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Regular Visitor
RoderickGI
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-01-2011
Accepted Solution

Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

The short version (apologies for the long version below):

I wish to restore the full 204GB of data from the 500GB backup set that Norton has on my Backup Drive, but Norton only shows 54GB as available to restore. How can I make Norton restore all files stored in the backup?

 

A little background;

I run a Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit system.

It has a 120 GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD boot disk (C:), and a 2 TB Western Digital WD20EARS HDD data drive (D:).

I also have a 1 TB Western Digital WD10EVCS HDD connected via USB as a Backup Drive. I use Norton 360 V5.

 

A couple of weeks back the boot disk started playing up, and Windows could not repair it. Eventually it refused to boot. I had a Windows system image of the SSD from a couple of months back, and a data backups from the SSD on a backup drive, both using Windows 7 Backup.

 

My most recent data backup from the SSD was two weeks old, so I pulled the SSD out of the PC and connected it to my laptop, then also connected my backup drive to the laptop. That way I was able to copy the "users" directory from my SSD, including the latest Outlook files which were most important, across to my backup drive so that I could restore them to the SSD once it was repaired or replaced.

 

I restored the system image to the SSD and restored Outlook, so all was running again.

 

As Windows Backup doesn't allow multiple backup sets, I use Norton 360 to backup everything on my Data Drive onto my Backup Drive, allowing it to create the N360_BACKUP directory in the root of the Backup Drive. I force a backup of all files and sub-directories by specifically including the data directories on the data drive within Norton 360, since selecting a backup using file types alone misses many files. The data directory that I backup has about 39,851 files and is 204GB. Another temporary directory holds 6198 files and is 127GB. The total disk space used is about 334GB.

 

Unfortunately while the Backup Drive was connected to the laptop, Norton 360 on the laptop detected the Backup Drive and as it had a valid Backup Set in the installation of Norton on the laptop, and the drive mapped correctly, Norton did a backup to the Backup Drive, creating a second sub-directory under the N360_BACKUP directory in the root of the drive. This was not my intention, and I needed the space, so when I noticed the extra backup I checked the size and date of the two sub-directories and deleted the new one, retaining the older and larger sub-directory.

 

Unfortunately is seems that the SSD Boot Disk was failing because the Data Drive was failing and locking up programs. One such incident had taken out the SSD causing the problem described above. After fixing the SSD, problems started to become apparent with the Data Drive.

 

So I check the Norton Backup using Norton 360 Restore (both the main and portable versions of the program), only to discover that it could only restore 742 files or 54GB, so much of my data would not be restored if I ran it. Browsing the available files shows that Norton stopped backing up when it hit the first unreadable file. However, it reported successful backups, so I didn't know there was a problem. I don't know if deleting the new backup sub-directory, or failed backups has caused the problem, but Norton can't restore all my data.

 

The Norton Backup Preview currently says it could backup 33,573 files and 131.4GB, reflecting the loss of directories that are no longer accessable on the data drive.

 

The Backup Set takes up a little over 500GB on the Backup Drive at present, and so should hold a copy of all my 204GB of data, rather than just the 54GB it says it has.

 

So, rather than try a restore straight away I have been slowly recovering files from the failing Data Drive. I now have all the files I can get off it, totalling only 132GB, plus the full 127GB of temporary files. (Wouldn't you know the files I don't really need are the ones I was able to get back.) However not all of the recovered files are reliable. Some photos are corrupted, and I haven't been able to check all the other file types. It is not surprising that I haven't been able to get all files off the drive, as Crystal Disk Info now say the drive is bad with a Read Error Rate attribute of 1, which is the worse reading possible, and well below the threshold of 54. Western Digital Data Lifeguard won't even complete tests against the drive.

 

 

So this is my problem:

I wish to restore the full 204GB of data from the 500GB backup set that Norton has on my Backup Drive, but Norton only shows 54GB as available to restore. How can I make Norton restore all files stored in the backup?

 

Regular Visitor
RoderickGI
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-01-2011

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

Well, it has been 24 hours since I posted. Doesn't anyone have any ideas on how to recover my data?

peterweb
Posts: 9,184
Kudos: 1,462
Solutions: 366
Registered: ‎04-17-2008

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

You do not mention the exact nature of the data drive errors.

 

Have you run chkdsk /r on your data drive? That may get it to a condition that you can manually copy all the files to your backup drive.


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Regular Visitor
RoderickGI
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-01-2011

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

Thanks for the reply Peter.

 

The drive has read errors, bad sectors and errors in index files. I have done several runs of Chkdsk, including two runs to scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors, both of which took a very long time. I have been recovering data slowly off the drive since about May 24th, and doing Chkdsk runs to try and get a little bit more off it each time I ran into problems. Event viewer shows I have done six runs, but some didn't get written to event viewer as I ran them from a Windows recovery CD.

 

Basically I have manually copied all but three sub-directories off the drive, and those three either display as empty when they shouldn't be, or are coorrupt and cannot be opened. Of course they are all important directories. Also, as I found quite a bit of corruption in recovered photos, I am concerned that many of the other files I have recovered will also be corrupt. I just won't know until I try to use them again. Checking them all would be a very long, slow process.

 

That is why my preference is to fully recover my backup of the data. I also want to do that before I erase the data drive and return it for warranty replacement. I will probably run at least one more full Chkdsk before erasing the data anyway, but the drive may not survive another run.

 

I would be grateful for any suggestions as to how to get the data out of the Norton 360 Backup.

peterweb
Posts: 9,184
Kudos: 1,462
Solutions: 366
Registered: ‎04-17-2008

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

I wish I could help more. I am not a data recovery expert.

 

I can only suggest that the reason you do not have as many files as you should, is that because the data drive was failing, 360 Backup could not back them up properly.

 

I'll have to leave this one for someone more familliar with the backups.

 

Good luck. Hope you get as much as possible back.


Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Regular Visitor
RoderickGI
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-01-2011

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

Thanks for your time anyway Peter. Hopefully a backup guru will come along soon. :-)

peterweb
Posts: 9,184
Kudos: 1,462
Solutions: 366
Registered: ‎04-17-2008

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

If you don't want to wait, you can try using the online chat feature to contact Norton Support. Hopefully if it can be fixed, they will be able to help you.

 

Find them here www.norton.com/chat

 

Please let us know if you find a solution.


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Regular Visitor
RoderickGI
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-01-2011

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

So, three weeks later and I have my answer. There is no solution. My data is gone.

 

My first discussion with Norton support via Chat on June 6th went pretty quickly. I convinced the support lady that I knew what I was talking about, had tried all the obvious things, and I was beyond her skill and knowledge already. She booked a phone call with a Case Manger straight away.

 

The call had several false starts. There was a one ring call 15 minutes outside our agreed time interval on June 6th, which I was unable to pick up quickly enough. One ring is a short attempt. I expected the call then during our alternate time the next day, 9am to 4pm. I missed a call while at the supermarket after 4pm the next day. I didn't hear the call, so it may have only rung for a short time. My phone is loud and vibrates. I managed to catch the next call on June 20th, which was really to see if the case was closed. It wasn't even started, so we booked a call for 25th at 11am. That call arrived at 12:50pm on 25th, so close I guess.

 

Anyway, I was not impressed with the support woman, who claimed to be a Case Manager, Level 2 Support. She insisted that if I let her start a remote control session she would be able to find the problem and possibly fix it. I insisted on expalining properly the issue, where the data was, what I had done. She said she understood, and still thought a remote session would find and possibly fix the problem. I hate allowing remote sessions onto my PC, because they are usually just time wasters in my experience, and often do more damage than good, but I reluctantly agreed, because this is a new install of Windows 7 with little software on it, and I have backups of everything on it now, just not the data I lost. We connected at about 1:09pm.

