You want to restore a particular file to a server, but you cannot find it when browsing to the location it should be on the server using the “Browse and Restore” feature.

Steps to resolve

There are a few things that can cause a folder to go “missing” on the CFA.

File sorting confusion

Make sure you check the entire directory the folder is supposed to reside in. Check to see if perhaps the folder is sorted differently due to the capitalization of the folder name. Currently, the CFA will sort folders alphabetically using folders with capitalized names first, then alphabetically using folders with names in all lowercase. This can cause folders with lowercase names to be several pages later than those with capitalized names.

There have been many instances where a file appears to go missing but it is actually being sorted differently due to capitalization.

VSS writers

Check to make sure the directory or program does not require the use of VSS Writers. Sometimes, a directory or program will require the data to be backed up using a writer because of certain features/functionality of that directory or program and must be backed up using VSS. This requirement is completely on the program/server side and is something we cannot control.

For example, if data is backed up from a DFS replication share, it must be backed up via the DFS replication service writer.

The files backed up using writers will not be located under the drive they appear to be under on the server. Instead, they will be under the VSS folder in the backup. The writer must be restored as a whole unit because it must be restored using the VSS writer.

This is only backed up if you have enabled VSS with “Use Service with All Non-Excluded Writers (Recommended)” enabled in the file set. If this setting is not selected, the data will not be backed up.

There may be a way to make a “flat file” copy of the DFS share to another location and back that up without VSS or writers enabled. This would allow single file restores similar to typical flat file backups and may be the simplest way to get around the writer restore limitations.

One other option would be to write before/after scripts to get the flat file copy during the regularly scheduled backup.