Thursday, July 28, 2011

Restoring an XP backup (.bkf) file in Windows 7

Based on a long history of problems with copying GBs of data over the LAN, I decided to move my data from a corporate XP box to a Win 7 box using XP Backup. That old utility is stone simple, but for me it's been fast and reliable.

I mounted a share on the W7 machine then ran backup to put every bit of my old machine into a .bkf file on the new machine. From there I'd unpack at leisure. In a month or so, once I'm satisfied I've not lost key data in a crevice of XP, I planned to delete the .bkf file.

Naturally, I did a small test first.

Obviously, or I wouldn't be writing this, the test failed. Windows-7 no longer supports restores from XP backup files.

I was open mouthed. This is the sort of middle-finger gesture I'm used to getting from Apple. Whatever their many, many faults, Microsoft has always been kinder to data. The formats are usually proprietary, but at least they're supported.

I couldn't believe it, so I looked further.

Happily, my faith was justified. You can now download a Microsoft Win 7 utility that will restore from a .bkf file. Description of the Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2. It worked for me.