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Seems to be a common problem with Windows Server Backup Utility.

This is a Server 2008 Standard box. We had a backup that was performed about a year ago that we need to restore. I was able to pull the Windows Server Backup data off of the hard drive it was used to backup to (because the drive wouldn't map on the server itself), this consisted of a VHD file that I thought I could mount somehow.

I copied it over to my local machine to see what was backed up to the VHD file using disk management, but Windows states the file is unreadable or corrupted.

I'm out of ideas on how to get this data back so I'm coming to the experts.

EDIT: I've tried to mount the VHD on multiple computers ranging from Windows 7, 10, and the server 2008 box that it originated on with no luck. They errors I'm getting are either "Cannot find file" or "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable"

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There's nothing special about the VHD files created by Windows Server backup. You can mount these just like you would any Virtual Hard Disk file.

The fact you're getting messages about the file being corrupt and unreadable means the file has been damaged.

This Webair post offers some suggestions on how to repair your damaged file:

  • Mounting the vhd file to the parent partition, and then run chkdsk to repair it.
  • Check for integrity using the Hyper-V. Add the vhd file to the IDE controller and then hit the Inspect button
  • Merge any VHD and AVHD files. Check if it can be opened through windows 7, server 2008 or WinImage (for Virtual PC and Virtual Server VHDs)
  • Finally we can try the free Microsoft vhdtool that includes a “repair” function which is designed to undo an expand operation on a base VHD when differencing VHDs are present
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