How to restore your documents from a Windows 7 System Image
A simple and quick method you can use to recover one or more of your documents from a ‘System Image’ without the need to restore the entire image.
This article used an internal hard drive as the destination for a ‘System Image’ backup, but the technique is the same for backups store on an external USB drive.
Step by Step instructions on how to mount a Backup and Restore 'System Image' VHD file and retrieve a document.
1) Click 'Start' then right click on 'Computer' and click 'Manage'. 2) Click on 'Disk Management'.
3) In the Disk Management menu click the 'Action' menu item and select 'Attach VHD'.
4) Use the 'Browse' option to locate the 'WindowsImageBackup' folder on the external hard drive or internal drive.
5) Double click on the 'WindowsImageBackup' folder, next double click on the folder which is now displayed (bears the same name as your computer name, ‘Jim-PC’ in this example).
6) Of the 3 sub folders displayed beneath the ‘Jim-PC’ sub folder, choose the one that is named 'Backup YYYY-MM-DD XXXXXX and double click.
7) You will now see two .vhd files, one is only about 40KB in size, the other and larger .vhd file (26.7GB – Size varies based on how much space is used in your Windows partition) is the one you need to select (single click) and then click the 'Open' button in the lower right.
8) In the 'Attach Virtual Hard Disk' window click 'OK'. Note: Do not check the ‘Read only’ option.
The VHD file is now mounted and assigned a drive letter (T: in this example) and a Volume Name of 'Local Disk'.
9) Open Windows Explorer and click on the newly created drive letter (local Disk).
Notice that the contents at the root level T:\ are identical to your Windows 7 drive C:\
10) Now open the 'Users' folder, double click on your 'User Name' folder and then the My Documents folder. Pick a document and use Copy and past to a folder on your physical Windows 7 hard drive to recover the document.
11) After you have completed recovering your files from the virtual drive you need to unmount the virtual drive.
How to unmount a Windows 7 Virtual Hard Drive
1) Close Windows Explorer. 2) The safest way to unmount the System Image .vhd file is to use the ‘Safely Remove’ icon to ‘Eject’ the disc or optionally reboot the computer.