Restoring Files to a Windows VM
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As the move to the cloud continues at a record pace, understanding how to properly backup and recover Azure virtual machines is becoming a key skill, one that every IT professional should possess.

In this course, you will learn how to plan and deploy Azure Backup and how to manage backups on a day-to-day basis. You will learn how to create the Recovery Services Vault that stores backed-up data, how to create backup policies, and how to perform backup operations. You’ll also learn how to perform VM restores.

The topics covered in this Azure course map very closely to the learning objectives covered in the Microsoft Azure certification exams. By mastering the topics covered in this course, you will not only learn the skills necessary for day-to-day Azure Backup management, but also learn the skills necessary to become Azure certified.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to configure and review backup reports
  • Understand how to perform backup operations
  • Create a Recovery Services Vault
  • Be able to create and configure backup policies
  • Know how to assign backup policies
  • Execute and perform restore operations

Intended Audience

  • IT Professionals interested in becoming Azure cloud architects
  • IT Professionals preparing for Microsoft’s Azure certification exams


  • General knowledge of IT infrastructure
  • General knowledge of the Azure environment


As with any other backup product, Azure Backup provides the ability to restore files and folders from backup. In this demonstration, you will learn how to recover files and folders from an Azure VM Backup. However, before getting started, I should point out that restoring files and folders is available only for non-encrypted Azure virtual machines that were deployed using the Resource Manager model and backed up to a recovery services vault. 

To begin the process of restoring files or folders from a recovery point, choose a desired recovery point by clicking Virtual Machines in the left-hand menu of the Azure Portal. Select the virtual machine needing the restore to open that VM's dashboard. From the VM's dashboard, click Backup to open the Backup dashboard. And from there, click File Recovery to open the File Recovery menu. Select the recovery point that contains the files that need to be recovered from the Select Recovery Point dropdown menu. 

Download the software that's needed to copy files from the recovery point by clicking Download Executable. For a Linux VM, this would be Download Script instead. Clicking Download Executable downloads the executable file to the local computer. Before the download becomes available, a password is generated. Copy this password when it becomes available in the left pane. Microsoft recommends that the executable be run as an administrator from the local machine, not the VM that's being restored. 

However, the local machine's OS must be the same as or compatible with the VM being restored. To be more specific, if you are restoring files for a Windows 2016 Server, your local machine must be Windows 10. If you're restoring a Windows 2012 R2 Server, your local OS must be Windows 8.1. A Windows 2012 restore requires Windows 8 on a local machine and a Windows 2008 R2 Server requires Windows 7. Another alternative is to simply run the executable from the machine that needs the restore. Because the executable was password protected, click the Copy button to copy the password. 

Right click the executable that was downloaded to the local machine and run it with administrator credentials. When prompted, paste the password and press Enter. Assuming the password is correct, the executable then connects to the recovery point. If the local computer has restricted internet access, ensure that it can at least access and that Port 3260 is opened outbound. The executable when run mounts the recovery volume and assigns a drive letter to the volume. 

Use Windows Explorer or File Explorer to browse the drive that's mounted and to locate the file or folder that needs to be recovered. In our case, we are recovering the finances.txt file. Once the files have been located and copied back to the original machine or to wherever else you'd like to save them to, unmount the additional drive by browsing to the File Recovery menu in the Azure Portal. From there, simply click Unmount Discs. After unmounting the disc, you'll receive a message letting you know that the unmount was successful. It does however sometimes take a few minutes for the connection to refresh though. If you don't manually unmount the drive, it will automatically dismount in 12 hours.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.