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Windows 7: System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC


System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC

How to Extract Files from Windows 7 System Image using Virtual PC
Published by Kari
01 Sep 2009
Published by

How to Extract Files from Windows 7 System Image using Virtual PC

information   Information
When you create a system image using Windows 7 Backup and Restore, it creates a virtual hard drive vhd-file which contains all your files and folders, and some xml-files which contain the information needed to restore your system using this image. See the image:

Name:  Capture.PNG
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Notice that in this case there are two vhd-files; If your OS is not located on the first partition of the first hard drive, System Image Backup needs to save the boot information on a separate vhd. This also occurs when making a system image of a virtual machine. If this happens, the bigger vhd is your actual system backup.

Installing this system image as a second hard drive makes it possible to pick up and extract a single file or folder. It is a very practical tool if you make a system image often enough; it allows you i.e. to restore a file or folder you accidentally deleted, without the need to do a complete restore. Please notice Virtual PC has a 127 GB sizr limit for virtual hard disks. If your system image vhd-file is bigger, use Disk Management to mount image and extract files as told here.




Here's how:
  1. Download and install Virtual PC here (You need Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise for Virtual PC to work)
  2. Open the Virtual Machines folder (C:\Your_Username\Virtual Machines)
  3. Choose the virtual machine you want to use to extract files from your system image and click settings
    System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC-capture1.png
  4. From the left pane, choose Hard Disk 2, then Virtual hard disk in the right pane and click Browse
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  5. Find the drive where you stored your system image and backups, open the folder WindowsImageBackup and open the system image you want to use, click OPEN
    System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC-capture3.png
  6. Close the settings, boot your virtual machine. After boot, you'll notice there are now two hard drives on the virtual machine
    System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC-capture4.png
  7. Opening the second hard drive, you'll find all your files and folders. Choose what you need and transfer back to your host system
    System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC-capture5.png
Easy and fast!

Please remember that a Virtual PC vhd can be max 127 GB. If you need to mount bigger vhd's, use Sun VirtualBox or Disk Management as told in this Brink's tutorial..

Kari

EDIT: Once again, thank you Brink for "polishing" this tutorial and making it look better.








Related Tutorials

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01 Sep 2009   #1
Orbital Shark

 
 

Nice Tut mate, good work

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 Sep 2009   #2
Sassa

 
 

Nice...
+rep for this tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #3
PineSlayer

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Virtual PC and Windows 7 Home Premium

Virtual PC 2007 works fine with my Windows 7 Home Premium. I installed my XP OS there to run some programs that don't like Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #4
Sabre9

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Hi. Everything seems to work... except I have one problem. I created a VM machine, went to my backup file... and it says the VHD is too large to fit over the IDE bus. There was a "compact" option that I'm trying now, to try reduce the size... but it's taking a long time. Is there some other way to have VM's read VHD's larger than (I think it was 127 GB?)

Thanx for the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Sabre, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You might see if this option to read the VHD may work better for you.

System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #6
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sabre9 View Post
Hi. Everything seems to work... except I have one problem. I created a VM machine, went to my backup file... and it says the VHD is too large to fit over the IDE bus. There was a "compact" option that I'm trying now, to try reduce the size... but it's taking a long time. Is there some other way to have VM's read VHD's larger than (I think it was 127 GB?)

Thanx for the help!
I am really sorry to forget that piece of information from the tutorial. I am going to add it now.

So, as you noticed, Virtual PC has a 127 gig maximum size for a vhd. Compacting works, but I have tried only vhd's about 150-160 gig. Even I like Virtual PC more than VMWare or Sun VirtualBox, I use VirtualBox to handle my own system image vhd's because of their size. In the attached image you can see a virtual 7 Enterprise x64 running in VirtualBox, with an extra HD (my host system image) mounted. It is over 200 gig but still working like a dream.

You can download Sun VirtualBox here.

Kari


Attached Thumbnails
System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC-vbox.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #7
Sabre9

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Sabre, and welcome to Seven Forums.

You might see if this option to read the VHD may work better for you.

System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Yep. Simple, and didn't have to download anything. But I did have a question about it (so I posted it on that thread to not hijack). Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #8
Sabre9

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sabre9 View Post
Hi. Everything seems to work... except I have one problem. I created a VM machine, went to my backup file... and it says the VHD is too large to fit over the IDE bus. There was a "compact" option that I'm trying now, to try reduce the size... but it's taking a long time. Is there some other way to have VM's read VHD's larger than (I think it was 127 GB?)

Thanx for the help!
I am really sorry to forget that piece of information from the tutorial. I am going to add it now.

So, as you noticed, Virtual PC has a 127 gig maximum size for a vhd. Compacting works, but I have tried only vhd's about 150-160 gig. Even I like Virtual PC more than VMWare or Sun VirtualBox, I use VirtualBox to handle my own system image vhd's because of their size. In the attached image you can see a virtual 7 Enterprise x64 running in VirtualBox, with an extra HD (my host system image) mounted. It is over 200 gig but still working like a dream.

You can download Sun VirtualBox here.

Kari
Thanks for the quick reply. I saw Shawn's post too, so I tried it, and it worked. All I would ever want is to read individual files from a system image backup, so it's good enough for me. But your tutorial is good too - I now have the ability to create VM's on my box, if I ever need to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #9
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro Preview with Media Center
 
 

The main thing is you found a working solution. Using disk management is a very good method and the vhd's size is not limited.

Thank you for telling me about the missing piece of information in the tutorial. It is now added.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC





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