I use but admit both Windows imaging & file/folder backup are not robust in auto locating backup data sets. A corruption of a small MediaID file is all that is needed.
I experimented a little and find this procedure works for me. How to Manually Recover Windows file/folder Backups
This will retain your original directory/folder structure.
1) Right click your file/folder backup named like "JONES-PC". Select Open and choose a backup set folder eg. "Backup Set 2011-06-23 194949".
2) Double click to open the Backup Set folder. You will see a number of Backup Files folders eg. "Backup Files 2011-06-23 194949". One will be large and be the first main backup of the set. The other folders will be smaller and be subsequent incremental backups.
3) Open each "Backup files " folder and there are your backup .zip files. Start with the large "Backup file ..." folder.
4) Create a recovery folder somewhere (say a data partition or an external drive).
5) Install 7-zip
so that it appears as a right click option.
6) Highlight one or more of the .zip files and right click select 7-zip.
7) Choose "Extract files...". Under "Extract to:" browse to your recovery folder.
Ensure "Path mode:" is set to "Full pathnames". Select ok.
8) Do this for all .zip files in each of the "Backup files..." folders.
An advantage of the Windows file/folder backup is that the zip files don't form what is called a spanned set like many other backup programs so they can be individually recovered.