File and folder recovery

x360Recover

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at September 20th, 2022

What is the best method of file and folder recovery? 

There are a variety of file and folder recovery options with x360Recover.

Your best method depends on:

  • which x360Recover services you use
  • how many files/folders you need to recover
  •  if you need to preserve permissions

This article walks through types of available file and folder recovery, including methods from the appliance UI, methods from the vault UI, or methods using an FTPS client. 

METHOD DESCRIPTION

1. Mount a snapshot


Select a snapshot and browse the file system. 
  • Best for quick restore of a few files/folders.
  • Use from either appliance UI or vault UI

2. Use FTPS

Quickly browse and transfer files. 
  • Requires an FTP client
  • Requires FTPS be enabled in the appliance/vault. 
  • Use from either appliance UI or vault UI

3. Start iSCSI



Launch an iSCSI initiator application. 
  • Best for restoring larger files/folders or searching for missing files.
  • Use only with appliance or private vault

4. Manual partition

Only for BDR: NOT for D2C


After starting iSCSI, download the iSCSI Manager from x360Recovery Toolkit and perform a partition-by-partition recovery. 

  • NOT applicable for Direct-to-Cloud (D2C)
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While this article covers the easiest ways to recover files and folders, you can also recover from x360Recover Manager or the Recovery Center.


Method #1. Mount a snapshot

Mount a protected system's point-in-time snapshot from an appliance or vault. Once a snapshot is mounted, use the File Browser tab to browse and download files and folders. 

Pros of the Mount + File Browser tools 

  • Easy to use 
  • Available on both the appliance and vault UIs 
  • Works with any standard web browser 

Cons of the Mount + File Browser tools  

  • Doesn't preserve original file and folder permissions 
  • Not suitable for very large files 
  • Limited to a few hundred files per download 
  • Folders are retrieved as zipped files - it may take a long time to create an archive

How to recover with the Mount tool 

1. Log into an appliance or vault through x360Recover Manager. From the Protected Systems page, click into a protected system and scroll to the bottom of the page to view its snapshots.  

Locate a snapshot from the point-in-time you wish to recover, and click the Mount button. 


2. Navigate to the File Browser page. Browse to locate the file or folder. 


Right-click on the file or folder and select Download. When it finishes downloading, you can optionally move the file or folder back to its original location. 

3. When you are done recovering, scroll to the bottom of the File Browser page to view Mounted volumes. Click Dismount for the appropriate snapshot. 

You have successfully recovered using the Mount tool! 

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Method #2. Use FTPS 

Download a secure FTP Client (Secure File Transfer Protocol) for optimized performance while browsing and recovering large amounts of files and folders. 

Pros of FTPS 

  • Available on both the appliance and vault UIs
  • Robust native internet protocol specifically designed for file and folder transfers 
  • Optimized for performance over internet connections 
  • Interrupted downloads can be resumed in place 
  • Suitable for very large files and/or many folders 

Cons of FTPS

  • Doesn't preserve original file and folder permissions 
  • Requires an FTPS client application on the user system 
  • May require additional configuration of the FTPS client for optimal performance 

NOTE:  SFTP is not related to FTP or FTPS. 
  • SFTP operates over an SSH tunnel established on port 22. SFTP utilizes SSH keys to encrypt and secure communications, which do not validate the integrity of the certificate or the authenticity of the owner. SFTP is also substantially slower than FTPS. 
x360Recover does not support SFTP or unencrypted FTP connections. 

2a. Download an FTP client

If you do not already have a FTP Client of choice, we recommend Filezilla or WinSCP.

Filezilla is probably the best free open-source FTP client. It is full-featured, cross-platform, user friendly, and has a large community supporting and maintaining it. You can
download Filezilla for Windows here

WinSCP is another open-source Windows client that supports multiple protocols, including SSH, SFTP, FTPS, Google Cloud, and Amazon S3. You can download WinSCP for Windows here.

