Can I recover an XP backup from OSX?
March 17, 2010 11:46 AM   Subscribe

How do I restore my XP backup file onto my new Mac?

I came home from a business trip last weekend to find my 8-year-old PC was catatonic. Luckily, I'd used native Windows XP backup app to backup the important stuff to an external hard drive (which is fine).

Now, instead of replacing or fixing the PC, I decided to buy a new macbook pro. Will I be able to unpack and recover the data saved to the external HD?
posted by reverend cuttle to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Sounds like you have a .bkf file. OSX doesnt natively open these. You can use a Windows machine to extract the contents and then copy the files and folders, or a third-party utility that reads bkf files.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:03 PM on March 17, 2010

Get VirtualBox for your Mac, and create a barebones XP install and a shared folder. Then attach your drive -- you should be able to see your backup file, and restore back into the shared folder from within VirtualBox.
posted by ldenneau at 12:09 PM on March 17, 2010

Seconding ldenneau's suggestion - If you have an XP install disc, virtualbox will get you going and you can do the restore, then shift your content from the VM into your actual machine.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:20 PM on March 17, 2010

Virtualization is a good suggestion, but bear in mind that you'll need a Windows license key, and the one the came with your PC (even if you upgraded) is unlikely to work.
posted by mkultra at 12:32 PM on March 17, 2010

OEM licenses arent suitable for virtualization. You'll most likely get an activation fail if you try. Not to mention, its a pretty big waste of time/resources to build a whole VM just to extract one bkf file.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:53 PM on March 17, 2010

Disagree: You won't need a key. You'll need a key to get authorized but that deadline is 30 days after install. That's plenty of time to do the install and pull your backups. Just skip past the prompts for the key.

Since this is a Mac, dual booting via Bootcamp is another option and if that backup file is large, I would certainly opt for the extra horsepower you would get from a real install instead of a virtual machine.
posted by chairface at 1:26 PM on March 17, 2010

Oh: If you do dual boot, you'll need another drive to drop your recovered files onto. I don't think the bootcamp drivers will let you write to your Mac HFS partitions.
posted by chairface at 1:28 PM on March 17, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks so far

or a third-party utility that reads bkf files

Does anyone know of a 3rd party app (for osx, obv) that reads bkf files?
posted by reverend cuttle at 2:00 PM on March 17, 2010

I don't think i would dual boot, because I don't think you can write to the Mac file system while booted into Windows — Windows doesn't understand HFS, and the drivers that Apple writes only give you read-only access, unless I'm remembering wrong.

However, if you use a VM like Parallels or Fusion to install a Windows XP environment, you can copy all the documents from the backup to the virtual Windows XP volume you create. Then you mount the XP volume as a disk in the OS X Finder through Parallels or Fusion, and drag over your files from the XP volume to the OS X volume in the Finder.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:20 PM on March 17, 2010

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