Erase Backed Up Data: SharePoint Server Agent
The Erase Data feature lets you permanently erase data that was backed up, so that it cannot be recovered. You may need this, for example, for legal or compliance regulation purposes.Important: The erase data operation only erases data from the backup. It does not erase the source data from its local hard drive. Therefore, it is best to delete the data from its source first, so that the next backup operation will not back it up again. Also, if the files have been archived, their stubs must be deleted from the source before running the erase data operation, so that they are not backed up again. If this is not done, synthetic full backup jobs will fail.
The Erase Data operation makes the data inaccessible for browsing and recovery. The actual data remains on the media (and consumes space) until it is aged off according to the retention rules set for the data, but the data is not recoverable.
Using Erase Data, you can erase data such as site collections, sub-sites, areas, libraries (picture, document, form), lists (announcements, contacts, calendars, surveys), and views (library and list).
The Find feature lets you search and locate data such as files and directories in a backup. Once located, this data can be erased. After erasing the data, it can no longer be browsed or restored. However, the data will remain on the media and take up space until it is aged off according to the retention rules set for the data.
Before You Begin
- Keep in mind that the erase data operation only erases backup data. The source data remains on the local hard drive. Best practice is to delete the data from the source first, so that it will not be backed up again.
- In the Erase Data By Browsing dialog box, only the data objects that you add to the Selected Path box are erased during the erase data operation. The additional options that you select for the browse operation only filter the data that is visible for browsing and are not applied to the data that will be erased.
- In the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System.
- Right-click the <BackupSet> containing the data to erase, then click All Tasks | Erase Data By Browsing.
- Click Yes to acknowledge the warning that the data will be permanently removed.
- Click Browse.
- In the Erase Data By Browsing dialog box, the Filters tab, click Add and select File Name filter.
Enter search criteria such as a file name or name pattern to narrow the search. You can search for partial words without the need for wildcard characters at the beginning and/or end of the search string.
These wildcards are supported, and can be combined:
- * for any number of characters (including zero). For example, Accounting*.
- ? for any one character. For example, user_group?.
-  for a range of characters. For example, [a-k]Lee.
- [!] to exclude a range of characters. For example, [!a-k]Lee.
Note: The advanced browsing options and filters only apply to the browse operation and are not applied to the erase data operation.
- Click View Content to see what data matches the criteria in Search Results.
- Select one or more items and click OK.
- Optionally, modify what will be erased by selecting either Browse or Delete.
- Confirm the data to be erased and click OK.
Run Erase Data Job
- In the CommCell Browser, right-click the <BackupSet> that contains the data to erase, click All Tasks, then Erase Data By Browsing.
- Click Yes to acknowledge the warning and continue.
- In the Erase Data by Browsing dialog box, click Browse.
Note: When a path is selected and a browse time is specified, all data that matches the path on that client will be erased even if the data was not backed up in the specified time range or does not belong to the backup set.
- In the Erase Backup/Archived Data dialog box, select a browse time range and any advanced browse options, then click View Content.
- In the browse selection window, select the data objects that you want to erase, then click OK.
Note: If you need to erase data from a specific folder that is not visible in the current browse selection, you need to browse to a backup taken at a point in time that included the folder. Then, you can select the data to be erased inside that folder.
Note: For clients using Indexing Version 2 that do not have backups from the previous version of indexing, the erase data by browsing operation is not performed as a separate job.
These features are available to view the data erased.
You can view detailed, historical information about the Erase Data jobs in the Admin Job History Filter dialog box.
Note: This view is only available for clients using the previous version of indexing.
- From the CommCell Browser, right-click the CommServe, click View, and then click Admin Job History.
- From the Admin Job History Filter dialog box, select the filter options that you want to apply and click OK.
The Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report displays information about erase data jobs that run in the CommCell. See Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report for details.