How to Recover Files from Windows XP Backups (BKF Files) in a Windows 7 System


Maybe you got a nice new Windows 7 PC this past holiday season and now you want to transfer from your old XP machine all those files you were so careful to keep backed up. Only you can’t. You used the Windows XP backup utility and Windows 7 won’t read those XP backup files. The Windows 7 backup and restore feature uses a whole different format. (The Windows XP backup files have extension .BKF)

Sometimes Microsoft does seem to make things harder than necessary but there is a solution to this impasse. Microsoft makes available a download of a program to restore backups previously made from an XP system at this link. The program can be used to restore old backups only and cannot be used on a Windows 7 system to make new backups. More information about this utility for restoring files can be found at this Microsoft Support page.

And there you have it. Your conscientious efforts to keep the XP system backed up weren’t wasted after all.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's and tutorials, including  a computer education website and a site for learning about the command line.

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I have tried to follow your suggestion but it just not worked & I have ended up with the error which says The Backup File Contains Unrecognized Data and Cannot Be Used....can you please help me in proceedings....

Sorry but we are unable to respond to individual support requests here in the comments. Please post full details of your problem here in our forum. MC - Site Manager.