When you don’t want the entire image.
Image backups are one of the most important types of backups because they back up absolutely everything. Should you need to replace a failed hard drive, for example, an image backup will restore everything and let you continue as if nothing had happened.
But what if you don’t need everything? What if you just need a single file you know is somewhere in that image backup?
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- Locate the backup image “.pdb” file.
- Double-click on it.
- Navigate to the file or files you want within the image.
- Copy the files to your hard disk.
Locate the image
Naturally, you’ll need the file or files containing your image backup.
If it’s a full backup, then only the single “.pbd” file is necessary. If it’s in an incremental backup, you’ll need the full image backup that it was based on plus the intervening incremental backups.
The files will be wherever you instructed EaseUS to place them when you created your image backup. Typically, that’s on your external backup drive, but it could be almost anywhere with sufficient storage space.
Navigate to that location in Windows File Explorer.
In the example above, the image file is located in:
- D: – my external backup drive. When I created my backup, I told EaseUS Todo to put the image files on this drive.
- My Backups – the folder on that drive where I told EaseUS Todo to put the image files.
- Disk 0 – the name of the folder EaseUS Todo created to represent the disk drive it was backing up.
The name of the image file itself — “Disk 0_20231009_Full_v1.pbd” — includes the disk name, the date of the backup, the type of the backup (Full), and the first version of a backup on that date.
If you have multiple backup files or incremental backups, locate the most recent file to access the most recently backed-up files. (If you need to get a file from “a week ago”, for example, locate the image file that corresponds to the backup taken immediately after that time.)
Navigating the image
Windows File Explorer opens to the top-level contents contained in the image file.
In the example above, the image file contains backups of the C: drive as well as three additional partitions that were present on the disk.
Double-click on the drive containing the file(s) you want to restore. In our example, that’s the original “C:” drive.
What you’ll see is the contents of the root of the C: drive as it was when the backup was taken. You can now navigate through that backup image just as you would with any other drive in Windows File Explorer.
Restoring your file
From the backup image in Windows File Explorer, navigate to the Documents directory within C:. In our example, that’s:
- askleo – (would be replaced with your own login name)
Remember, this isn’t your “real” C: drive; this is all part of the backup image stored on your external hard drive. The full path is, in reality:
D:\My Backups\Disk 0\Disk 0_20231009_Full_v1.pbd
And then within that image file:
To restore a file — such as the “some text.txt” file in the example above — simply copy it to any folder on your actual hard drive — the “real” C: — using any technique you’re comfortable with: drag and drop, copy/paste, or something else.
That’s all there is to it.
You can repeat this process for as many different files or folders as you want to restore from your backup image.
This is why we take full image backups. We don’t have to figure out what we need to back up because we back up everything. Then, if and when we need to restore something, it’s a simple matter to mount the backup image, locate what we need, and copy it back to our hard disk.
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Footnotes & References
1: This all assumes you’re working on the same machine you were backing up and thus have EaseUS Todo installed. You will need it installed in order for this process to work. You can restore files from an image taken of any machine, but Todo must be installed on the current machine.
Articles in this series: