There are so many users who back up their data using the NTBackup Tool in Windows XP, then clean install/upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows Vista and later realize that Windows 7/Vista do not include the NTBackup Tool to restore data from the .BKF archive. If you have critical data contained in a NTBackup file (.BKF) and want to restore it in Windows 7, then this article is for you.

Method 1 (Recommended): Microsoft has now released the Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7 to restore data from .BKF archive. See article How to Restore .BKF Files Using Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7 for a walkthrough.

Method 2: Using Windows XP’s NTBackup Tool to restore data

Windows XP’s NTBackup executable runs just fine in Windows Vista and Windows 7, provided that the supporting DLLs (given below) are available in the same folder where NTBackup.exe is present. The two DLL files are:

  • ntmsapi.dll
  • vssapi.dll

If you run NTBackup.exe without these two modules, these errors would pop-up.

The program can’t start because NTMSAPI.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.
The ordinal 3 could not be located in the dynamic link library VSSAPI.DLL.

After searching the web, I came across the NTBackup files which were packaged within a .cab file meant for use as Bart PE Plugin.

Restoring a .BKF File Using NTBackup

1. Download nt5backup.cab from Plugins by STSanford.

2. Extract the files inside the cabinet file to a folder of your choice.

3. Run the file NTBackup.exe from the folder.

4. NTBackup will indicate that Removable Storage service (removed in Windows Vista & Windows 7). Never mind! This is only required for tape backups. Click OK.

5. In the Welcome to Backup or Restore Wizard page, click Next

6. Select Restore files and settings, and click Next

7. Click Browse. Locate the .BKF file that you want to restore, and click OK.

8. Expand the catalog, select the files/folders you want to restore, and click Next.

9. Click the Advanced button

10. Select Alternate location from the dropdown, and mention the destination path.

Configure the restore options accordingly.

Click Next, and then click Finish.

Whew! You’ve now restored the contents of NTBackup .BKF file in Windows 7.

This procedure should work in Windows Vista, as well.


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41 Comments

  1. arkaitz
    said this on Monday, June 2nd 2014 3:51 pm

    Dear Ramesh,

    i found a problem with it. even though the b.bkf file comes from windows xp, and i havenĀ“t done anything with the file, after following your steps (which where really hepful but), a window poped up saying: “the data file contains unrecognized data and cannot be used”

    what could i do?

    many thanks in advance!

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