Encrypted Zip Archive Problems

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Encrypted Zip Archive Problems

by SRMCLLC » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:39 am


I'm using the trial version of BA 8.4.4. on a Windows 2012 Essentials Server. So far it seems to be meeting our needs with one major exception.

BackupAssist 8.4.4
Running on Server 2012R2 Essentials, internal Raid 5, and ISCSI-attached NAS storage.
Destination for backups are standard USB 2/3 external SATA hard drives.

I set up FIle Archiving backup job for about 800GB to an external hard drive and enabled ZIP encryption and entered a password. The backup completed without errors in about 12 hours (not too shabby), however I have the two following issues:

1. Accessing the 807GB zip folder (double clicking it to open it) takes just under 2 hours to open... The larger of two internal folders takes a few minutes to open once I'm into the parent .ZIP folder. (Tested on two computers with the same results, one Win 7 Pro, and the other the 2012 server running the BA software. I have not tried using BA Restore process to attempt to open the zip folder yet however.)

2. It does not require the password to open the zip folder and access the files. It behaves like a standard unprotected ZIP folder (once it finally opens anyway).

The intent for this particular backup is catastrophic data recovery. We cycle external hard drive media weekly and our company owners take these backups off site. We require the data be encrypted since it's taken off site, and also we need a means to access the data without the backup software in case the server running BA is destroyed, stolen or otherwise inaccessible. Encrypted .ZIP seems the perfect solution, but it needs to work correctly.

We have run other large Terabyte-class File Protection test jobs (just file copy) and so far have not noted any problems. Seems like excellent backup software. I just need to get past this problem before purchasing.

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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:01 am

Re: Encrypted Zip Archive Problems

by TimN » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:17 pm


For disaster recovery we suggest using System Protection backups as these backups will allow for bare metal restores of the entire server without the need to install Windows first.

You can encrypt your System protection backup in BackupAssist using BitLocker.

For more information on System protection backups, please refer to the following user guide:

https://www.backupassist.com/downloads/ ... rguide.pdf

We also advise that you use the BackupAssist restore console to restore from the backup. When needed, you can install a trial of BackupAssist for restore purposes or use 7-zip to unzip the backup file.

Try the BackupAssist restore console and see if it is also slow to restore from the Zip backup.

If the problem persists with the Zip backup, please send in system diagnostics for us to review.

To submit diagnostics:

1) Go to Contact Support ( via 'Help > Feedback & Support > Click on Contact Support

2) Fill out the form and ensure that the Submit system diagnostics checkbox at the bottom is checked.

If this does not work:

3) Launch the Diagnostics.exe file located in the BackupAssist install folder: C:\Program Files\BackupAssist v8\Diagnostics.exe

If you do not receive an auto-response email from us or have any issues using our automated support tool please follow these steps to manually send in your diagnostics file:

1. Go to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data (for XP and Server 2003)
Go to C:\ProgramData\ (for Vista, Win7 or Server 2008, Server 2012)

2. Email support@backupassist.com a zipped version of the following folder: BackupAssist vX (Where X is the version that you are running)

If you find this file is too large to e-mail, you can trim down the size of the logs by removing anything older than a week within the following folders under the BackupAssist folder

- Summaries
- History
- Reports
- Temp

The Temp folder, is the default destination for PST and SQL backups to be stored during the backup process, so if there are any of these types of backups contained you can remove these as well as we don't require them.

If the file is up to 300MB in size, you can upload it to http://www.sendspace.com for free and send us the download link.

I hope this helps.



Re: Encrypted Zip Archive Problems

by SRMCLLC » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:04 am


After multiple test runs, I can say full certainty that zip encryption is not working. The result is always an unencrypted zip folder and I have definitely checked the box for encryption and provided a password for all tests.

We have a rather comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plan, and this is scenario to have emergency access to our (encrypted) data without a server or dedicated backup/ encryption software is just one of them. This is why I was so hopeful regarding the BA encrypted zip file feature.

I will look into bitlocker, that is a good suggestion.

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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:01 am

Re: Encrypted Zip Archive Problems

by Mike D » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:52 pm

Bitlocker would be a better option if you do not want anyone to see the folder structures. The Zip encryption is not stop you from opening the zip file or going through the folders but it does prevent you from opening the files. If you tried to click on any of the files and open them out of the zip file or extract them from the zip file you will be prompted for the password before you can access them.
Thank You,
Mike Deaton
BackupAssist U.S. Help Desk Team Leader
US Support Office: Louisville, KY
User avatar
Mike D
Cortex I.T.
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:01 pm

Re: Encrypted Zip Archive Problems

by SRMCLLC » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:55 am

Thanks for the explanation regarding how encrypted zips function Mike

Bitlocker is doing the job for us and without the delays in folder access we were experiencing with very large .zip archives. (A problem inherent in .zip folders, not BA.) We just need to change our process to make sure we unlock any external bitlocker-encrypted media when we attach it to the server as a back-up device, but that is acceptable.

Again, I appreciate the helpful and timely responses from both you and Tim. Backup Assist seems to be working very well so far and is very efficient. Subsequent mirror copies (with changes only) even on +800GB archives typically complete in under 30 minutes. I'll be running a ~1TB image backup of multiple partitions this weekend to see how that goes.
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