Personal Backup

© 2001 − 2021, Dr. J. Rathlev


Restore data from backup

In the event that data has been lost and must be restored from a backup, the program offers two options:

The internal Restore function

Clicking the button in the tool bar on the left will open a dialog window in which you can select which files and from which directory you wish to restore and to which directory the files are to be copied. These settings can be saved as task (<filename>.rsj) for use at any time.

Destination for restore File filter Overwrite settings Age of files Load and store task Start restore Restore using Windows task scheduler Type of backup Mail Time compare Log file Optionen Sicherheitkopien Password Restore

Select the location of the backed up files for Restore

When restoring files, you must consider how the data was backed up (see Backup destination):

Restore to

Files can be restored either to the original source directory or to any other location:

Uncompress gz/gze and zip files

If the backup was made into single compressed files, select the same mode as used during backup. So all files will automatically be unpacked on restore in the right way (default setting : gz/gze).

No decryption of enc files

Personal Backup adds the file extension enc for uncompressed encrypted files. These files are decrypted automatically on restore. If there are files from another application using this extension, the decryption will fail. You can prevent the program from decrypting such files by checking this option.

Restore empty directories

If this option is selected, even empty directories will be restored.

Reset archive bit

If this option is selected, the archive bit of each restored file will be reset.


If this option is enabled, all files in the destination directory that match the specified filter conditions (see below) and that are not existing in the backup directory will be deleted after restore. Thereby it does not matter whether the files were encrypted and/or compressed during the backup.


File filters

By using filename filters, filenames matching certain patterns may be included or excluded. Use the same rules as described for backup file filters (Standard file filter or Regular expressions).

File age

You can specify whether you want to restore only files newer or older than a given fixed or relative date.



Here you can specify whether existing files are always to be overwritten, or only when they are older than those from your backup, or never.

Settings for time comparison

Comparing the timestamps of files is problematic when using different file systems. Adjust the settings to be system-independent (see here).

Restore of

Creation time
If this option is selected, the creation time of the files will also be restored.

Alternate data streams
If this option is checked, any alternate data streams saved with the files (see here), will be restored.

Document summaries
If this option is checked, the document summaries, possibly saved with the files (see here), will be restored.

File permissions
In NTFS file systems and network shares, an access control list (ACL) that specifies the permissions for each user is associated with each file and directory. If this option is set, also the permissions of files and directories will be restored (see here). For this to happen, it is necessary that ACLs are supported by both source and destination.

If this option is set, the information about junctions saved during backup (see here) will be analyzed to recreate the junctions in the destination directory of the restore. Depending on the restore settings, the contents of the directories, to which the junctions point, must possibly be restored separately.
Important note: To restore junctions, administrator rights are required.

Take security copies into account

Security copies

This option is disabled by default, but must be activated only if Security copies were created during backup.
Use this option to define how these security copies shall be taken into account during restore. The settings for prefixes and suffixes must be set in the dialog (see screenshot below) as used during backup to identify these directories and files. There are two possible selections:

  1. Ignore: All directories and files matching these settings will be ignored on restore. Only the most recent files will be restored from backup (default setting).
  2. Include: This selection is required if you wish to restore to the state as at a former date, as specified under File age - All before ..... All directories and files matching the settings for prefix and suffix will be scanned on restore to find the most recent file version matching to the selected time slot. The files will be moved automatically to their correct destination.
Security copies

The settings can be specified separately for security copies from backup and from synchronization:


Mail delivery after restore

Similar to the option for backups, a mail with status information and optionally a log file can be sent after performing a restore task. The settings are the same as for backup.


Here you can optionally specify a fixed password to be used for decryption of files. In this case the user will not be prompted to enter it during restore. So a restore may be performed in background without user interaction.
By clicking the small button at the right, you can import the password from the associated backup task. Note that this option cannot be used if the backup task is protected.
The icon on the button changes to show whether a fixed password Fixed password was specified or the password has to be queried Prompt for password on restore.

Import password
Clicking the button will open a dialog to select the backup task associated to the restore. A registered fixed password will be imported and automatically used for restore.

Log settings

Clicking the Log settings button will open a dialog to adjust the log settings for restore.
Click then Show log button to view the current log.

Loading and saving restore tasks

Clicking the Save task or Save task as button will save a configured restore task with all settings to disk. To load and reuse such a saved task, click the Open task button.

A saved restore task can also be started from the command line. This makes it possible to use the Windows Task Scheduler to restore files at specific times, or to restore a directory (for example automatically on logon) by adding a shortcut to the Windows start menu (see All Programs ⇒ Startup):
PersBackup /restore <rest-task>

Automatic Restore using Windows Task Scheduler

You can configure a Windows scheduled task to carry out an automatic Restore by clicking the Scheduled tasks button. The configuration procedure is the same as described for backups.