FTPS port requirements and info

FTPS services on your private vault are intended to operate in FTP passive mode.

For clients to connect to the service, standard FTP ports 20 and 21 should be port-forwarded to the vault and should be opened to the internet.

The PASV port range (for passive mode operation), has been configured to use ports 10000-11024 for client data communications. This port range must also be port-forwarded to the vault and open to the Internet.

What is the difference between active and passive mode? 

Active mode

  • In active mode, the client connects to the FTP server on port 21 to issue control and command operations to the server.  
  • The server then connects back to the client on port 20 for data transfer operations. 
  • For this to work, the client must be directly accessible on the internet on port 20 (and this is almost never the case in the modern internet world.)

Passive mode

  • In passive mode, the client still connects to the server on port 21 for control operations. 
  • When file transfers are to occur, the server requests that the client make a data connection on an available PASV port. 
  • In this way, only the server needs to be directly accessible on the internet.

Why are so many PASV ports required?

Control session on port 21 utilizes a standard daemonized TCP service.  

This means that the initial connection on the public port is automatically transferred to another session port, allowing the service to support multiple users on a single public connection port address.  

PASV connections are not daemonized.  Each port connection is dedicated to a single client session.  

FTP supports the use of multiple data connections to accelerate transmission of many files and folders. This explains why a single user session may consume many data transfer ports. To facilitate multiple simultaneous users, each with multiple data connections, a large range of PASV ports was provisioned for the service.

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How to enable FTPS

1. Log into an appliance or vault through x360Recover Manager. From the Protected Systems page, click into a protected system and scroll to the bottom of the page to view its snapshots.  

2. Click Mount or Export to stage the snapshot data you wish to recover. 

3. Navigate to the Network Sharing page from the menu. 

4. Ensure Enable FTPS is checked. Locate the user entry in the table and click Show Password


User accounts only populate when snapshots are mounted or exported (Step 2) and the Enable FTPS Server checkbox is selected. Passwords are generated randomly each time the user account is created when activating a snapshot.

  • On an appliance, the user will always be the client account the device is registered to. 
  • On a vault, the user may be any client account that has data replicated to it. 
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2b. Recover with FTPS 

How to recover with Filezilla 

1. Open Filezilla and make a connection to the server. 

  • The Host is the IP Address or FQDN of your vault or appliance.   
    • All Axcient-hosted vaults have an FQDN address in the following format: 
      rb-<partner><instance number>.rb.<datacenter>.efscloud.net 
      For example:
      rb-pmteam4.rb.atl.efscloud.net
  • Enter the username and password from the appliance or vault Network Sharing page (Step 4 in the Enable FTPS steps above). 
  • You may leave Port blank. Click Quickconnect

2. Once connected, the local and remote file system data will be presented in the user interface.

  • Local file system items are located in the window on the left
  • Remote filesystem items are located in the window on the right.   
  • Command and control status and results will be shown in the top window.
  • File transfer activity will be displayed in the bottom window.

After connection, the right window pane will display the folders available for the client who is currently logged in.

  • Exported virtual disk images will be located in the ExportedVMs folder
  • Mounted snapshots will be located in the MountedVolumes folder.  

The folder structure is the same as that presented in the classic File Browser via the web interface.  

3. To download file and folders in Filezilla: 

  • Double click a folder to traverse into it. 
  • Double click the ‘..’ folder to move back up a level
  • Click directly on a folder tree location in the upper window to move to that filesystem location.
  • You can also click directly on the desired local filesystem location (where you wish to recover files or folders)
  • Double click a file (or right-click and select Download on any file or folder) to add to the queue and begin downloading.  

4. To set multiple simultaneous (concurrent) downloads in Filezilla:

Filezilla supports multi-threaded downloads (which means multiple files can be downloaded simultaneously.) By default, two simultaneous downloads are allowed, but you can change this setting to suit your preferences.   

  • Click Edit -> Settings
  • Select Transfers
  • Edit the Maximum simultaneous transfers setting to allow more or less concurrent downloads.  

