Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2) have great new backup tools. These improvements were sorely needed, though: the widely-used, well-known NT Backup was getting pretty long in the tooth. Unfortunately, “in with the new” always seems to imply “out with the old”, and if “the old”, in your scenario, happens to be the format in which all your precious backups are saved, “the new” becomes pretty useless pretty quick. That’s right: NT Backup files (*.bkf files) are officially obsolete and cannot be opened with Windows 7.
What’s worse is that the Extensible Storage Manager – one of the Windows services NT Backup is built on – is no longer included with Windows 7, so it doesn’t seem too likely that simply copying ntbackup.exe from an XP machine would fix anything.
But it does!
That’s right: running ntbackup.exe under Windows 7 is entirely possible, easy to do, and generally works well – although tape drives and other odd storage devices won’t be supported. If you have the .bkf files, though, you’re in luck. Just find these files from the system32 folder on any Windows XP machine (or Virtual Windows XP, if you have it installed):
Copy them on to the Windows 7 machine and then run ntbackup.exe. You’ll get an error:
Just ignore it. Now run NT Backup as usual. Since .BKF files won’t be registered with this application, you’ll have to point NT Backup to the .BKF files yourself. Right-click the Files tree in recovery mode and click Catalog File. Select your backup file, and click okay. You’ll then be able to catalog and restore your files as needed.
For the most part, NT Backup works just fine under Windows 7. It might not be ideal to continue using NT Backup as your daily backup solution, but it’s good to know those .bkf files you have lying around are still worth something, after all.
(If you are looking for NTBackup for Server 2008 to backup your exchange store click here)