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Friday, January 28, 2011

Extract Windows 7 System Image Files




How to Extract Windows 7 System Image Files Using Disk Management

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
System images are saved in this format:

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

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 (All Items 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.  
NOTE: You can also click on Disk Management, Action on the menu bar, and Attach VHD.

5. Click on the Browse button.  

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.  
NOTE: See the NOTE box at the top of the tutorial to see where to find your system image VHD file at.

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.

7. Click on OK.  

NOTE:
Be sure to leave the Read only box unchecked.

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.

9. You may also get a AutoPlay pop-up window. Double click on the Open folder to view files option.  
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.

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.  


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 (All Items 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.  

5. Click on OK.  

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.

6. You will now notice that the VHD (ex: F: ) has been detached in Disk Management.  

7. Close Disk Management.


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