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Iomega 1-Step Backup


Iomega 1-Step Backup Recovery

last update: 05/12/17

I got interested in data recovery from this apparently unsupported backup format due to a query about my prior Win9x Backup work. From a couple forum articles I found while searching for recovery information you are apparently caught without a recovery method if you don't have the original Iomega software and a machine running Win9x with an Iomega drive connected to it. As of January 2017, at least two different versions of this program seem to have in released. The ones discussed here are Winows 9X executables, ie Win95 through WinME, although its likely they were also available for the Mac platform. These two programs use different file formats and are not compatible with each other.

The image above is displayed by the 1-Step Backup program versions 4.1 and 4.4 under Win9X.

The the first downloadable version I discovered is '1-Step backup Version 4.1', in the installer w32_iom221a_en.exe. I subsequently discovered version 4.4 contained in the downloadable installer iobackup_w32_x86-44.exe I have had some luck using this filwatcher.com link for version 4.1, but oddly it is erratic. If this fails just search for the file names above. As of January 2017 both these Win9x installers were available for download on several websites. They contain a number of *.dll and executable programs. The main program dtiom98.exe is started from the programs menu with different command line options to back, restore, or adjust the backup properties. This program creates or uses 'IMAGE.113' backup files on Iomega media attached to the target machine.

The image above is displayed by the 1-Step Backup program versions 5.3 under Win9X.

I have an Iomega installation CD in my collection of old media that installs version 5.3 of the 1-Step backup program. This also only runs on Win9x systems, but uses a different file format from the earlier versions above. The backup file extension is '*.1-Step' and the internal file header uses a different signature so backups from the different versions can easily be distinguished. I have not found a downloadable version of this distribution on the internet. Please let me know if you discover one! The backup32.exe program is called to backup and restore files for this distribution. As a point of interest the time stamp on backup32.exe in this distribution is 06-16-1998. The timestamps for dtiom98.exe are 08/27/2001 for ver 4.1 and 02/29/2000 for ver 4.4 in the distributions above. This is counter intuitive as increasing program version number normally means an increasing distribution date. No idea how significant this is, nor which version of the program was used most frequently. Also be aware that there are a number of Iomega zip drive distributions that do not include either of these backup programs, and just support the drives themselves.

If you have the required hardware and operating system installed I'd definitely use the original software to do your recovery. However if you don't have that hardware continue reading.

Iomega used to have the 1-Step backup program available on their web site as indicated in Ref 1 below, but the links I found are dead now. I believe Iomega was bought out, and new larger drives a still available, but the original Zip 100 that was so common in 2005 and its cousin the Jaz drive are no longer sold but do show up on Ebay. The 1-Step backup programs will only run if you have a Zip or Jaz drive connected to the target machine. Presumably they were trying to sell dives and media, not provide a universal backup solution. When run you can configure which files you want to backup and whether or not you want to enable file compression in the backup archive. It then starts merrily copying files from you hard drive(s) to the target Iomega media (Jaz or Zip). It is capable of spanning multiple Iomega disks for large backups. In version 5.3 only the last disk in the backup set contained a catalog and in this version the catalog is required to restore the files. In versions 4.1 and 4.4 each disk contains its own catalog which included all files backed up at that point in the process, ie the last disk contained a full catalog. This is why the Iomega restore program requests one begin a restore by inserting the last disk in the set. In a small backup only one disk is used and it contains a single file with both the data from the individual files that have been backed up and a catalog of these files which contains their original locations on the hard disk(s). See the individual file format document for details. In all cases the data are written to one or more Iomega disks in a single file on each disk with an extension which reflects the type of backup (*.1-Step or *.113). Only one such file is permitted on each Iomega backup disk.

I have several machines which meet the criteria above and was able to do some experimentation. I have created and examined a number of sample backup files with both versions of the 1-Step program. I was able to reverse engineered enough that I could write stand alone programs that I can list or recover files from the original backup disks or image files which are a copy of the backup file(s) that were originally on the Iomega disk(s). I started with the simple case where one image file contains the entire backup, but have since extended the programs so they can handle backups which spanned multiple disks in the backup set. Please be aware that this has been done solely by examining sample files. Much of the data in the sample backups, especially version 5.3 *.1-Step files is not understood. These programs work with my sample data, but may well contain errors or omissions. Use the following information and programs at your own risk!

1-Step Backup Version 5.3

See Version 5.3 file format for documentation on how these files are organized and how to identify one of these backup images. See 1Srest Info for a full description of the 1Srest program which can list or extract files from a version 5.3 *.1-Step Iomega backup file. The current version, 1.01, works with both compressed and uncompressed backups. There is also a simple support program, 1Scfg, that can list the contents of the configuration database which resides on the machine that generated the backup. A C source code distribution is available if you want to build these programs for linux or some other operating system. A Windows NT console application distribution is available if you just want to try extraction in a Windows console environment without building the program yourself.

1-Step Backup Version 4.1

See Version 4.1 file format for documentation on how these files are organized and how to identify one of these backup images. See rd113 Info for a full description of the rd113 program which can list or extract files from a *.113 uncompressed Iomega backup file. The current version, 0.90, can list the catalog region from both compressed and uncompressed files. However extraction only works with uncompressed backups as a suitable decompression algorithm has not been discovered. There is also a simple support program, iocfg, that can list the contents of the configuration database which resides on the machine that generated the backup. A C source code distribution is available if you want to build these programs for linux or some other operating system. A Windows NT console application distribution is available if you just want to try extraction in a Windows console environment without building the program yourself. Version 4.4 files are believed to be compatible.

Both the Windows and Linux versions of these programs are console applications that must be run from the command line. The Win NT distribution should work in a 'Command Prompt' (aka 'DOS Box') on current Windows distributions, although it has only been tested on WinXP. It requires long file name support as the backups may contain long filenames. The Win9x 'DOS Box' doesn't have support of long file names and isn't an environment you are likely to be running in, but the source code distribution can be compiled to run in this environment with the restriction that it can only open files with 8.3 style names. The Win NT executables were created with the Open Watcom compiler and are packaged in an LHA archive.

If you have stuck with me to this point please contact me with some information about your interest. I'm generally interested in a couple of things:
Most useful would be insight into the compression method used in *.113 files
Is there a downloadable installer for the version 5.3 distribution?
Do you still have copies of old Iomega backups around?
How large is the average backup? Mega bytes of data or number of Iomega disks used.
Was there an equivalent program available for Win3.1?
Was there an equivalent Mac program, possibly on my IomegaWare CD in a Mac partition?
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References

IomegaWare Distributions and programs with dead download links but good descriptions
however searching Filewatcher for the IomegaWare download filenames seems to provide valid links

1-Step Backup description with dead download links

2010 forum discussion about 1-Step backup and last disk catalog problem with a description of versions
'gkeenan' posted a reply saying iobackup-w32-x86-44.exe can be downloaded and installed on a WinXP system to restore 1-Step backups. The provided link appears to be dead. I did eventually download the file from filewatcher. It runs on a WinME system I still have operational, but although it installed under WinXP the program would not run for me.

2010 forum discussion started by someone unable to extract 1-Step files from backup

A forum post similar to above from 5 years ago

A similar forum discussion from 2014 where the backup file has an *.133 extension rather than *.1-Step. Most of the links in these posts are dead now, but it contains some nice screen shots showing 1-Step Backup wouldn't run without an Iomega drive connected to the target machine.

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will kranz,
Feb 12, 2017, 5:20 PM
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will kranz,
Feb 12, 2017, 5:20 PM
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