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Restoring Files from Backups

Restoring Files Manually

To restore from a non-archived backup, just copy files and folders from it. This page is aimed to explain how to restore from archived backups.

Get Backup uses standard file formats: TAR for creating archives and GZIP for compression. These formats are natively supported on OS X and other operating systems. This makes it possible to extract files from the archive without using the Get Backup application. In OS X the Archive Utility.app is the default application for extracting files from archives.

Double-click on the backup archive file (*.tar or *.tgz) in Finder to extract. The archive content will appear in the folder where the archive is located. Then copy the files to the original location on the disk.

To convert a partitioned or encrypted archive to *.tar or *.tgz format, you have to use command line applications. Then double-click on the archive in Finder. Examples of command lines can be found below. If you are not familiar with shell applications, prefer using Get Backup.

Full Archive

You may have multiple archives created at different times (we call them versions). Choose one of them (the latest if you want to restore the most recent copies of your documents) and extract it. Older versions of Get Backup also supported Versioned Archive type which can be treated in the same way as Full Archives.

Incremental Archive

You may have a series of incremental archives containing only those files that were modified after the previous archive had been created. To restore all the files in the most recent versions, you should extract all the archives to separate folders. The first (oldest) archive must contain all the files included in the backup project. Use the files and folders extracted from this archive as the basis. Move or copy the newest versions of files there preserving the structure of included files and folders.

Examples of Command Lines

The openssl application is used for decryption. The cat application is used to concatenate parts of the archive. The tar application is used for decompression. To enter command lines and run the applications above, use the Terminal.app application located in the Applications/Utilities folder.

Remember that the elements of the command line should be separated with the "space" symbol. If a space symbol is present in the file or folder name, or in the password, replace it with "\ " (slash and space) in the command line. For example, use "document\ 1.txt" instead of "document 1.txt".

In command line examples below, parts you should change are underlined. Don't modify the rest.

To use a command:

  1. Copy the command to a text editor (for instance, TextEdit.app).
  2. Replace the sample path(s) to the actual file path(s). Replace the password if you have an encrypted backup. Retain the spaces that separate the parts of the command line.
    If a "space" symbol is present in the file or folder name, or in the password, replace it with "\ " (slash and space) in the command line. For example, write "document\ 1.txt" instead of "document 1.txt".
  3. Select the command line and copy it (Cmd-C).
  4. Open the Terminal.app application located in the Applications/Utilities folder.
  5. Paste the command (Cmd-V) and press the Return key to run.

If you need to stop the process in Terminal.app urgently, press Ctrl-C.

Concatenate Parts

cat ~/path/vers20090701135457n.tar.aaa ~/path/vers20090701135457n.tar.aab > ~/path/backup.tar

Here:
~/path/vers20090701135457n.tar.aaa – the first part;
~/path/vers20090701135457n.tar.aab – the second part (if you have more parts, put the path to each separating them with the space symbol);
~/path/backup.tar – the output file path.

The input files (parts) must be present in the command line in the correct order: *.aaa then *.aab then *.aac and so on.

Decrypt a Blowfish Archive

openssl enc -in ~/path/vers20090701143400n.tar.bfe -bf -d -k password > ~/path/backup.tar

Here:
~/path/vers20090701143400n.tar.bfe – an archive encrypted using the Blowfish algorithm (see the file extension).
password – the password used to encrypt the archive.
~/path/backup.tar – the output file path.

Decrypt a Triple DES Archive

openssl enc -in ~/path/vers20090701151110n.tar.3des -des3 -d -k password > ~/path/backup.tar

Here:
~/path/vers20090701151110n.tar.3des – an archive encrypted using the Triple DES algorithm (see the file extension).
password – the password used to encrypt the archive.
~/path/backup.tar – the output file path.

Decrypt a AES-128 Archive

openssl enc -in ~/path/vers20090701151110n.tar.aes128 -aes-128-cbc -d -k password > ~/path/backup.tar

Here:
~/path/vers20090701151110n.tar.aes128 – an archive encrypted using the AES-128 algorithm (see the file extension).
password – the password used to encrypt the archive.
~/path/backup.tar – the output file path.

Decrypt a AES-256 Archive

openssl enc -in ~/path/vers20090701151110n.tar.aes256 -aes-256-cbc -d -k password > ~/path/backup.tar

Here:
~/path/vers20090701151110n.tar.aes256 – an archive encrypted using the AES-256 algorithm (see the file extension).
password – the password used to encrypt the archive.
~/path/backup.tar – the output file path.

Decrypt a AES-256 Archive and Extract Files

openssl enc -in ~/path/vers20090701153031n.tgz.aes256 -aes-256-cbc -d -k password | tar -zxv -C ~/Desktop/backup/

Here:
~/path/vers20090701153031n.tgz.aes256 – a compressed archive encrypted using the AES-256 algorithm (see the file extension).
password – the password used to encrypt the archive.
~/Desktop/backup/ – the path to an existing folder where the extracted files will be written.

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