Files and Folders

  1. Initiate the backup process:

  • Launch the Zmanda Pro client on your PC.

  • Locate and select the Files and Folders option to initiate the backup process for specific data on your system.

  1. Select Files and Folders:

  • Click the Plus button to browse through your file structure. Select the files and folders you wish to incorporate in the backup.

  • For a swifter experience, drag and drop the desired files and folders directly into the Zmanda Pro client window.

Stay informed with size estimates:

  • The Choose files window provides a real-time estimate of the total size of the selected files before Zmanda Pro applies compression and deduplication techniques, optimizing storage usage.

Upon completing file and folder selection, initiate the backup process. Zmanda Pro meticulously captures and safeguards your chosen data.

Filesystem Snapshots

Zmanda Pro offers a feature on Windows called Take filesystem snapshot that back up files even while they're actively in use.

  • Creating a snapshot: When you enable this option, Zmanda Pro triggers a VSS snapshot, capturing a point-in-time snapshot of your entire disk, ensuring all files have a consistent timestamp for backup.

  • Disk-wide consistency: It provides disk-wide crash-consistency. This means if a system crash or power outage occurs during backup, the data remains consistent because all files originate from the same snapshot, safeguarding your backups from potential corruption.


  • Non-Windows Platforms: While disk-wide consistency isn't currently available on other platforms, Zmanda Pro can still back up in-use files without requiring snapshots.

  • Network Shares: Snapshots aren't supported for network shares in current Zmanda Pro versions. Ensure the Take filesystem snapshot option is disabled for those Protected Items.

  • Supported Filesystems: VSS snapshots work only with NTFS and ReFS filesystems on Windows. FAT and exFAT don't support snapshots, so the option Take filesystem snapshot should be disabled.

  • Default for New Protected Items: The snapshot feature is conveniently enabled by default for new Protected Items, ensuring consistent backups from the start.

Network Shares

Zmanda Pro safeguards your data stored on Windows network shares (SMB/CIFS). We recommend installing Zmanda Pro directly on the network device hosting the shares.

Windows specific steps:

  • Browse network shares:

    • Access mapped network drives within the Choose Items section.

    • Alternatively, directly browse a UNC path for more precision by navigating to Options and selecting Browse UNC Path.

  • Custom credentials for secure access:

    • Provide custom Windows Network Authentication credentials through the Log in to network share option if required for the service user account to access the share.

  • Automatic path conversion:

    • Zmanda Pro handles mapped network drives, converting them into their UNC path equivalents for access by the service user account.

Snapshots (VSS) aren't currently supported for network shares. Remember to disable the Take filesystem snapshot option for these Protected Items.

Non-Windows platforms:

  • Local mounting Prerequisite:

    • Before backing up a network share on non-Windows platforms, ensure it's mounted locally.

Encrypted Files (Windows EFS)

Zmanda Pro offers support for backing up files encrypted with Windows Encrypting File System (EFS). Here's how to ensure successful backups and restores:

  • Silent decryption attempt: Zmanda Pro strives to discreetly decrypt EFS files during backup if it has the necessary permissions (encryption user or EFS Recovery Agent).

  • Backup without decryption: If permissions are lacking, files are backed up in encrypted form, requiring additional steps for decryption during restore.

  • Clear identification: EFS-encrypted files are highlighted with green text in the Restore browser dialog for easy recognition.

Addressing encryption key loss:

  • PC malfunctions can lead to EFS encryption key loss, potentially rendering restored files inaccessible. Zmanda Pro proactively warns about this risk in the backup job log.

  • To guarantee data access in case of PC failure, export the PC's EFS encryption keys:

    • Windows: Use certmgr.msc.

    • Windows Server: Taking a System State backup may suffice.

  • Once keys are safely backed up, enable the I confirm EFS keys are exported option in Protected Item settings to silence the warning.

  • If a PC failure only involves partial data loss (OS and user accounts intact), EFS-encrypted files can be recovered without extra key attention.

Finding files using EFS

Command prompt: Use the cipher /u /n command to list all EFS-encrypted files on your PC.


PowerShell snippet (output to file): EFS-encrypted files on C:\ into a new EFS-FileList.txt file:

get-childitem C:\ -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Where-Object {$_.Attributes -ge "Encrypted"} | format-list fullname, attributes | Out-File -FilePath .\EFS-FileList.txt -NoClobber

Identifying encryption certificates:

Cipher Command: Use cipher /C C:\path\to\file.txt to view the user accounts and certificates that can decrypt a specific file.

