BlackArmorDAS35/sdc1_NTFS/Nero BackItUp 12 backups/G-Drive Backup/20170224_153002_G-drive backup.txt

    01:02:45 Warning: Bytes Requested = 2048, Bytes read = 0, File path: /tmp/NeroBackItUp/MountedDrives/Seagate BlackArmorDAS35/sdc1_NTFS/Nero BackItUp 12 backups/G-Drive Backup/20170728_153001_G-drive backup.txt

    I looked at the rest of the log and there's some question about GPT but it's too late tonight to digest it.

    Is this drive connected by SATA or USB?
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  • Good morning Wither 1. Thanks for the replies.

    The Seagate BlackArmor drive is my 1TB desktop HDD (H:\) which is connected to the pc by USB cable.

    From the section of log file you have posted above it looks like BackItUp is perhaps looking for something it can’t find?

    Just as a matter of interest, is it the .nji file(s) that tells Nero where to look for the backups?

    I think I always assumed, rightly or wrongly, that a BackItUp 12 ‘Drive Backup’ was very similar to a Win 7 ‘System Image’ backup in its function. It occurred to me that perhaps the BackItUp 12 drive backup was over-writing/deleting the System Volume Information file in the target G:\ drive but if that was the case it would also have done that to the F:\ drive. The latter restored without any problem, which would also seem to rule out any partition structure issues so it is interesting that you have raised a possible question about GPT.

    I have to go out for several hours now but look forward to your further advice, which I will read on my return this evening. Thanks again.
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  • Just one other quick question: When BackItUp 12 carries out a Restore does it look for all the .nda files or just the latest one?
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  • You should select the latest one. It's like when one backs up to several discs. One should insert the last one to do the restore.

    I'm not an expert. I think the .nji contains all the information about the backup that is needed to do the restore.

    I don't know the significance of the error message. It looks like a buffering problem but I'm quickly getting in over my head.

    We'll need to continue this saga. I don't have time this morning to review the log again.
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  • Thanks. Sorry to burden you but your help and experience really are appreciated.

    The big mystery is why the F:\ drive restored without any difficulty, yet the G:\ drive stubbornly refuses. Both are partitions of the same HDD. I guess the successful restore of the F:\ drive helps in ruling out some potential issues affecting the whole of the HDD.

    One small anomaly that might be relevant is that BackItUp 12 saved most of the .nda files and .txt files to the ‘G-drive backup’ subfolder of the main BackItUp 12 folder on the H: drive but the last few files were strangely saved to the main folder instead of the subfolder. I’ve no idea why. They were all scheduled backups.
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  • I started going back over your log file and found this when it opened drive sdd which is your partitioned drive-

    File system is not supported or another error was occurred.

    00:55:36 Either file system not supported or is corrupt. Start sector : 34, Number of sectors : 262144

    00:55:36 File system (GPT protective partition) detection has failed.

    I looked at this website to get a feeling for what it's talking about-

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...

    If I try to interpret the error, it looks like Nero or some other tool it invokes, isn't GPT aware. However, that flies in the face of the fact you were able to restore the F: partition. The fact that the restore process is able to dink around with the G: partition, in addition to the error message, leads me to believe that there's an issue with the partitioning on that drive.

    Rather than chase all over on this, I wonder if you would try restoring the backup to your I: drive?
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  • Thanks for your latest posts Wither 1.

    Your comments made me want to understand the log file better, which I'll come back to.

    Firstly, one of the reasons I recently bought the second desktop 6TB HDD (I:\) was so that I could try restoring to it after BackItUp 12 told me there was not enough space on the G: drive. Unfortunately it was not successful and simply resulted in drive I: losing its NTFS formatting. After that failure I reformatted the G: drive to increase the size of partition (G:\), as mentioned above. At least I learned from that exercise that lack of drive space was not the cause of the restore failure.

    Returning to the log file, I worked out what the lettered designations meant:
    sda is the C:\ drive, sdb is the local HDD drive, sr0 is the CD ROM drive, sdc is the BlackArmor desktop HDD (H:\) and sdd is the most recent additional desktop HDD (I:\). Those designations are sub-divided into sda1 and sda2 for the two volumes of the C:\ drive and sdb1, sdb2 and sdb3 for the E:\, F:\ and G:\ drives. The I:\ drive for some reason shows sdd1 and sdd2. On face value it is just one HDD but I suspect that, like the C:\ drive, a small additional volume might have been created by the o/s. Who knows?

    In the log file you received there were at least two obvious problems:

    Firstly, sdd1 was getting the 'not supported or corrupt' warning. That actually has no relevance at all because the backup/restore process only involves the C: (sda), G: (sdb3) and H: (sdc) drives. As soon as I disconnected the desktop HDD (I:\) those warnings disappeared.

    Secondly, the log file showed an issue with six .txt files. When I looked at those files in G-drive Backup I found they all related to times when BackItUp 12 tried a scheduled backup but the H:\ drive was not connected. I moved those six files away to a temporary file.

    After all that I tried a further Restore using the Image Tool Disk and - failure again! For what it is worth I attach a link to the log file for that last attempt but I rather think we may have come to the end of the line. One of Nero's technical staff might be able to identify the problem but Nero no longer supports BackItUp 12. That irks slightly as I believe BackItUp 12 was the last version to offer Drive Backup and an awful lot of users have their archives saved in that format. Oh well.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/sz1pgtxjc5a...

    I really do appreciate the time and effort you have put into helping me with this issue. Thank you. I can now see no clear way forward, so unless you have any brainwaves I think my only hope is to (expensively) have specialists try to recover the lost data from the failed hard drive. Ouch!

    Best regards
    Jim
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  • Sorry I haven't responded for some time but there's been so much activity in the forum that I've had to spend an inordinate amount of time juggling my time. I just asked one of the other volunteers to get back in here and help out.

    As I mentioned in my last post, I think the F: partition is sdd2. The E: and G: partitions are either sdd or ssd1. You're identifying the G: on a different drive.

    Personally, I think there's either a problem with partitioning on the drive or, Backitup doesn't recognize GPT. GPT is only available on systems with EFI and there were very few back in the day of Backitup 12. MBR protection is on a GPT table but I don't know if the latter can interpret it.

    Since you have successfully restored your F: files, I suggest copying them to your I:.

    After doing that-

    I don't know what the size difference is between the F: and G: that your are trying to restore so I don't know if the new F: is able to handle the old G:. If not, then just remove the new G: partition and resize the F:. If it is, try restoring to it.
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  • I’m Encouraged but not there yet
    Thanks for your further message Wither 1.

    Without responding to your detailed comments I’m pleased to report a degree of success: Using the Image Tool Disk I managed to restore a G-drive backup dated 20.03.2016 from my desktop H: drive (sdc) to the G:\ drive (sdb3) of the new local HDD. That means I got back three of the missing four-and-a-half years of backed up data. BackItUp 12 stubbornly refuses to restore any of the later backups but I saved a log file of the successful backup that I can compare with the logs of the failed attempts. Perhaps that might provide a clue as to why the later backups will not restore.

    What it does seem to have proved is that, as with the F: drive, there is not a problem with the G: partition causing restore failure. Instead it’s looking rather like a hiccup in the BackItUp 12 application.

    I’ll look into this more over the next few days but in the meantime it is a relief to have restored two thirds of the lost data.
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