Note: Within this window, you may also set bandwidth throttling limitations for uploads or downloads.

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How to recover with WinSCP

1. Open WinSCP and make a connection to the server. 
  • Click New Site
  • Select FTP as the File protocol
  • Select TLS/SSL Explicit encryption as the Encryption
  • Enter the Host name. The Host is the IP Address or FQDN of your vault or appliance.   
    • All Axcient-hosted vaults have an FQDN address in the following format: 
      rb-<partner><instance number>.rb.<datacenter>.efscloud.net 
      For example:
      rb-pmteam4.rb.atl.efscloud.net
  • Accept the default value for the Port number
  • Enter the username and password from the appliance or vault Network Sharing page (Step 4 in the Enable FTPS steps above). 
  • Click Login

2. Once connected, local and remote filesystem data will be presented within the user interface.  

  • Local filesystem items are located in the window on the left.
  • Remote filesystem items are located in the window on the right.  

After connection, the right window pane will display the folders available for the client who is currently logged in. 

  • Exported virtual disk images will be located in the ExportedVMs folder.
  • Mounted snapshots will be located in the MountedVolumes folder.  

The folder structure is the same as that presented in the classic File Browser via the web interface.

3. To download files and folders in WinSCP:

  • Double click a folder to traverse into it. 
  • Double click the ‘..’ folder to move back up a level
  • Use the folder tree dropdown in the toolbar to move to another filesystem location
  • Navigate to a desired local filesystem location (where you wish to recover files or folders) by using the folder tree dropdown selector in the toolbar.
  • Double-click a file, click to select a file and press <F5>, or right-click and select Download on any file or folder to queue it and begin downloading
  • Specify your Transfer settings and click OK to start the download.  

4. To set multiple simultaneous (concurrent) downloads in WinSCP:

  • After initiating download, click the Transfer in background checkbox. This will add the selected files to the queue. 


  • You can also: 
    • Hold down the <CTRL> key, click to select multiple files, then press <F5> to queue them for download. 

  • Download progress will be displayed in a popup window. 


  • If you are transferring multiple files in the background, the background transfers window pane will be displayed on the bottom of the WinSCP window. 
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Method #3. Start iSCSI

Start iSCSI from a protected system's point-in-time snapshot from an appliance or vault, then use native Windows tools to connect and recover from the snapshot. 

iSCSI is a standard TCP/IP protocol for connecting block storage devices (like hard disks) from a storage server to an application host over a network layer.  Commonly used in datacenter environments, x360Recover implements the ability to export protected system disk volumes as iSCSI targets as a robust means to perform data recovery.

Pros of iSCSI 

  • Preserves original Windows file and folder permissions 
  • Suitable for very large files or many folders 
  • Supports Smart-Recovery (returns original disk architecture) 
  • Mounted iSCSI volumes can be searched within Windows 

Cons of iSCSI

  • Moderately complicated to use 
  • Not inherently secure for use over WAN connections

Recover with iSCSI

1. Log into an appliance or private vault through x360Recover Manager. From the Protected Systems page, click into a protected system and scroll to the bottom of the page to view its snapshots.  


Locate a snapshot from the point-in-time you wish to recover, and click the iSCSI Start button. 


2. Select Test Mode or Live Mode


  • If recovering from a recent backup, Test Mode is recommended
  • If recovering from a snapshot that was previously used to boot a virtual machine (VM) in live mode, select Live Mode to attach to the persistent snapshot clone containing the data changes made while the VM was running. 
  • The Use Smart Recovery option is not recommended for file and folder recovery. Smart Recovery restores the original disk identity and UUID headers. Older versions of Windows will refuse to mount two disks with identical UUID identity, while newer versions of Windows will silently change the UUID identity of the new disks. Neither of these outcomes are likely desired! 

