How to restore from Windows Backup to a new computer with Windows 11 or Windows 10 - and keep your programs and files - Zinstall
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How to restore from Windows Backup to a new computer with Windows 11 or Windows 10 – and keep your programs and files

Got a backup created using Windows Backup on an old computer, and need to restore it to a new computer? In this article, we’ll learn how to restore not just your files, but also your programs, profiles, settings, emails, accounts and all the rest – from the Windows image backup to a different computer.

Let’s see how!

Mounting the Windows Backup to access its files and contents

Windows XP

The first step to recovery is performing what’s called a “mount” of the Windows backup file on the new computer. This operation allows to gain access to the backup’s contents, and thus to perform a restore. Here is how to do it.

  1. Find the folder in which your Windows backup is located.
  2. In that folder, you will see several different files. Look for the largest one. It will be a VHD file, with a long name. This file contains the actual files of your backup.
  3. Double-click on the .VHD file. This will cause it to appear in Windows as a mounted “virtual” drive, so that you can see its contents – it will appear as drive E: or something similar.

At this point, you can already locate your old drives in Windows files and folders, and even copy some of your files to your new computer. Of course, manual copy of files is not what we are after – let’s see how to do a complete restore, including programs and settings, and to do it automatically.

Recovering your files, settings, profile and programs from Windows Backup

Now that we have our backup accessible on the new computer, we’ll use Zinstall Migration Kit Pro to recover programs, settings files, emails, personalization, settings, documents and all the rest. The process is automatic and you won’t have to hunt everything down manually. Here is how to do it:

    1. On the new computer, run Zinstall Migration Kit Pro (you can download it here)

      Windows XP

    2. Choose the “Moving from another hard drive” scenario (the “hard drive” here is our mounted Windows Backup)
    3. The Kit will automatically detect the mounted backup. Confirm the selection, and press Next.
    4. If you want to only recover some of the programs, or some of the files, use the Advanced menu to select which ones you want. If you want to just recover everything, simply click Next to continue.
    5. You will be presented with a quick summary of what’s about to be recovered – press “Go” to start the process.

    That’s it – once the recovery process is complete, you’ll have your programs and files copied from Windows Image backup to your new computer!


    Video – recovering programs, settings and files to a new computer