 

Straight away I could see that she had no idea what she was doing really, with the mouse repeatedly hopping around, going back to the same things over and over. She only tried what I had tried, using only Norton 360 restore and the portable restore. I showed her proof that the backup had stopped when it hit a corrupted file, and reported success. I showed her the directories I was able to recover from the failing drive. I asked again if she could recover the data in the backup. She didn't really answer, but having tried everything she knew, decided on a perplexing action; She decided to Cut the N360_BACKUP directory from my USB backup drive and Paste it to my C:\ drive. I asked her if that was what she meant to do, because there was not enough space on the C: drive to store the 500GB backup, it is just a small boot drive, 100GB in size. She hadn't checked the disk sizes at all. She cancelled Cut/Paste, checked the D:\ drive which I told her had the space, and she did the Cut/Paste (Move) to D:\. I didn't stop her, because the worst that could happen is that I lost the backup, which seemed useless anyway. I did ask her why she Cut instead of Copied the directory. No answer. What are you trying to do? Make sure that nothing on the PC is affecting the restore process. I explained, again, that this was a completely new install of Win7 on two new disks, with minimal software. Oh. But this was the only action she had in her kit bag. I pointed out that at best the Move of the data would take 2 hours 20 minutes. Her only concern was if I could stay around to see it to the end. I was ready to give her rope at that stage. We signed off the phone call and kept the remote sessions going, talking via that. I watched every bit of it, as did she. This had better be worth it.

 

The Move actually took 6 hours, finishing around 7pm. Over heads on a USB drive are a **bleep**. So now I expected some magic utilities to be introduced, which she wouldn't discuss earlier. Nope. She did exactly the same tasks as she had when the backup was on my USB Backup Drive. Norton Restore and Portable Restore. Neither gave any different result of course. We discussed what had happened. She said that all files after the first corrupt file were also corrupt. I opened one and showed her the header information, and we agreed that the file was there, just encrypted. She said that once the backup hit the corrupt file, "it just filled the rest of the backup space, but all files were corrupt." I tried to make sense of that, discussing it, but couldn't. It is, of course, bull**bleep**. Just an explanation used to placate people. The backup just stops and leaves all other files from earlier backups in place, but without an index record for then in the backup catalogue/database.

 

I asked again if Norton had any utilities to scan a backup and rebuild a list of files in it? No, Norton didn't have anything like that, and anyway, the files are corrupt and so can't be recovered. Yeah, right. Apparently my theory held no water. Despite every file having right there in the header the name and location of the encrypted file it holds, like this:

NB20W d : \ d a t a \ H o u s e   T e m p l e s t o w e \ G a r d e n \ V e g i e   G a r d e n   r e d e v e l o p m e n t \ P h o t o s   -   L a r g e \ P 7 2 9 0 3 5 6 . J P G

 

A rebuild of the backup catalogue/database should be dead easy. Unencrypting them can only be done by Norton though. The Backup Database is also mostly encrypted, so I can't do anything about that.

 

Anyway, I asked several times if there was anythign else that could be done, but she didn't know of anything. We agreed to quit trying and disconnected at 7:30pm, after she apologised a lot and gave me a 90 day extension on my Norton 360 licence.

 

The really frustrating thing that is based on what I told her and showed her, and her knowledge of her skills and available tools, she should have been able to tell me that nothing could be done in five minutes. I guess by taking seven and a half hours to achieve nothing she is gainfully employed. It is a bit sad for Norton though; Cheap support staff, but no solutions to real problems. Not good value.

 

 

So the answer is:

If Norton 360 Backup hits a corrupt file part way thorugh a backup, it will stop, but report success, and only give you access to the files backed up before the corrupt file. There are no utilities to recover all the other files from previous successful backups, even though they are all still there, visible and encrypted, filling up your disk.

 

Learnings:

  1. Don't let someone take remote control of your PC to "fix stuff", even from reputable companies. It will be a waste of time.  (Again.)
  2. Don't use Norton 360 Backup, because when you really need it, when a disk is failing and some files are corrupt, it will fail to backup, fail to tell you it failed, and lose access to all your previous good backups. This pretty much defeats the purpose of having a backup.
  3. If you do use Norton 360 Backup and something goes wrong, you are on your own. Support can't help.

