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Windows 7: System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management


System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management

How to Extract Windows 7 System Image Files Using Disk Management
Published by Brink
14 Sep 2009
Published by

How to Extract Windows 7 System Image Files Using Disk Management


information   Information
When you create a system image, Windows 7 creates a Virtual Hard Disk VHD file that contains all of your files. This will show you how to attach (mount) this VHD file using Disk Management to manually extract and restore specific files of your choice from the system image instead of doing the default full system image recovery.
Note   Note
System images are saved in this format:

(selected backup location's drive letter)\WindowsImageBackup\(your computer name)\Backup (year-month-day) (time-hhmmss)

For example, if your computer name is Windows7-PC, your backup image location is on hard disk or partition (network or local) D: , and you backed up on September 14th 2008 at 4:39:45 AM (it uses 24 hour time), then that system image VHD file will be located in the D:\WindowsImageBackup\Windows7-PC\Backup 2009-09-14 043945 folder.





OPTION ONE
To Attach the VHD to Extract Files from System Image
1. Open the Control Panel (icons View).
A) Click on the Administrative Tools icon, and click on Computer Management.

B) Go to step 3.
OR

2. Open the Start Menu.
A) In the Search box, type compmgmt.msc and press Enter.
3. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

4. In the left pane, right click on Disk Management, and click on Attach VHD. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You can also click on Disk Management, Action on the menu bar, and Attach VHD.
-step1.jpg
5. Click on the Browse button. (See screenshot below)
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6. Navigate to the drive or partition that you selected to save the created system image to, then select a listed VHD file for the disk that you want to extract files from. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: See the NOTE box at the top of the tutorial to see where to find your system image VHD file at.

Note   Note
There will be a VHD file for each hard disk that was included in the system image backup when it was created.

You will not be able to open the VHD for the 100 MB System Reserved partition if you had one created during the installation of your Windows 7.
-step3.jpg
7. Click on OK. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: Be sure to leave the Read only box unchecked if you wish to have more than read-only access.
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8. You will now notice that the VHD file has been attached (mounted) as a separate virtual disk with it's own drive letter (ex: F: ) in Disk Management. Close Disk Management.(See screenshot below)
-step5.jpg
9. You may also get a AutoPlay pop-up window. Double click on the Open folder to view files option. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you did not get a AutoPlay pop-up, then you can open the new attached VHD virtual disk (ex: F) from the Computer window like any other hard drive or partition.
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10. You can now copy any files that you want from the attached system image VHD disk (ex: F: ) to restore back to your Windows 7 C: drive. (See screenshot below)
-step7.jpg



OPTION TWO
To Detach the VHD in Disk Management

NOTE: This will show you to detach the VHD file in Disk Management from OPTION ONE above without affecting the system image.
1. Open the Control Panel (icons View).
A) Click on the Administrative Tools icon, and click on Computer Management.

B) Go to step 3.
OR

2. Open the Start Menu.
A) In the Search box, type compmgmt.msc and press Enter.
3. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

4. In the middle pane, right click on the Disk # of the attached VHD (ex: F: ), and click on Detach VHD. (See screenshot below)
-detach_vhd.jpg
5. Click on OK. (See sreenshot below)
WARNING: DO NOT CHECK the Delete the virtual hard disk file after removing the disk box. If you do, you will destroy the created system image. Leaving this box unchecked will leave your created system image intact an unharmed so you can still be able to use it to do a full system image recovery.
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6. You will now notice that the VHD (ex: F: ) has been detached in Disk Management. (See screenshot below)
-detach3.jpg
7. Close Disk Management.
That's it,
Shawn





14 Sep 2009   #1
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Did you manage to pick up any Vista backup images in the same way?

It should work with those too.

Nice tut as always.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Well, while Vista does not have the option to attach a VHD file like this, you should be able to do this from within Windows 7 to extract files from a Vista system image though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2009   #3
jfar

Vista Ult64, Win7600
 
 

Another fine tutorial Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2009   #4
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Thanks Shawn , yes that's what I meant. May be useful for those who have both installed.

You have always been able to do it in Vista ( not natively - you need to use Virtual PC ).

That's why I figured you could easily pick up 7 backup images (and probably Vista ) using 7 create vhd function.

Is there a tut on VF about doing that with VPC ?

As if you aren't busy enough already, LOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2009   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

There's one here for Virtual PC & Windows 7, but it would not be hard to translate to Vista since it's the same thing substitute Vista and use Virtual PC 2007 SP1 instead. I'll work on it tonight.

System Image - Extracting Files from using Virtual PC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2009   #6
jdop

windows 7 64bit
 
 
Very nice, but....

I notice it doesn't work too well (at all) if you select read only.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2009   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Jdop, and welcome to Seven Forums.

What do you mean and are referring to?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #8
Cato

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Fantastic tut, Brink. I've read lots of your tutorials on the Vista side and now the Windows 7 side and have learned a lot from them.

Sorry I haven't posted on the worthiness of them before now. Just one of my many failings. :-)

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2009   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're most welcome Cato, and welcome to Seven Forums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management




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