Mounting Backup Image Files

The ShadowProtect Explore Backup Wizard guides you through the process of mounting a backup image file. If the selected image file is part of a chain, ShadowProtect automatically associates the files required to browse and restore this specific backup image file. You only need to select the backup image you want to explore. Once mounted, you can treat the backup image file as you would any other Windows volume:

    • Browse the backup image file.
    • Share the backup image file.
    • Copy individual files and folders from the backup image file.
    • Modify the backup image file (if the volume is configured as writeable).
    • Use standard Windows security and file properties.

The restore process is the same whether you use the ShadowProtect console and Windows to restore files and folders or use the StorageCraft Recovery Environment to do so. Which you use depends specifically on the state of your system and what you need to restore:

Restore in Windows Windows runs but you have lost data or had undesirable changes to applications or hardware files on a volume (excluding the operating system files).
Restore in Recovery Environment Windows does not load and you have lost data or operating system files, or had undesirable changes to applications or hardware files on a volume. For more information, see the StorageCraft Recovery Environment User Guide.

Warning: Image mount operations should only be used to restore data. Never mount an image as writable and continue adding data as if you are in a production environment. Never mount a writable image chain and share it across the network. Temporary changes are written to a .spwb file while the image is mounted and those changes are written to the .spi file when you dismount. If many changes are added by multiple users across the network, AND if any kind of problem occurs when you dismount. . . ALL changes will be lost.  StorageCraft cannot recover any changes from a failed dismount that were made while a writable image was mounted. 

 Note: To restore data from an incremental image, you must have all previous incremental backup image files and the initial full backup image that the selected image depends on. If any of these files is missing or corrupt, mounting the backup image to that point in time is not possible.

For information about mount options, see Backup Image Mount Options.


To mount a backup image file

Note: To mount a VHDX backup on a system with a custom install of ShadowProtect, confirm that the system includes at least the ShadowProtect Backup Agent.
    1. Use the Explore Backup Wizard in ShadowProtect to display the Backup Image File Name page.
    2. Browse to the backup image file you want to mount, then click Next.
      For information about backup image file naming conventions, see File Naming Conventions.

      For NETGEAR ReadyDATA systems, enter the device's IP address or device name, then click Browse. In the Open dialog, Use the Files of Type dropdown box to change the default file type from ShadowProtect files to VHDx. Browse through the Completed Backups folder to select the desired point-in-time file to mount. The Mount Wizard selects the largest volume of a multi-volume VHDX by default. Select the desired volume to continue.

      Note: You must provide the password for an encrypted backup image.

      The Explore Backup Image Wizard displays a categorized list of information about the backup image file.


    3. (Conditional) In the Backup Image Dependencies page, select the desired point-in-time image from the selected backup image set, then click Next.
    4. On the Explore Options page, select how you want to mount the backup image, then click Next.
      For more information about mount options, see Backup Image Mount Options.
      Mount Option Procedure
      Mount image as a drive letter 1. Select Assign the following drive letter.
      2. Select the appropriate drive letter from the drop-down list.
      Mount the backup image file as a mount point 1. Select Mount in the following empty NTFS folder.
      2. Browse to an appropriate folder to select it.
      3. To name the mount point subfolder, select to use:

      • Time/Date (defaults to the image file's creation timestamp)
      • File Name (defaults to the image file's name)
      • Custom (a user-defined string)
    5. (Optional) Deselect Mount Backup as Read-Only to mount the backup image as a writeable volume.
      If you mount the backup image file as a writeable volume, you can choose to save the changes to an Incremental image file when you dismount the volume (see Dismounting Backup Image Files in Windows).
      Note: Mounting a backup image as a writeable volume does not alter the source file. ShadowProtect never modifies an existing backup file.
      Warning: NETGEAR ReadyDATA-stored VHDx backup image files may be mounted Writeable. However, that system does not support saving changes from a VHDx and discards them on dismount..
    6. On the Wizard Summary page, review the mount information, then click Finish.
      ShadowProtect mounts the backup image file, automatically launches Windows Explorer and then displays the mounted volume.
    7. With the backup image mounted, you can browse the contents of the volume as you would any Windows volume.
    8. To restore individual files or folders, use Windows Explorer to copy them from the backup image file volume to your production volume.
      Note: Once mounted, select Refresh Volumes Info to get an accurate view of the mounted system volumes from the Disk Map tab.

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