restoring emergency backup done with Dell Data Safe

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restoring emergency backup done with Dell Data Safe

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I was having hard drive problems with a Studio XPS 1640.  It would not start up in normal or safe mode. Before I did a system restore to factory conditions I did a backup to an external hard drive using the an option in the advanced solutions of startup.  the option was for emergency backup and restore to factory conditions.  selecting that option brought up Data Safe and I directed it to backup to an external hard drive i have connected to the computer.  It backed up about 60GB of personal files and other data, formated the drive and put the basic functionality back on the computer.  The computer now works fine.  But when I went to restore the backup data to the machine it did not recognize a backup.  I checked the drive the backup files are there.  It just cant see them.  Do I need to spend $40 to upgrade the Data Safe to have the option to restore from another drive?  Is there another way to get it back to my laptop with out spending the $40.  it seems weird that it would let me backup to an external drive and not see it after the backup was done.   

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  •     Hello,  I don't know if this will help you, but I purchased the upgrade to Dell DataSafe Local Backup for $39.99, just because after hours of trying to research online to see if it would help me recover a customer's backup set made by the Dell technician before he re-installed Windows Vista on her PC.  Well, it did nothing.  And they don't make it easy to find out how to recover these files.

        The backup set was made with one executable, or application, in the form of "Backup_4-15-2011_11-47-46 AM.1.exe" and the other three files are in the form of "Backup_4-15-2011_11-47-46 AM.2.dsb", "Backup_4-15-2011_11-47-46 AM.3.dsb", and "Backup_4-15-2011_11-47-46 AM.4.dsb"  (the .dsb shows only if you have your file and folder options set to show the extensions for known file types).

         I wasn't able to recover anything else but that which seemed to be contained in the first executable.  And even that didn't have any of my customer's data.  All that it had was some files she already had on her PC.  Which was leading me to wonder if the technician backed it up properly, if at all.

        I still have yet to figure out how this DataSafe local application works to open the other .dsb files comprising the backup.  The only things this upgrade seemed to allow you to do is to make a recovery disk for your system (which she already had available which came with her PC) in case of hard drive failure, and a full backup, and recovery *NOTE:  from files it recognizes only AFTER performing a backup.

       For example, it seemed to not recognize the location of the previous backup that the Dell technician made, and gave me an option to "browse for a backup", but even after I browsed, it DID find and recognize the .exe, the first file in my set, but was the same scenario:  it had no data that was supposed to have been backed up.  It only seemed to recognize the first .exe file called "1" in the window that appeared showing what files to restore.

        Does anyone know how to recover these files?  I am going to speak with Dell and try to get my call escalated, so like someone else said, I can speak with someone who is not merely reciting from a script.

        I would like to know myself how to recover my customer's files.  Any help would be appreciated!

  • EDIT:  I forgot to mention that if I click on the first .exe application of the backup set, it does open a small wizard application pointing to the backup, but there is essentially nothing there, as it only lists the backup file number 1 and my customer's files are not locatable either.  There are just some windows folders, like C:, Windows, users, program files, dell, drivers, etc.  But I looked all through these folders and even tried the other options in the wizard such as "Restore Categories of Files", but to no avail.  Her pictures simply are not there.  There is in fact zero (0) MB's of Photos.  Does anyone know how to make this program work?  I and my customer would appreciate any help.  Thanks.

  • Did you find any solution to this issue?  I am having the same problem with it seeming to only restore some files.  Any suggestions?

  •      Hi, I'm sorry but I haven't found any solutions.  The Dell rep who called me back on this matter seemed to think that there was no way to make the files readable from the .dsb files, and seemed to acknowledge that the files weren't properly backed up in the first place, i.e., manually copying the files to a backup folder/hard drive etc. where you can actually see what you're dealing with rather than a proprietary format --that doesn't work anyway.   I don't understand why they would make a program that is supposed to back up your files, but not be able to recover them.           (Anyone know the answer to this issue?)

         The only thing I tried which was somewhat successful was to purchase the software Active@Undelete which I then installed and ran.   It scanned, found and helped me restore many of the files which belonged to my customer, even after two previous re-installs of the operating system via built-in recovery.

         I recommend this program as a solution to try if you're trying to recover lost/deleted files.  Just be sure to restore the found files to an external (not the same C: hard drive) disk.  This is so you don't overwrite anything, and the program will let you know this as well.  And try to run the recovery asap before you overwrite too many sectors on the hard drive.   Best wishes! 

