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Can a file be deleted from a backup set or media?

Created: 11 Juni 2013 • Aktualisiert: 11 Juni 2013 | 5 Kommentare
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I need to destroy some data and also need to purge it from existing backup sets without loosing all other data in those backup sets.

Is this possible?



Operating Systems:

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Unfortunately this cannot be done.


For tape backups: This cannot be done because Backup Exec writes data to tapes in MTF format. Tapes devices are sequential devices, hence cannot read dynamic data.

For disk backups: This cannot be done because when Backup Exec takes a backup, it will store the data in containers (.bkf files) and not in their raw 'flat file' format. This can be read (in order to restore) using the backup application.

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Thank you for the confirmation.

My solution would be to restore selected backups (to someplace other than the original source) minus the files to be deleted, and create new backups from those restore points.

This is also a good time for us to create multiple, smaller backup jobs that isolate PID or project based data that may need to be destroyed faster than the backup sets expire.

Thanks again,


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This certainly is physically possible if you have enough disk space, but may very well be illegal - at least in the US

Better check with your corporate legal department and have them refer to the Sarbanes-Oxley act of 2002


If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

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If I understand you correctly,you would like to delete what is already on the media.

then yes, restore it to an alternate location, delete what you dont want, erase the media and then backup what you would want to keep from the alternate location.

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Thank you for your comments.

Turns out that the backups in question (taken of a server at an alternate location) are handled by our business partner using Tivoli.

It appears that Tivoli has the ability to adjust the expiration date for items in backups, thus purging specific files or folders from existing backups immediately (or upon the next backup run).

Thanks again.