Synology C2 Backup: File & Application Restore

Synology

If you are a regular user of Hyper Backup, then you already know how to restore files and applications from Synology C2 using the Hyper Backup application. The process is the same; it’s just a different source location. Synology C2 also allows you to download files using the web interface in the event your NAS isn’t available. Installed packages (aka applications) can only be restored using the Hyper Backup application.

I’ll cover doing restores using the Hyper Backup wizard, the Hyper Backup Backup browser, and the C2 web interface.

In these examples, I’ll be restoring the following files which are located in a share called BackupTest, which contains the following files, along with the #recycle sub-folder.

Screenshot showing the contents of the BackupTest share

The #recycle folder contains one deleted file (desktop.ini is a configuration file for the recycle folder).

Screenshot of the #recycle folder

Hyper Backup Restore – The Wizard Method (Files)

Running Hyper Backup and selecting the Restore option is both powerful and limiting. It’s the only way to restore packages, while at the same time it will overwrite any existing files, even newer files. There isn’t an option to restore files to an alternate location.

In this example I’ve edited VersionTesting.txt, giving it a timestamp that’s now after the backup. I’ve deleted all the other files which are now in the #recycle folder.

So BackupTest now looks like this.

Screenshot of the BackupTest folder after editing and deleting files

While the #recycle folder looks like this:

Screenshot showing #recycle folder after deleting files

As the title of this section implies, what to restore is selected by running the restore wizard.

Start Hyper Backup and click on the restore icon on the bottom left.
 Screenshot showing where to click

Select Data from the popup menu.


Screenshot showing the popup menu

Select the restore source location (your C2 files), then click Next
  Screenshot of the source selection screen

Enter the backup encryption password (or select the key file) if prompted, then click OK
   Screenshot of the encryption key prompt
In most cases, you can accept the default selection to skip restoring the configuration. In this case, I’m restoring a few files, so I don’t want the configuration restored. Click Next when you’ve made your choice.

Screenshot of the configuration restore selection screen
The next screen allows you to select the files to restore. The area along the bottom (outlined in green, labeled “2”) allows you to select files from the backup archives. (Up to 30 days, or 11 versions, for Tier 1 plans. Tier 2 plans allow customization.)The area outlined in maroon, labeled “1”, is used to select the directories to restore. You cannot choose individual files. The red exclamation triangle warns that existing folders will be replaced and existing files will be lost if they are newer than the files being restored.

Click Next when you’ve made all your choices.

Screenshot showing the folder selection screen

Next is the application selection screen. I’ll cover this in the next section, so I’m not selecting anything now. In nearly all real-life cases you will want to restore data and apps at the same time. For some apps, this is required. Click Next to move on.

Screenshot of the Application selection screen

The final screen before the restore starts shows a summary of the selections. Click Apply to start the restore.

Screenshot of the summary screen

The restore progress will be shown on the screen until it reports success.

Screenshot of a successful restore

After the restore finishes, VersionText.txt is back to an older version having been overwritten by the restore. The #recycle folder is untouched.

Screenshot showing that the #recycle folder was not affected by the restore

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You are restoring from the internet. Your restore speed will be limited by your internet connection. The data restored will also count against any data caps imposed by your ISP.
  • Individual files cannot be selected, only directories (aka folders).
  • Any existing directories will be overwritten by the restore. Any updates since the backup being restored will be lost. Any files added since the ones being restored will be deleted.
  • The #recycle folder, if it exists, is not affected (it is not backed up to Synology C2).

Hyper Backup Restore – The Wizard Method (Applications)

Restoring applications from Synology C2 using Hyper Backup is the same as restoring data. The application selections are made in the same wizard used to restore files. The application selection screen appears in Step 7 in the previous section. I split it out for clarity, but you should typically restore data and applications at the same time. Several applications will insist that data be restored at the same time.

This is the application selection screen:

Screenshot of the Application selection screen

At one time it was necessary to install an application before doing the restore. If the application is not installed the restore wizard will display a message such as:

Screenshot of the Application restore warning message

This could be interpreted as meaning you should install the app first. I’m not sure when the requirement to pre-install the app went away, but currently, the application will be re-installed as part of the restore. A better message would be “…will also be installed.”