 

If anyone does actually know of utilities to do what I need, I will have the backup for a short time longer before deleting it. I would really appreciate hearing about the utilities.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

peterweb
Posts: 9,184
Kudos: 1,462
Solutions: 366
Registered: ‎04-17-2008

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

Welcome back, but sorry it was not better news.

 

Maybe you want to try some data recovery software. At this point you have nothing to lose.

 

Check this page. There are 5 tools listed there.

 

Remember I know nothing about this, so you will be on your own.

 

Let us know if you find anything.


Things happen. Export/Backup your Identity Safe data.
Regular Visitor
RoderickGI
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-01-2011

Re: Norton 360 won't restore all backed up files

Well, I have all my data back, and the solution was dead simple.

 

I owe my thanks to Sunblock90 for posting his success in January 2010. See http://community.norton.com/t5/Norton-360/Succesful-Recovery-of-Corrupted-Norton-360-Backup-and-Rest...

 

All I had to do was rename, delete, or move the backup catalogue file, backup.@db from the backup set sub-directory and run ARestore normally. While ARestore didn't rebuild the backup catalogue, which I expected it might, it did read all the files in the backup set and allow me to restore them. I actually recovered 359GB of data, as using this method recovers all versions of all files, so I have duplicate where I have moved or renamed files or directories between backups. I only expected 204GB. Therefore I have a task ahead of me to sort through all the data and delete the duplicates and unwanted files, but at least I have all my data back.

 

I found the thread above when I tried some new search parameters in Google, while waiting for a disk recovery tools to analyse my bad disk. (Thanks for the suggestion Peter.) It was going to take 100 hours or more, so I had time. I had actually thought of using this method much earlier, but was concerned that it might just delete the whole backup and create a new empty backup.@db, so I held off while exploring all other anvenues, then forgot to try it after Norton Support failed me.

 

So, having seen it worked for someone else I stopped the recovery tool and tried it straight away, having nothing to lose if it deleted the backup now, plus I actually had a copy of it now. Buying two 2TB disks gave  me a lot of space to play with.

 

As Sunblock90 mentioned, it looks like ARestore has locked up when analysing a large backup set like my 500GB set, but it isn't. I opened the Win7 Resource Monitor and looked at Disk usage to comfirm that a ARestore was doing a lot of work. The disk light on the PC was also flashing madly, although that doesn't tell you what is being done. The Resource Monitor is a great tool for viewing what is actually happening. The analysis took half an hour or more, so if doing this, wait. My PC is quite fast but the process is constrained by disk speed.

 

Once the analysis finished I was presented with a lot of files to restore. I restored them all to a separate location, and confirmed the data I was missing was there. All is good now. Again, the restore will take a while if you have a lot of data. I wasn't able to monitor mine through to the end, but it must have taken at least two hours, and possibly five.

 

 

Once I knew what the problem was, a further search of the Norton Community forum found many other cases of exactly the same problem, some of which had the solution.

 

For example, Symantec employee Adam Schepis knew of the problem and solution back in June 2009: http://community.norton.com/t5/Norton-360/No-backup-set-found-Problem-Restoring-files/td-p/109442/pa...

 

Samueljones49 worked it out for himself after a little help from Symantec employee Subash Prabu See:  http://community.norton.com/t5/Norton-360/restore-of-Norton-360-backup-only-restores-1Gb-even-though...

 

Some of the posts imply that the backup.@db can be easily corrupted, that this is a common problem, and that it has been know of since Norton 360 V2.

 

I am disgusted that a Norton Support Level 2 Case Manager didn't know this simple method of recovering all data from a Norton 360 backup. But then, she barely seemed to be able to find her way around a PC, so I shouldn't be surprised. If I had believed her, I would have deleted the backup and moved on without some important data, and very unhappy about it.

 

Norton 360 Backup is still definitely off my list of suitable backup tools, given that it failed when it hit a corrupt file, reported success, and restricted access to the backed up files after backup.@db was corrupted, presumably by the unexpected termination of the backup process when it hit the corrupt file. I am looking for a more serious backup tool. I was considering Norton Ghost originally, but now I am wary.

 

Regardless, a happy ending this time.