Can I browse files in larger backups without having to restore the whole thing?

Say I have a backup of 2TB worth of data, Im interested in a single file maybe making up just a few KB.

Do I need to make sure that I have 2 TB of available hard drive space and restore the entire backup onto that drive in order to access that file, or can I mount the backup somehow to access individual files?

If not, are there any other well known open source backup tools that are capable of this?

Oh and Im on win11 btw

I suppose you have lost the database local file. This script use the dindex files wich are stored in the backup directory so is unnecessary the database file.

In a normal situation you can click to “restore files” in the local backup job, from user interface and select the file, and the version of backup wich you wish to restore.

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Welcome to the forum @officernickwilde

What do you have? Is Duplicati available or installable to do Direct restore from backup files which is a bit simpler for one-time restore? For multiple restores, you can make a for-restore-only job and recreate DB.

You can’t mount a backup, but you shouldn’t need 2 TB unless you need one of the specialty restore tools. Duplicati.CommandLine.RecoveryTool.exe is another one, mainly meant for backups that were corrupted.

Hi and thanks for the replies! @ts678 @xblitz ! I dont use duplicati at the time being, just doing some preliminary research before choosing my backup solution.

What Im looking for essentially is to be able to easily browse my data in any point of time without too much hassle. Ideally I would just want to mount a backup as a drive, its fine if its somewhat slow to restore larger files as long as its relatively convenient for me to navigate the file system and pick whatever file I need.

As it seems duplicati doesnt really let me mount backups for easy access though, can anyone here recommend any other backup solutions for Windows that allows for this?

No, I don’t know any software… but… the restore procedure it’s very user friendly: the “backup explorer” it’s a tree structure, like the “windows explorer” tree in windows 98. So, I suggest to instal duplicati and create a simple backup of same directories (not your very_important_documenst_folder) and experiment… Only in this way you can discover if you get confortable with duplicati (or other backup programs).

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The knowledge among those who follow this forum closely is narrower than that on the whole Internet.
You could try a search engine such as Google to see what’s available, and see what people think of it.

“windows” “restore from * explorer”
“windows” “backup” “browse * explorer”
“windows” “mount a backup” “explorer”

The built-in Windows File History can do this, but it’s quite basic and was quite unreliable when I ran it.
As @xblitz notes, many backup programs use their own GUI view instead of integrating with Explorer.
This presumably gives them more freedom, e.g. some can show available versions of selected file, but Duplicati can’t. You did say “browse my data in any point of time” though, which is what Duplicati does.

Because your latest request grew wider than first “well known open source backup tools”, options grow.

Macrium Reflect Free is my image backup solution, and file restore is done by drive letter plus Explorer.
They have fancier paid versions, and you’ll probably find other commercial software with similar pricing.

If you want some newer open source, it looks like Kopia can mount a backup over WebDAV networking.
Their GUI seems rather new, and they don’t yet support VSS, so it might have problems on locked files.

covers what Duplicati can do right now, and some of the things that may happen if developers volunteer.
Duplicati is limited by volunteer resources in all areas. Anybody who is willing is encouraged to help out.

Good luck in your search. You might have to try a few to see which backup comes closest to your ideal.

I use Macrium Reflect (in addition to Duplicati) and it does have the ability to mount the backup archives as a local drive letter. Macrium Reflect is great because it’s a true image level backup system but still lets you restore individual files if desired. Duplicati is more efficient at storing multiple versions though. So what I do is use Macrium Reflect with limited retention, and Duplicati for protecting my user data files with much longer retention.