How to Recover Specific Files from a Windows System Image

Windows gives its users a safe way of recovering the complete contents of the hard drive along with system images. However, there may be times when you need to restore or recover only specific files from the image instead of the complete hard drive.

Windows Vista and 7 offers their users multiple ways of recovering the hard drive in case of a computer crash out.

create system image

System protection is important as it gives you a restore point as well as backup at a place that will not suffer from any computer catastrophe. The system image will let you re-store every lost document or file or folder in the hard drive. A system image is more complete in formation; however, recovering a single file from the system image is quite a task.

Tips to Create Windows System Image

Before you get started, it is important to create backups of the Windows system image.

Once you have prepared your backup, you will find a list of files in the external hard drive. This is the place where your backup data is saved. WindowsImageBackup is the name for the root folder that has a folder with your username inside it. This is also the place where your backup data is saved. We will make use of this data to restore the required files.

Go to start menu and right click the mouse. This will open Manage.

Create Windows System Image

Under computer management select disk management that is given on the left hand side.

disk management

Next, open the action menu and choose the option of attach VHD.

attach vhd

 Remember, in order to attach VHD you will require Windows Vista Enterprise or Ultimate. Once you have attached VHD, browse the VHD file from inside of the backup folder.This is the same backup folder that was created initially. You may come across two VHD files; the smaller VHD file will be used for boot partition and the bigger one will be used for system (C): drive.

vhd file

If you check disk management with the help of a drive letter, you will find a new drive under disk management.

new drive in disk management

How to Recover Files?

You will receive a prompt pop up from autoplay if it is turned on. This happens because a virtual hard drive has just been connected to the system.

autoplay prompt

Go through all the files. If there are any files that need to be recovered then simply copy them on to the C: drive.

files to be recovered

After you have recovered the required files, return to disk management. Perform a right click in the lower window where the disk number is also given.

Now disconnect the VHD by selecting detach VHD. This will dismount the backup file.

detach vhd

Under no circumstances should you check the box that gives you the option of deleting VHD when you disconnect it.

detach virtual harddisk

How to Easily Mount Virtual Hard Drive?

Some people prefer installing VHD attach rather than opening the disk management. The VHD attach is useful as it helps you open the VHD files by simply doing a right click of the mouse.

mounting virtual hard drives

The VHD files should be connected to the drive letter so they can be restored in a similar fashion.



Anubha Pandey