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Windows 7: Backup XP Mode?

23 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 
Backup XP Mode?

I just went through a lengthy process to remove and reinstall XP mode on my Windows 7 machine, including installing and updating an antivirus program, running Windows Update to get all 37 critical patches, and reinstalling my XP Applications.

It occurred to me that it would have been nice to have a backup of the Virtual Machine, and XP Mode that I could simply retore rather than remove everything and start over (sort of a manually prepared version of System Restore for the XP Mode). I do have a disk imaging program, and of course, could resore my most recent image. But I don't want to restore the entire C Drive, if I can avoid it.

Does anyone know if a backup can be made of JUST the Virtual Machine and XP Mode, and if so, what folders would need to be included? My intution tells me that there may be supporting files in places like the Windows\System folder, or entries in the Registry that would not be captured in such a backup, but if those files or setting are not the cause of the problem, restoring a backup might work.

Does anyone have any experience in doing this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You just need a copy of the virtual hard drive file. That's it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 
XP Mode Backup

Thanks for the info. I' assuming that the file you are talking about is the one found at C:/USERS/USER_NAME/APPDATA/LOCAL/MICROSOFT/WINDOWS VIRTUAL PC/VIRTUAL MACHINES. If so, let me confirm that I understand the long and short of it.

Assuming that I have backed this file up on a regular basis, and experience a problem with XP Mode, similar to the one I just had where I had to remove and reinstall, am I correct in the following conclusions?

1. Simply restoring the VHD file COULD fix the problem, assuming that the problem was a corruption of the VHD file.

2. If that did not fix the problem, (presumaby the problem was somewhere OTHER than in the VHD file), I could remove and reinstall XP Mode and the Virtual Machine, THEN, in lieu of doing all the updating and reistallation of applications, I could restore the VHD file and have my old settings, applications, updates etc back to the way they were before the problem.

3. And finally, the only way I would need to start completely from scratch, would be if there were problems in BOTH corruption of the VHD file, AND the underpinnings of the virtual machine and XP Mode.

Are those assumptions more or less correct?

Thanks in advance for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Bit
 
 

For the first one, I would say yes. For the second one, you would have to make sure you ALSO have a copy of the virtual machine settings or you may have to start all over. Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by luigirez1 View Post
For the first one, I would say yes. For the second one, you would have to make sure you ALSO have a copy of the virtual machine settings or you may have to start all over. Good luck!
OK--that makes a certain amount of sense. Now, where do I get a copy of the virtual machine settings, or what file do I backup which, when restored, would restore all of the virtual machine settings?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

In the beginning of this tutorial you'll find a list of XP Mode files and their default locations.

XP Mode has also a base vhd file (C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd), which should not be copied or moved to another location.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
In the beginning of this tutorial you'll find a list of XP Mode files and their default locations.

XP Mode has also a base vhd file (C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd), which should not be copied or moved to another location.

Kari

Kari--

OK. Thanks for the tutorial. But a couple of questions for you. Right now, what I'm backing up is the vhd file located in the C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines folder. If I understand you correctly, I SHOULD also be backing up the vmc and vsv files from that same location. I can certainly add them to my backup job. But are you saying I should ALSO back up the vhd file in the C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\ folder? Am I reading you correctly that one of th vhd files is for XP mode, and the other one is for the virtual machine itself? Or am I hopelessly confused? And am I correct in assuming that your warning about not copying or moving it to another location would NOT prevent me from creating a backup copy of it, which if used, would replace the existing file in the same location?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

The base vhd file has to be in the default location, all other files anywhere you want to, as long as you remember to change the file location references as told in tutorial. To completely backup XP Mode, you need to copy both vhd files (base and XP Mode itself), vmcx and vmc files plus the folder C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Applications\Windows XP Mode.

The vsv file exists only if XP Mode is hibernated, containing the hibernation data. I would not make the backup when XP Mode is only hibernated instead of completely shut down, but if you do so you need to copy vsv as well.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
The base vhd file has to be in the default location, all other files anywhere you want to, as long as you remember to change the file location references as told in tutorial. To completely backup XP Mode, you need to copy both vhd files (base and XP Mode itself), vmcx and vmc files plus the folder C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Applications\Windows XP Mode.

The vsv file exists only if XP Mode is hibernated, containing the hibernation data. I would not make the backup when XP Mode is only hibernated instead of completely shut down, but if you do so you need to copy vsv as well.

Kari
Thanks. Seems like a simpler solution would be to backup the base vhd file, plus the entire C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC folder. That would get the XP Mode vhd file, the other there, plus the Windows XP Mode folder, all in one fell swoop.

In checking out the files, I note that the XP Mode vhd file changes whenever I've used XP mode (which I would expect it to do), but that the base vhd file doesn't seem to change. In any case, I do appreciate you taking the time to provide this information. I'll modify my backup job accordingly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2010   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Do not forget to backup the vmcx file in C:\Users\Your_Username\Virtual Machines\.

By default, XP Mode is divided to two virtual hard disks. The base, or parent vhd contains the 'not negotiable' part of XP, system core, files needed to run XP. All user modifications, installed apps etc. are then stored to the XP Mode vhd.

However, if you want to, you can make XP Mode to use only one vhd by merging the base, parent vhd and the XP Mode vhd. Here's how:
  • Go to XP Mode settings, choose Hard Disk 1 in left pane, click Modify

    Name:  XPM_Modify_HD_1.png
Views: 259
Size:  59.5 KB
    .
  • Click Merge virtual hard disk

    Name:  XPM_Modify_HD_2.png
Views: 152
Size:  42.2 KB
    .
  • Choose New file and browse to a location where you want to save the new, merged vhd

    Name:  XPM_Modify_HD_3.png
Views: 116
Size:  42.6 KB
    .
  • Give a name to the vhd, click Save

    Backup XP Mode?-xpm_modify_hd_4.png
    .
  • Click Merge

    Name:  XPM_Modify_HD_5.png
Views: 108
Size:  43.6 KB
A new standalone XP Mode vhd is now created. It does no longer need the base vhd. Notice that merging takes quite a long time.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Backup XP Mode?




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