  • ok thanks, I will definitley try that.

  • Hi, I had a similar issue and did Dell Data Safe Local BackUp, it backed up all the files and folders and put them as part of Emergency BackUP folder on desktop and as part of this folder there is one application file with .exe extension and their around 500 .dsb files. I double clicked on the .exe file and it installed all the backfiles on to the location i selected. I'm glad i'm able to restore all my previous photos, videos, text files, documents etc etc... all you need to do is double click on .exe file and follow the steps and install all files or selected files.

  • I want to thank you for your timely ANSWER.  I am getting ready to restore the same thing.  I, too, used the DELL online backup prior to formatting the harddrive and, until I read your explanation, I could not find anything in writing on the DELL website.  I did finally get an answer from the outsourced 24x7 helpers but this answer is easily the easiest to follow.   So, thanks for writing it.        ManeMan cgk2

  • My previous reply was targeted toward pingillis....

  • I did exactly what Pingillis did, but didn't get the same results. I got a "restoration failed" window saying that some of the files weren't able to be restored. I tried a catagory at a time hoping that maybe one or two wouldn't have unrestorable files in it, but that didn't work either. Anybody tried Pingillis's instructions and get this? I'm at a complete loss and don't know what to try next.


  • yeah i am getting the same as you, it fails every time, I've even tried to click one file at a time and it still wont go. I wish I'd known this was useless before I took this route.

  • ok guys try this..  I did with my pictures file, and now i am trying it with the whole dale safe back up file. when you click it, run as administrator, select what you want to restore, save it as a folder on your desktop.

    when it finished i was able to open the desktop folder and see all my pictures

  • I had the same problem. Purchased my Dell Inspiron One flatscreen desktop from Walmart on May 20, 2010. It's a good thing I had purchased the 2-year agreement. When the receipt and paperwork is in order, everyone is friendly and everything flows much more smoothly. I read off the information from my store receipt to the product assistant. Her name was Amanda, she forwarded me over to Anthony (the computer technical guy). Anthony was very helpful. He told me to press and hold down the on button to turn off my computer. Then, he had me restart my computer and press F8 immediately. From there I was able to click on the restore function, save all of my files into the Dell Emergency back-up location and then restore my desktop to factory settings. After restoring my computer to factory settings; this took about an hour and a half. I went to my C drive and clicked on the Emergency folder. The very first application for me is "Backup_3-3-2012_10-49-48 AM.1 and the type is the only file within this folder that has "Application" listed. Anyway, you click on this executable file and you can restore all of your files to the place you want it to go; I chose my desktop. It's very easy, painless and saves countless hours of worry.

    So, it's a good thing I had purchased the extended warranty. And now, everyone else has the answers. Good luck and thanks for listening.

  • I found this on the Dell web site and hope it might help someone

    • Reboot the computer while pressing the F8 key.

    • Choose Repair Your Computer.

    • When System Recovery Options appears, choose  Next

    • If you set a log in password, enter it.

    • Choose DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup.

    • Choose Restore computer and preserve new or changed files (recommended), click Next.

    • The Emergency File & Folder Backup screen will appear, click Next.

    • Click Next on the default settings on the next 5 screens.

    • When the Restore my Computer Screen appears, select Yes, continue then click Next.

    • Wait for the recovery to complete. If error 0X4001100220000100Aappears, click Ok.

    • Choose Command Prompt.

    • Enter \>cd Tools

    • Enter PCRestore.exe

    • The Restore System  screen will appear, select Yes then click Next.

    • Wait for restore to complete, then choose Finish.


  • I had a similar problem so this might help. I had to restore the PC to the factory defaults as restoring the Full Backup image left me with the same problems my PC had started with. Once the factory default was installed I then entered my upgrade code for Datasafe Premium Edition. The problem was getting Datasafe to see the backup on my external drive as I only wanted certain files & folders off it and not the entire image. So I ran a Full System Backup to my local drive and only then Datasafe would let me browse and choose my external drive backup. From this I could choose only the folders I required for restoring.

  • Hello Mike, 

    Really appreciate the  fact that you have been able to resolve the issue. Thank you for sharing this resolution with us. 
    I am sure this  would be helpful for many customers.

    Thanks & Regards
    Allan D
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