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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40 Comments

  1. qb941g
    said this on Tuesday, April 1st 2014 11:20 pm

    Thanks Ramesh! This will work for me. Regards!

  2. Yenda
    said this on Sunday, February 16th 2014 3:45 am

    The restore froze for me and I found the answer to that at
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/unable-to-restore-xp-backup-files-to-windows-7/aaf5bc5c-721f-4bf0-851e-495ee35ee5ce

    Thank you for your article.

  3. Nicolas
    said this on Saturday, November 23rd 2013 9:31 pm

    Your site and article are a life saver – much better than Micorsoft – thank a million!!!

  4. Chris Jackson
    said this on Tuesday, July 9th 2013 12:32 am

    Excellent…….the simplest explanation yet, and it worked perfectly thank you so much.

  5. Nellu Oliver
    said this on Wednesday, July 3rd 2013 3:24 pm

    Nice method for showing about Restore .BKF Files Using NTBackup in Windows by manually. There are also some third party applications which help to repair corrupt BKF file & restores the data from BKF archives. Kernel for BKF Recovery Software repair corrupt BKF file and also restores MS exchange backup of EDB, STM and Log file data

  6. mp6
    said this on Thursday, February 21st 2013 1:36 pm

    The walk through for using NTbackup with Windows 7 was excellent. Thank you for the links to Plugins by STSanford. You saved me It worked!

  7. Daryle
    said this on Saturday, February 16th 2013 11:01 pm

    10000^10000 of thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Far better than 10000 of Microsoft talking!

  8. Nalla
    said this on Tuesday, February 12th 2013 4:43 pm

    Great help, Information was very useful better than microsoft corp. i have no words to express altide of happy i got after opening BKF.
    Thanks a lot guys

  9. said this on Monday, December 10th 2012 3:30 am

    GraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaCiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiIIIaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsss

    quien iso esto debo decir que le estoy eternamente agradecido :D

  10. Georg Eppler
    said this on Sunday, November 25th 2012 11:49 pm

    Wow, was a little bit upset after changing to windows 7 an I could not restore afterwards my tax software outside a bkf . So I searched about that stuff and found at microsoft site: ntbackup can be installed on windows 7 enterprise or ultimate edition with laguage package english. Very nice when you are in Germany and you have to pay more than 200$ for backup.
    So many many thanks to reuse data outside an bkf file under windwos 7 without paying any “royalities” taxes.

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