Hyper-V – Recovering VHD’s and AVHD’s

Anybody who has had to deal with a catastrophic recovery process knows the pains involved with retrieving data. In particular cases like mine, I needed to recover data which was locked away in virtual hard disks and in snapshots. I was unable to boot the original o/s for that disk since it was corrupted, only option was mounting each disk in a separate virtual machine and extracting what I could.

I’m not all to familiar with Hyper-V (I use Virtualbox mostly), so it was a “fun” learning experience for me. I found that Hyper-V lets you mount individual snapshots like disks, but you need to have an intact snapshot chain to do so. Also, in the latest version of Hyper-V, your vhd’s and avhd’s can not be in a compressed filesystem.. which sadly, I had to decompress (took many, many hours).

So long story short, If you ever need to switch back to a snapshot, it’s just a matter of switching the mounted hard drive image to the snapshot file. I found that this was very convenient until I dealt with a snapshot that seemed to be corrupted, thus corrupting the whole chain. I could not find any working/free tools out there for avhd recovery. Bunch of data recovery services, but they sound way too expensive. If anyone knows of any reliable tools, please comment.

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