We have a backup of a Vista system made via the Windows Backup utility that we'd like to restore files from to a Windows 8.1 system, however it appears that 8.1 has completely removed the Windows Backup utilities in favor of File History.

The backup itself is a catalog file and a lot of .zip files. As this is a 200GB backup, this would be rather cumbersome to fish files out of. I know that I can try to locate another pre-8.1 system to access the files, but this is also somewhat cumbersome and all my systems are already running 8.1 to begin with.

Is there any kind of utility available to work with Windows Vista/7 backups directly on a Windows 8.1 system?


there is no tool in Windows 8.1. Use Hyper-V to setup a Windows Vista VM and use Vista to get the data from the backup.


With the introduction of Win 8.1 Microsoft in all their infinite wisdom elected to remove the capability to restore Win 7 backup (That is why so many say they don't see it. The option was there in Win 8}. I was faced with the same problem. Had religiously done Win 7 backup on a weekly basis thinking that if anything happened I could restore. Well it did happen ... my Win 7 PC died. So off I go and get a new laptop which of course has Windows 8.1 preinstalled. Think no problem, just restore my backup to get my "stuff" back. WRONG!!!!!!! Some have promoted going to the backup files and restore those ...... in my case HUNDREDS of .zip files that would have to be MANUALLY unzipped and restored .... and then the original file date is lost and the file date becomes the date that you unzipped it. BUT THIS SAVED THE DAY!!!! Create a "virtual drive" and here's how it is done ...... To recover files from a Windows 7 image based backup to a computer running Windows 8.1 you need to attach the .vhd file from the backup drive. To do this you need to open Disk Management like so:

Ctl + I to open the charms side bar
Click the Search icon
type diskmgmt.msc, then click the search result
Click Action > Attach VHD (you will need to take ownership of the VHD file to open it)
Open the new drive and browse to the user profile that has the data.
Take ownership of the user profile and all sub-contents. (this may take a while .. in my case a half hour).
Copy and Paste the data to the new computer.

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