Some applications, such as Drive, Moments, and Photo Station, will automatically select any dependent file shares to be restored. These will be identified in the wizard. (Moments also requires that the Drive app be restored at the same time.)

These dependent shares cannot be modified. This can be troublesome for applications which rely on a sub-folder in the Homes share. The entire Homes share will be restored, even sub-folders that are unrelated to the application being restored.

For example, if your Moments app needs to be restored your entire home folder will be replaced from the backup, and any changes since the backup will be lost, even if they are unrelated to Moments. You may have to re-install the application through Package Center, then restore the files, and finally manually recreate any customizations (this could be a lot of work and time). Another option would be to get a current Home folder backup, then restore Moments, then restore the other Home non-Moments sub-folders from the backup you just made.

If you use Synology Office then you should select Office for restoration whenever you restore Drive. Office files are now kept in an Office database and not in Drive folders. This isn’t obvious since the gateway to Office documents is the Drive app.

If the app is already installed, it will be stopped during the restore and automatically restarted when the restore is done.

As far as the restore process goes, files are restored first then the applications are restored.

Hyper Backup Restore – Using Backup Explorer

In addition to restoring individual directories as the Wizard can, Backup Explorer can be used to restore selected files and folders while also providing the ability to restore to a new location. These are all things that the wizard-based restore cannot do. Backup Explorer can also be told not to overwrite existing files. Applications cannot be restored using Backup Explorer.

To use the Wizard start Hyper Backup then select the backup task that has the backup files that you need. Then click the Backup Explorer icon.

Screenshot showing how the start Backup Explorer

The Backup Explorer will open.

Screenshot of the backup explorer

The bottom section (labeled “2”) allows you to pick older backups if you want to revert to an older version. The top section is used as a typical file Explorer or Finder.

To navigate through backup versions, you can click the calendar to pick a date:

Screenshot of the Backup Explorer calendar date picker

Or you can click on one of the circles in the timeline:

Screenshot of the Backup Explorer timeline date picker

Finally, you can also click the navigation arrows to move to the previous or next backup in the timeline.

Screenshot of the Backup Explorer timeline version browser

You can browse and select files or directories to restore (or copy). The options for files include “Copy To,” “Restore,” and “Download.” The options for directories are just “Copy To” and “Restore,” “Download” is not available. You can select multiple files or folders as long as they appear together in the directory/file list on the right. The fie shares themselves cannot be selected, although you can select everything at the shares top level.

Copy To

The “Copy To” action allows you to copy the file to any location on the NAS, or to any share that the NAS has mapped. You can optionally overwrite files with the same name, or skip files with the same name. You cannot “Copy To” a location on your local computer.

Restore

The “Restore” action returns the backed up files to their original location on the NAS, overwriting any existing files or directories.

Download

The “Download” action is only available for files and will download the file(s) to your local computer.

Web Restore

You can also download backed up files directly from the web. The interface is similar to Backup Explorer, although the only option is to download files, one at a time, to your local PC.

To access your files on the web login to your C2 account at c2.Synology.com and select the Backup Dashboard. Then select the backup task that has the files you need, and click the backup explorer icon (it is hidden until you mouse over the task).

Screenshot of the Web restore main page

This will open the Backup Explorer which is nearly identical to the one in Hyper Backup.

Screenshot of the web restore backup explorer

The only option is to download files, and this must be done one file at a time. To download a file first select it. Click the download icon when it appears. The download icon only appears once you mouseover the file.

Screenshot of the Web restore download icon

Summary

  • The Hyper Backup Restore Wizard is the only way to restore applications (packages).
  • The Hyper Backup Restore Wizard can’t restore individual files; entire directories must be restored.
  • The Hyper Backup Restore Wizard can only restore files and applications to the original location, overwriting any files that may still be there.
  • The Hyper Backup Backup Browser can restore individual files. It can also copy files to an alternate location or be told to skip restoring any files that already exist.
  • The web-based Backup Browser can only download individual files, one at a time.
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