Image backups are great for a couple of reasons.
One reason is that, if your hard drive fails or something else renders what’s on your hard drive unusable, an image backup contains everything that you need to restore that drive to its state at the time that the backup was taken.
The other good thing is that an image backup contains everything. Should you need even only one file, you can get it from an image backup.
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Accessing the image backup
In Macrium Reflect, click the Restore tab, and then click the “Open an image or backup file in Windows Explorer” option:
Next, you’ll be presented with a dialog to select an image to mount and a drive letter to be used:
You’ll notice two different “Original locations”, each listed twice. Our original full system image included two partitions, the system reserved partition and the C: partition, as did our subsequent incremental backup. Thus, from top to bottom, we can choose:
- The most recent “System Reserved” partition, the result of the full backup with the incremental backup applied.
- The most recent C: partition, the result of the full backup with the incremental backup applied.
- The original “System Reserved” partition full backup.
- The original C: partition full backup.
If you have multiple incremental backups that have accumulated since the original system image was created (a common situation), you’ll see them all listed.
In general, you want the most recent backup of the partition that contained the file that you’re attempting to restore.
I’ve selected the most recent C: partition.
You also need to select what drive letter will be used to access the contents of this backup. I’ve selected F:.
Click OK to continue.
Macrium now mounts that backup as drive F:.
What that means is that you can now browse the contents of the backup image using Windows Explorer – or any Windows program.
Once you locate a file that you want to recover, you simply copy it from the mounted backup image to your local drive as you would copy any other file between drives.
When you’ve completed browsing or restoring files from the backup image, return to Macrium Reflect and click “Detach a backup image from Windows explorer”:
It’ll ask you to select the drive on which a backup image is mounted on; pressing OK removes the mount and the drive letter from use.
That’s really all there is to it. The ability to mount a backup image and browse it with tools that you’re already familiar with (such as Windows Explorer) make looking for restoring files contained within an image backup a snap.
This is Leo Notenboom for AskLeo.net.
Restoring an individual file from an image backup using Macrium Reflect.
Even though you have an image backup, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to restore the entire image. It’s quite possible to use that image to get at individual files. I’ll show you how.
We’ll click on Restore in Macrium Reflect and what we will do is ‘Open an image or backup file in Windows Explorer.’ We are presented with a list of the backup images that Macrium knows about.
Select the most recent one from the drive that contains the file you want to restore. Select a drive letter. You’ll see a list of unused drive letters on your machine. I’m just going to go ahead and use the first one, F:. What happens is Macrium mounts that backup image into a virtual disk drive that you can now explore and you’ll find various files that were in your backup as of the time that you took your backup.
Using Windows Explorer, you can locate the file that you want to restore and then copy it back to your hard drive. I’ll just grab this copy of lastpass.exe that I have lying around. We’ll copy it from the backup. I’ll switch over to my C: drive and I’ll go ahead and paste it here into this folder. That file has now been effectively restored from the backup image.
Once you’re done restoring whatever files you want from the backup image, you would then go ahead and detach that backup image from Windows Explorer. The only one we have attached is F, so we’ll detach it. That’s all there is to it. Browsing backup images using Macrium Reflect is very easy and a very safe way to go back and get files from your backup images.