Command Syntax: arcvlist

Copyright 2008 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2008 Oct 12


This is part of a series of articles on backing up computers. The top page is Design for an Archiving Backup System.

This page describes the command line syntax of the program.


The program is used list the contents of the version database so you can select files or directories for restoration. Another way of doing this is with the program which displays the database in a tree browser GUI.


The program gets configuration information from the config.ini file.

The full command syntax is:

arcvlist [-h] [-p] [-D dir] [-v] [-b] [-r] [-d] [path]

where items in the square brackets are optional.

You can start from the very top of the tree with the command:

Which will show you the list of machines and root directories (or drive letters), then add more parts to the path to explore deeper in the tree.


The -h parameter will bring up a short syntax help prompt and then stop.

The -p parameter will run the command in a special package listing mode, this does not need any other parameters and it does not need the path supplying (any other parameters you supply will be ignored). This will inspect the complete contents of the version database and then report on any package IDs that are not referenced by the database. These are orphaned packages (they will exist in the cache directories but are not needed by the database) that were left behind when the ArcvBack Service process was shutdown suddenly while it was in the process of building a package (this typically happens when the machine is shutdown or rebooted). These packages are not needed to restore anything in the database, but they may contain data that could in rare cases be useful - you can always use the command to extract this data.

The -D dir parameter allows you to specify the path to version database other than the one defined in config.ini. For example this allows you to explore an older backup set without having to modify config.ini. Or to explore a temporary version database that was made by

The -v parameter turns on listing of the individual versions of files (which will make the listing much longer), without it only the information for the latest version of each file is shown.

The -b parameter turns on the listing of the individual blocks (and the packages that contain them). Most files end up being stored in a single block, but large files will be split into a number of blocks depending on the size of the package files. Turning on block listing will also force version listing on too.

The -r parameter turns on recursive listing mode, this will list the contents of all the subdirectories as well.

The -d parameter tells the program to only list directory names (not show the files) which will shorten the listings considerably. So a command like: -d -r c:\

is somewhat more manageable.

The path is the directory path that you want to list the contents of.

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