NovaBACKUP Security Blog

Breakthrough Approach to File Restoration

If you have ever wanted to restore a file from a backup, but forgot which backup device you saved it to, or if you have ever wanted to restore a file from a specific point in time, there is a simple solution.


NovaStor was just awarded a patent for a time slider technology that represents a breakthrough in data restoration. This technology gives users the ability to restore files, regardless of when or where the files were backed up.

Patented time-slider technology for file restoration.Patented time-slider technology for file restoration.

File Restoration Use-Case #1

A perfect use-case for this new technology would be a situation where you are familiar with the file name, but not 100% certain of where the file is located. By using filters, you could easily enter the file name or names (with or without the use of wildcards) and then use the time slider to specify if they want the latest backup (default option) or an earlier backup, by simply moving the slider from right to left. You can also specify if you would like to restore files to the original location or an alternative location, and select if you want to overwrite existing files or not, giving you complete control of the data restoration.

You can also quickly determine what backup device a file is saved on by simply right-clicking on any file while you are in the time-based restore mode. This technique will also allow you to view all of the version information available for the specific file, along with the size, date, and time that file was backed up. Since you can restore more than one version of that file, you could look at this as a version history option. By default, the latest version of the file or files will be restored as most users will want the most updated version to restore from. But that is not always the case, as in the next example.

File Restoration Use-Case #2

If your computer was infected with a virus or ransomware, like CryptoLocker, where your data was encrypted and held at ransom (unless of course, you want to pay off the hackers), thus rendering it useless, you may not want the most current backup. If for instance, your system had run a backup automatically (based on the previous backup schedule you had in place) after your computer was infected with the virus, you would not want to restore those files, instead, you would want to be able to essentially roll-back to before the malicious virus attacked your computer and hijacked your files. The beauty and simplicity of this feature lie in the fact that as long as the file or files reside in the restore options GUI, you don’t need to know which device or devices the data is stored on, as this patented technology will still be able to retrieve the data you want based on the time frame you want.

How Does this Technology Work?

This is a patented technology, so let's just review the general concepts behind how this technology works. To start, NovaBACKUP is aware of every file it has ever backed up to any local or online destination and can query the online storage servers that NovaBACKUP is set up to use to see what files and dates are listed on the online storage server. After the data has been gathered, each file is indexed, noting where the file has been backed up, when it was backed up and the different metadata included on the file for each backup that was completed. When the slider is moved, the underlying framework changes the parameters of what should be displayed. Once a user selects a file, and instructs NovaBACKUP to restore, NovaBACKUP creates a list of all of the files and pieces of media or locations where it needs to grab each file that was selected and then runs a job to restore each file from the correct location. If you would like to test this technology yourself, you can download the latest version of NovaBACKUP and try it for yourself.

Abstract from Patent

U.S. Patent No. 8,903,773 B2 - Computer file storage, backup, restore and retrieval is disclosed. A method includes providing a restore file interface allowing a user to restore a plurality of files based on a plurality of filter options, the files stored on multiple local and/or remote storage devices, computing devices, servers and clouds. A filter option selection is received from the user, and filter details may also be received from the user.  An available file list may be prepared based on the filter option selection and, if received, the filter details.  A user selection from the available file list may be received. The user selected files are retrieved from one or more appropriate storage devices, computing devices, servers and clouds.  The method may be performed by software executing on a computing device.