Start restore

Clicking the button will start the restore. Before restoring any files, the program will create and display a list of all files that match the filter conditions. If the selection is not to your liking, you can cancel the restore at this point and adjust your settings. It is also possible to select or deselect files or directories individually by tagging the checkboxes.

Right-clicking a file will open a local menu that allows its contents to be viewed or compared with the source (if available):

To use these options, an external viewer and a comparison program must be specified. Clicking the Programs button will open an appropriate dialog.

After this, all selected files will be restored. Any necessary unpacking and decryption will occur automatically. If required, a password must be entered by the user only once. If you wish, you can save the password with the restore task (more ..) to avoid any interaction during restore



The additional program PbRestore

The program can be started via the Windows Start Menu or in Personal Backup by selecting Control panel menu - Utilities - External Restore program in two different modes of operation:.

You can copy this supplementary program onto a USB stick to restore files in emergency without installing Personal Backup in its entirety.

Restore data from backup into separate files


The program offers three options to restore data backed up into separate files (even if compressed as gz/gze or zip and/or encrypted:

In all three cases compressed and/or encrypted files will be unpacked and/or decrypted automatically. The destination directory must be selected manually. In addition you can select, whether files already existing in the destination directory shall be overwritten or not. If only older files shall be overwritten, you can adjust the settings for time comparison (see here). Optionally you can disable the overwriting of write-protected files and reset the archive bit of each restored file.
By clicking the tool button at the lower right of the file list you can adjust whether you wish to associate gz, gze and enc files with PbRestore as the default application in Windows. Click the upper right button to switch to zip mode.

Restore selected files

First, on the left select the directory or if the option Uncompress: zip files is selected the zip archive, containing the files to be restored. On the file list at right you can select the desired file(s) using the mouse or keyboard (Ctrl-A for all or Ctrl-N for none) in the normal way. Clicking the Restore button will initiate the copying of files into the specified destination.
Uncompress: If the option Uncompress: gz/gze files is selected, the files will be unpacked automatically. The same applies to zip files if the option Uncompress: zip files is enabled.
Decryption: On encrypted files (enc or gze) or on encrypted zip files the user will be prompted to apply the password to start the decryption automatically.
Double-clicking a file or the Preview button at the lower right will start the application associated in Windows with this file (e.g. an image viewer for jpg file).

Restore all files from a selected directory

First, on the left select the directory or zip archive, containing the files to be restored. All files from this directory and its subdirectories (if any) or in the archive will be copied to the destination directory. The directory structure will be retained.
Optionally you can disable the unpacking of gz/gze and zip files.

Restore from a schedule

If your files were saved using an alternating schedule (Full backup in conjunction with incremental/differential backups) the files will be distributed to several directories (e.g. BD01F, BD02I, BD03I,..). When restoring it is necessary to retrieve the most recent versions.
The user must specify the following items:

Optionally you can disable the unpacking of gz/gze and zip files.

Restore files from zip archives


If the backup was placed into one zip archive or into zip archives per subdirectory, the files can be unpacked using any popular file archiver such as WinZip or 7zip. This applies even to archives with encrypted data.
But if, in addition, also the filenames were encrypted (available since version 5.9.4), a full recovery of backed-up data is no longer possible using one of these programs (see here). The file data itself will be decrypted correctly, but the filenames cannot be recovered. In this case the use of PbRestore is required. The program will decrypt all directory names and filenames on reading the zip archive and will rebuild the original directory structure.
Depending on the settings during backup, the following options are available:

Initially, all files are selected. By clicking the checkboxes to the left of the directories and filenames, they can be alternatively excluded or included. Using one of the two buttons above the file list, all files can be deselected or selected.
In addition you can select whether files already existing in the destination directory shall be overwritten or not. If only older files shall be overwritten, you can adjust the settings for time comparison (see here). Optionally you can disable the overwriting of write-protected files and reset the archive bit of each restored file.
After selecting a destination directory, start the restore by clicking the associated button.
Click the button to the upper right of the file list to switch to single file mode.

Command line options:

To control the operation mode of PbRestore, use the following command line options:

The program will start in Restore files mode and will offer selection of single files (see above)
The program will start in Restore files mode and will offer selection of entire directories (see above)
The program will start in Restore files mode and directly select the given Directory
The program will start in Restore files from zip archives mode (see above)
[Filename] or [File list]
If Filename is a zip archive, it will be opened to restore selected files. In all other cases (either one file or a list of files) the Restore files mode will open and the specified files will be selected for restore.

J. Rathlev, 24222 Schwentinental, Germany, June 2021