This information can reveal:

  • The original encrypting user

  • Necessary EFS certificates for backup

Windows server deduplication

  • Automatic space-saving: Windows Server 2012 and later feature built-in data deduplication, separate from Zmanda Pro's, to optimize storage by merging identical files on NTFS volumes.

  • Seamless operation: Deduplication runs unobtrusively in the background, typically at night, ensuring files appear and function normally.

  • Unique format and compatibility: Deduplicated files are stored in a format accessible only by Windows Server and Linux, not directly readable by non-server Windows versions.

Zmanda Pro integration:

  • Full content backup: Zmanda Pro backs up the complete, rehydrated file content of deduplicated files, then applies its own deduplication for further space optimization.

  • Compatibility ensured: This approach enables safe restoration of Windows Server deduplicated files to non-Server Windows versions.

Restoration considerations:

  • Rehydrated format: Restored files are initially in their full, rehydrated format and aren't re-deduplicated until Windows' next background scan.

  • Disk space planning: Factor in this temporary space requirement to ensure successful restores, as restoring a full Zmanda Pro backup to the same source drive might exceed available space.

Advanced filters

Tailor your backups: Include or exclude specific files and folders using Advanced Filters, ensuring you back up only what's essential.

Include filters

Selectively specify files and folders for backup using:

  • Glob patterns: Wildcard-based patterns for flexible matching.

  • Regular expressions (regex): Powerful pattern matching for fine-grained control.

Glob pattern match

Use wildcards for flexible matching:

  • *: Matches any number of characters within a filename.

  • **: Matches any number of directory components.

  • ?: Matches a single character within a filename.

  • []: Denotes a character class (e.g., [0-9]) for specific ranges.

Example: Top directory is C:\Users\, pattern is *\Documents. This includes all "Documents" directories under the first subdirectories of C:\Users.

Regular expression match

Leverage regex for complex patterns:

  • Case-sensitive by default. Use (?i) for case-insensitive matching.

  • Non-anchored by default. Use ^, $, \A, or \z to match start/end of file paths.

  • No need to escape slashes (/) as they're not special characters.

  • Add multiple filters per Protected Item for comprehensive control.

  • Match speed depends on top directory location and pattern complexity.

  • Invalid patterns or regex will prevent backup job execution.

On Windows,

Top Directory


Match Option










On Linux,

Top Directory


Match Option




On MacOS,

Top Directory


Match Option




Exclude Filters

Exclude unnecessary files: Tailor your backups by excluding specific files and folders using Exclude Filters.

Filtering Methods:

1. Glob pattern match

  • Exclude files based on wildcard patterns (e.g., *.tmp, C:\temp*).

  • Use wildcards: * (zero or more characters), ** (any directory components), ? (single character), [] (character classes).

2. Regular expression match

  • More complex and precise patterns for exclusion.

  • Adhere to Go regexp library's syntax.

  • Match against full disk paths, enabling filtering by drive letter or path components.

  • Multiple filters per Protected Item for comprehensive control.

  • Invalid patterns or regex prevent backup job execution.

  • Test patterns thoroughly before applying to production backups.

System exclusions (automatic):

Zmanda Pro automatically excludes certain system folders to optimize backups and avoid potential issues:

  • Windows: Recycle Bin, System Volume Information, Recovery, pagefile.sys, hiberfil.sys, swapfile.sys, certain reparse points, invalid .DFSFolderLink files.

  • Linux: /proc, /sys, /selinux, /dev.

  • macOS: /dev, /Users/.../Library/VoiceTrigger/SAT (protected by SIP).

Rescan unchanged files

Default Behavior:

  • In "Files and Folders" backups, Zmanda Pro optimizes performance by skipping files with identical file sizes and modification times as the previous backup, referencing existing chunks instead of re-chunking them.

Enabling "Rescan Unchanged Files":

  • Use this feature when working with file types that might change content without updating their modification time, potentially compromising backup integrity.

  • Examples include:

    • Applications using direct disk I/O

    • Some database data files

    • VeraCrypt container files

  • Forces Zmanda Pro to re-chunk every encountered file, ensuring backup integrity but potentially impacting performance.

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