How to solve 'The Backup File Contains Unrecognized Data and Cannot Be Used' backup (.bkf) error

Backup files (.bkf) are created by using Ntbackup utility in Windows NT and XP. Users which move from windows XP to windows 7 are usually faced backup restoration related issue. Backup created in windows XP by using Ntbackup utility can't restore in windows 7 because windows 7 doesn't support it, when you try to do so, error message "the backup file contains unrecognized data and cannot be used" will pop up. This message will also appear when you try to restore corrupt backup files (.bkf) on windows xp machine. In that situation you can use bkf repair tool to overcome from such situation.
But in the case of windows 7 you need to find some other method to fix this error. Here I am going to explain few solutions which you can use.

  1. Download and install windows NTbackup utility on your windows 7 machine to restore backup files (.bkf). To run windows Ntbackup utility on windows 7 you need to enable Removable Storage Management feature (RSM). If you are able to install it on windows 7 then you can restore your backup files without any problem.

  1. Second method is little lengthy, this method will work when you try to restore backup from external hard drive (backup created in Windows XP). In such situation copy entire backup file (.bkf) from external hard drive into the “XPMuser” profile inside documents and settings. Then run NTbackup utility and try to restore your backup now.
Most probably these solutions are able to fix your problem. But is some cases it may possible that you still get same error message. In that situation you need to contact to Microsoft Windows 7 support team.


  1. I have solved my problem.

    Thanks for the article.

  2. Hi,

    Congratulations! Glad to hear you got it sorted out.


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