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I recently had a Windows 7 machine die on me, but fortunately I've been using Microsoft's included backup utility to back up all my important files onto an external hard drive.

I'm now on my backup computer, an old Windows XP machine that I can't feasibly upgrade. How do I restore my files from the 7 backup here?

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The internal Windows 7 backup solution takes drive snapshots and saves them to VHD files.
Maybe you have a chance with this (untested):

  • Install Gizmo Drive (or any other software which can mount VHD files under XP)
  • Mount the VHD file (its hidden in your WindowsImageBackup folder. Thats your Win7 backup)
  • If you can't open that folder, take ownership of it
  • Point Gizmo Drive to the VHD file. It mounts that VHD as a new drive.

enter image description here

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