Is there a way to read a BKF file from Windows XP using Windows 8? I tried installing the Windows 7 restore only pkg from the Microsoft web page (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974674), but the update failed on my Windows 8 system with a certificate error message.

FWIW, I can still read my Sun backup tapes from 20 years ago. This XP file is 5 years old...

2 Answers 2


Download and extract nt5backup.cab or xp_files.rar, run NTBackup.exe, ignore errors about the Removable Storage service not running, open your BKF and restore your files:





  • Thanks. Links worked, but now I have a different problem. My backupfile is about 100G & restore failed when loading "backup file contains unrecognized data and cannot be used". This file was saved to tape via gtar (which had no trouble restoring it) & passed the MD5 checksum. Failed reading from NAS, so I copied to local drive & same error. Any thoughts? Thanks.
    – KentH
    Jan 25, 2013 at 15:59
  • Sorry, never used Windows' built-in backup, ever (never trusted it to get things right).
    – Karan
    Jan 26, 2013 at 21:16
  • 1
    Also remember to run ntbackup.exe as an administrator. Otherwise, depending on permissions of the original files and the destination directory, many of your files will fail to be restored. I learned this the hard way. Nov 12, 2013 at 16:11
  • +1 This worked great! I successfully restored individual files from a .BKF generated on XP. I was beginning to worry I'd have to setup up a Vista (or lower) VM just to recover data from our XP archives. (I can also confirm that the files passed a virus scan, for those who might have such concerns.)
    – merv
    Oct 3, 2014 at 20:40

After less than successful attempts at having NTRestore read my old backup file, I found a project mtftar which transcodes a NTbackup file (bkf) into a standard tar file. Recovered 100K files no problem with tar.

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