Click Start


3. Once the snapshot has been exported, you can mount the virtual disk target to your Windows recovery system. For a system running Windows 7 or newer, or Windows Server 2008 or newer, navigate to the Control Panel's Administrative Tools


Open the iSCSI Initiator applet.


If prompted to start the service, click Yes


4. In the Target field, enter the IP address of the appliance or vault, then click Quick Connect


Available disks will populate. Reference the iSCSI menu pane of the appliance or vault for the IQN Name of the disk volume you would like to search. 


Select the desired disk in the Discovered targets field and click Connect


5. Once the disk has been connected, navigate to the Control Panel's Administrative Tools and open the Computer Management applet. Expand Storage and click Disk Management


6. Locate the newly attached system disk and verify it is online. If not, right-click the disk name and select Online


Find the drive letter that has been assigned to the disk volume(s). In the example above, it's the F: drive. 


7. Use Windows Explorer or your preferred file management utility to search or browse for the file and folders you want to recover. Copy and paste them back to their original server locations. 


8. Once recovery is complete, you must remove your disk connections. 


  • Close any Windows Explorer windows open to the recovery disk volumes. 
  • From the Disk Management applet, right-click the disk name and select Offline
  • From the iSCSI Initiator applet, select the connected disk(s) and select Disconnect. If you receive an error, try again after stopping iSCSI on the appliance or vault (described below). 
    • Remove any entries referencing the appliance or iSCSI LUNs from the Discovery and Favorites
  • In the appliance or vault, click the Stop button from the iSCSI page.  



You can also click iSCSI Stop from the protected system's Details page. Be sure to change the snapshots filter from All to In Use



You have successfully recovered using iSCSI! 

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Method # 4. Manual partition

In some cases, while recovering with BDR (not Direct-to-Cloud), it may be necessary to perform a manual, partition-by-partition recovery operation to restore a system to working order. For example, if the original source disk contains multiple Windows volumes, and you must restore the original topology when recovering the system, you can use a manual copy process to recover the data, one partition at a time. 

The following is an example of how to use Manual Partition Recovery to restore a system where the original Disk 0 drive contains multiple Windows volumes. 

Recover with a manual partition

How to recover with manual partition

1. Export the protected system from the appliance using the iSCSI method. 

If you are recovering a system that has been running in Live Mode as a virtual machine on the appliance, then select Live Mode

Otherwise, choose Test Mode.

2. Boot your new system from the x360Recover Recovery Toolkit

3. When the desktop loads, launch iSCSI Manager from the Utilities folder of the Launcher menu. 

4. Enter the IP address of the appliance and click Discover

Discovered targets will populate. Select the disk target(s) containing the Windows volume(s) you wish to recover. Click Connect to attach them to the recovery tools environment. 

5. Launch Disk ManagerIdentify the device path for the local disk you intend to restore the volume to, as well as the device path of the original volume you mounted via iSCSI. 

6. Launch LXTerminal from the System Tools folder of the Launcher menu. 

  • Elevate to the root user by running sudo su
  • Clone the partition table and disk identity onto the new system by running the following command: 

    dd if=<source disk device> of=<destination disk device> bs=1024 count=1024

    For example, if your original protected system is /dev/sdb and your new local disk is /dev/sda, then you would run dd if=/dev/sdb /of=/dev/sda bs=1024 count=1024

7. Launch GParted from the shortcut on the desktop. 

Note: If a message appears during launch stating that not all available space is in use, click Fix. For each partition from the original C: drive:

  • Select the source disk device from the drop-down choices in the top right corner
  • Right-click on the partition and select copy
  • Select the destination disk from the drop-down selector
  • Right-click the appropriate partition
  • Click Paste
  • Click OK when the warning on overwriting an existing partition appears.

For additional volumes, repeat the steps above to copy each partition onto the destination disk. Select unallocated space on the destination disk and a new partition will be created. Once all partitions have been selected, click the Check button from the top tool bar to perform the selected actions.

8.  When all operations have completed, reboot to verify that the system will boot normally. 

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