How to recover P4/P5 from scratch
Posted by Sven Koester, Last modified by Andre Kuehnemund on 06 July 2018 23:39

After a complete crash, e.g. a harddisk crash on the backup server, the system must be set up from scratch. This arcticle describes how to achieve that the easiest way. In this scenario, we assume that everything is lost, including the P4/P5 configuration.

The data recovery happens in three steps:

  • Install the P4/P5 application
  • Recover the P4/P5 configuration
  • Recover your files

Install the P4/P5 application
The first step is easy: In case you do not have a running P4/P5, install that. An unlicensed version will do, so it is possible to download the latest P4/P5 from

Recover the P4/P5 configuration
When P4/P5 is installed, log in using a web browser to the local P4/P5 server by entering the address http://localhost:8000/login. Select the P4/P5 button in the upper right corner and select Configuration restore from the pulldown menu. In the next sub window, you will have to enter the Operating System specific path to your drive in order to get the latest saved configuration of the lost system. Please see the examples given that window. The correct entry for the drive depends on your operating system and your tape:

On a Virtual Jukebox (which is stored on a hard disk), simply specify the name of the latest file belonging to the virtual juke box on your hard disk.

On Solaris or Linux, specify the device file relating to your tape drive. Under Linux, the file is name /dev/scsi/sgN where N refers to the logical number of your tape drive or juke box, usually the SCSI-ID. On Solaris, the file name for a tape drive is /dev/rmt/Ncn, where N refers to the logical number of your tape drive and cn stands for compressed and norewind options when accessing the drive.

On a Mac, a device file must be created first (the Darwin operating system does not make use of device files for magnetic tapes). PresSTORE uses the convention to identify the SCSI-ID from a file name on Macs. Create a file named awstN, e.g. by entering the following command in a terminal window:
touch /usr/local/aw/conf/dev/awstN where N refers to the logical number of your tape drive, usually the SCSI-Id.

On Windows, a UNC path must be given in order to access the drive. The UNC name for a SCSI tape is {//./TAPEn}, where n refers to the logical number of your tape drive, usually the SCSI-ID. Please refer to the user manual of your juke box for the correct UNC name of your juke box. Please make sure to enclose the path in braces on Windows.

After entering the correct name, make sure the last (or at least one of the last) written tapes is in the drive. P4/P5 will attempt to read the configuration from the tape. After restoring the configuration, the P4/P5 server will restart. Note that your browser windows will be invalidated then and you will have to login again to P4/P5.

After recovering a configuration, it may be required to delete the jukebox or single tape drive in PresSTORE and create it from new. In case the hardware setup changed, the previous settings may turn out to be inoperable.

Now, the configuration including licenses has been recovered. The next step is to recover the backup index files.

Recover the P4/P5 Backup Indexes
Backup indices are automatically saved to tape during backup. Because of this, they can be recovered after a crash.
To recover the backup index, login to P4/P5, go to Advanced Options, Manage Indexes. For each database you want to recover, select the database and click the Check  button in the bottom bar . This option checks the database and recovers it as it will find the database to be not ok.

From then on, the files from the backup are fully accessible again and files can be recovered.

Recover an Archive Index
Archive indices are not saved automatically, as these are not part of a possible bare metal recovery. Because of this, Archive indices should be backed up using e.g. the Backup or Synchronize module of P4/P5. The Archive indices and possibly previews in P4 reside in the subdirectory at conf/index/archive, in P5 the paths is  config/index/archive. Typically, on Unix and Mac, the path is /usr/local/aw/config/index/archive. On Windows the default path is C:\Program Files (x86)\ARCHIWARE\PresSTORE\config\index\archive (32-bit) or C:\Program Files\ARCHIWARE\Data_Lifecycle_Management_Suite\config\index\archive (64-bit).

P5.5 addendum:

Starting with P5.5, it is possible to automatically backup archive indices. To do so, login to P5 > Archive > Advanced Options > Manage Indexes... Double-click on the archive index for which you would like to enable database backups. In the database settings window, tick the checkbox to enable backups, select the P5 client amd the folder where you would like your backups to be stored, set a start time and apply the changes. The archive index will be backed up on a daily basis.

Recover P4/P5 to a new Host
Please note that the P4/P5 license is tied to your machine, identified by the Host-ID. In case you set up P4/P5 on a new machine, e.g. because the old one is no longer operable, your will need a license transfer to the new machine, too. Please visit our website at for more information.

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Comments (7)
28 January 2016 1:40
Hi Sven

Great article, thanks for the details..

Please could you let me know if this process also recovers pools as well?

We have a customer that made a hardware change to the backup server which changed the ID, they have regenerated the licensing but report the jukebox, pools..etc are missing and would like to restore them.

They tried to run through the above via remove connection but found they lost access to Archiware and the service did not come back online, they manually started it and are back in the same position as above with missing Jukebox, pools..etc..

Any idea if it's possible to recover these elements by them self? They report the backup indexed are all available and seem find so perhaps someone removed these items in error and looking for the best way to get it back to how it was before.
Andre Kuehnemund
09 May 2016 17:32
@Jonathan: I saw you later opened a support ticket - which is the best way to handle issues like the one you described.
Generally speaking, the configuration and index databases can only be restored together, as one relies on the other. For example, the index database typically contains a list of files that were archived or backed up and the volume those files were stored on. The configuration databases contains information about those volumes, the pools they belong to, where to find those volumes etc.
16 August 2016 20:31
Hello Archiware, this is a helpful article but could it please be updated for P5?
Andre Kuehnemund
31 August 2016 19:15
Roghe DeOkoro
06 July 2017 18:32
This article was helpful. I've restored the configuration from tape and can view my indexes. However, how do I restore my Archive Index? I'm setting up P5 on a new server. I desperately need to restore data from the tapes.

Andre Kuehnemund
08 December 2017 16:58
Unlike backup indexes, archive indexes are not being written to tape. It is an administrator's repsonsibility to regularly backup archive indexes. Please see the note in the log at the end of every archive job.
Assuming you have one or more backups of your archive index folder(s), you would need to restore those to the 'config/index/archive' folder on your P5 server. You should then be able to browse those archive indexes again.
In case you don't have a backup of your archive index(es), your only other option would be to import the archive volumes into your new P5 server.
Andre Kuehnemund
06 July 2018 23:41
Article updated with information about automated database backup in version 5.5+.
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