Cataloging the Media Using Media Explorer

Media Explorer tool uses the cataloging process to obtain information about the CommServe Disaster Recovery (DR) backup files stored on tape media or disk volumes. This process is used in an environment where the CommCell is not functional and you only have the CommServe DR backup on tape media or disk volume.

Before You Begin

  • Download Media Explorer.
  • Make sure no other applications or services are attempting to access the library
  • Have your encryption pass-phrases available if applicable
  • Have your media Information and CommCell Configuration reports at hand to help you identify and locate media archive files

    Regularly running the above reports prior to the need for a disaster recovery will help you identify and locate the media archive files.

About This Task

The cataloging process includes the following steps:

  1. Physically locate the proper media from which you will be recovering data.

    Note: If the data resides in a cloud library, convert the data to a regular disk library format and then provide the location of the converted data. For more information, see Recovering the Data on a Cloud Library Using Media Explorer.

  2. Obtain information about the files stored on your media (i.e., via catalog for Windows platforms).
  3. Select the appropriate archive file entries and recover the files that were secured by data protection operations on your media.

Data from deleted subclients or storage policies cannot be recovered. Catalog operations are not supported for this type of data.


  1. Run MediaExplorer.exe.

    The Current database file path is created and defaults to the DrCatalog as indicated in the Media Explorer window.

    It is possible to perform a recovery using only the default archive database. However, if recovering large numbers of or many types of archive files makes locating files cumbersome, you can create additional database file paths using the New button.

    The New and Open buttons can be used to start cataloging to a new catalog or to open an existing catalog database. This is useful in situations where you would like to use Media Explorer over multiple sessions and not overwrite previous catalog operations.

  2. Detect the Media - Selecting the tape or disk media option.

    Use the Media Information and CommCell Configuration reports to assist you in determining from which media it will be necessary to restore. If you do not have any reports saved, you will have to manually determine the required media. This involves finding the correct (latest) archive file(s) for backups you want to restore.

    For a Locally-Attached Tape Drive or Library:

    1. Manually load the media into the drive
    2. Select the Tape option
    3. Click Drive Detect to populate the tape mount paths in this field (i.e., tape0, tape1, tape2, etc., depending on your SCSI settings). The drive shown matches the SCSI ID setting for the device.
    4. Select the drive on which it is loaded
    5. Identify the Media Type by selecting from the list

    A full DLT 7000 tape will take approximately two hours to catalog. Be certain you have enough disk space on your local computer to accommodate the files.

    For multiple tapes, return to Step 2 and continue cataloging all media to be used in the restore.

    For a Disk Volume:

    1. Select the Disk option
    2. Browse to or type the drive path for the disk volume path. (i.e., F:\, where F is the drive that holds the disk volume)
      Optional: To add multiple mount paths, click Add Mount Paths
    3. Directly beneath CV_magnetic folder, select the volume folder (V_nnn) in which the archive files reside, and click OK to continue. You can specify the entire mount path to enumerate multiple volumes and later catalog volumes one by one for catalog operation.
      • The CV_MAGNETIC folder structure represents the top level of the disk mount path.
      • The V_nnn folder represents a volume that is equivalent to a storage policy copy.
      • The AF_nnn folders represent the individual archive files within a volume. Each backup creates one or more archive files, depending on the iDataAgent.
  3. Click Catalog Jobs.

    The catalog operation reads the media for archive file information and displays below.

    • You may be asked to provide a media password. Type the password and click OK. If you do not know the media password, contact your software provider for assistance.
    • If data was encrypted using a pass-phrase, you are prompted to enter the pass-phrase used at the time of the data protection operation.

    The status bar reflects the cataloging process as it is occurring. A message appears when cataloging is complete.


  • You can check for details in the MediaExplorer.log located in the local Media Explorer folder.

An archive file will sometimes span across several tapes during the course of normal backups. In this case, when a catalog operation is run on the first media, the information on the second media may not appear to have been cataloged. However, when you perform a recovery from the first tape, Media Explorer asks you to load the second tape manually to continue the recovery.

  • If after cataloging a media you see an archive file for which the Catalog column does not display Found All and the Catalog State column displays Partial, this indicates the archive file is spanned to another media. In this case, you need to locate that other media and catalog it as well. Once the last media that contains the spanned archive has been reached, you will be prompted to reinsert all the media (starting with the first) necessary to finish the cataloging process for the spanned job.

    Once all media has been successfully cataloged, the Catalog column should display Found All and the Catalog State column should display Complete, and the recovery may take place like any other recovery. During the recovery of this archive file, you will be prompted to insert the media as required to complete the recovery.

    Media Explorer stores cataloged media information in its database on your local hard drive for future reference. Once your files have been cataloged, you can go back and obtain this information without running the catalog operation again. To have the information available on another computer, however, you would need to run a catalog on that computer.

  • You can click View Chunks from the File menu to display the Chunk Details window. This window provides Media Explorer database details that may be helpful to you.