Restore Specific Files from a Huge .BKF NTBackup.exe file

I like using NTBackup.exe on the old VMs, but discovered that if you don’t keep up on the backup rotations, you will have a very hard time doing restores. The NTBackup.exe restore doesn’t make it easy to restore all incrementals of a folder.

It turns out there’s a sideways solution with Unix. Copy the huge BKF file to a Linux computer. If you don’t have one, use Virtual Box and set one up in a VM.

Next, download the mftar application from this URL, and build it:

The command I used was like this:

./mtftar -f inputfile.bkf -o outputfile.tar

(Except I used the full path, and had the input and outputs on different disks, for speed.)

Then you use tar to extract a specific folder:

tar xvf outputfile.tar "F\:/path/to/restore"

The quotes help, as does escaping the colon. The tar file contains the DOS drive letter, unfortunately. The backslashes were converted to regular slashes.

Watch the names scroll up the screen. That sure beats using a mouse and clicking on icons! You might want to redirect that output to a file, so you can see what it restored, to check if there were any files overwritten.