Data images are a highly popular form of modern data storage. With the ever-growing threat of malicious software, hackers, data corruption, and other forms of unexpected data loss, the traditional data or disk image remain an efficient and reliable method of securing your most important files.
In most cases, particularly business-oriented uses, the image is simply restored – usually to a new drive – in a straightforward manner. But what happens when you only need a few files from the image? If you’re using Windows 10, the answer is really quite simple.
Working with Windows 10 Disk Images
First, access the Windows Start tab and access the Computer Management desktop app. Once it’s loaded, click on the Action tab from the menu and click the “Attach VHD” from the context menu. From here, locate your previously saved image and click “OK” to continue.
Next, Windows automatically mounts the virtual hard drive, or VHDX file, to appear as a brand new drive on your system. Once it’s good to go, you’ll notice the drive has a light blue icon next to the name in the Windows 10 Disk Management window. If the icon doesn’t appear, you just need to assign a drive letter to the virtual drive.
To do this, right-click on your new virtual hard drive partition and click “Change Drive Letter and Paths” from the dropdown menu that appears. Click the Add button to assign a new drive letter – anything of your choosing, as long as it’s not already taken – and click “OK” to continue.
Once complete, you’ll be able to access the disk image as if it were any other drive in your system. This makes it easy to browse the contents – via Windows Explorer – and restore files from image that are needed.
Using Third-Party Software
Although Windows offers built-in tools to both create disk images and restore them, some advanced users prefer to use third-party tools. There a number of reasons for this, but some prefer the extra features seen in today’s most popular software solutions. Some of these features include:
Cross-compatibility: The ability to restore individual files onto a system with a different operating system than the original
Ease-of-use: While the disk imaging tools integrated into Windows 10 are simple, some third-party apps are even easier. These programs are ideal for new users and those who are unfamiliar with technology in general.
Using Third-Party Services
Additionally, some users rely on in-person, third-party services to restore complete disk images and individual files. These services are great when you’re pressed for time or if you just aren’t comfortable performing these actions on your own.
One of the biggest downsides of these services, besides the added costs, is the lack of availability. Depending on your area, there might not be any local businesses that offer data recovery services at their location. In this case, you might have no other choice but to go with the integrated Windows utilities or take your chances with today’s consumer software market.