Making it easy to restore a backup is one of the most important features. There are two ways you can do this from within the Backup Archive. Either via the restore button or the context menu .

From the Options screen select the Backup Archive.

Select backup to restore

Then select the backup of the virtual machine that you want to restore. For example, let’s take the backup of the “Windows 7 Home” virtual machine below.

Vimalin Backup archive - select a VM

Vimalin Backup archive – selecting the Windows 7 VM

Now click the Restore button at the bottom right of the screen.

You will get a confirmation screen that looks like the following popup:

Vimalin - confirmation for restoring VM Backup

Confirmation for restoring backup of “Windows 7 Home” VM

Select location to restore backup

Once you click “Yes” then you will be presented with a select folder dialog.

This dialogs asks where you want the virtual machine to be restored.

Browse for Folder dialog

Dialog to select a folder where you want to restore the virtual machine

In this example we are going to restore the virtual machine in the same folder as where the original VM lives. This is fine, it will not overwrite the original VM.

Click “OK”.

Restoring Virtual Machines that ran during backup

Vimalin - restore previously running VM dialog

Restoring a Virtual Machine that was running during backup

The backup of the VM we are trying to restore was running when we took a backup. We will select “Running State” as it was made on this same machine.  We want to get back exactly to where we were at the time of backup.

Click “Continue” to start the restore.

This might take a while, the progress bar gives an indication on the status or the restore.

Vimalin - backup archive, restore is running

Backup Archive, displaying progress on restore VM process

You can find the VM back in Windows Explorer once the backup is restored :

As you can see the virtual machine name has a timestamp suffix. This looks like ” – backup yyyy-mm-dd” where the time used is from when the backup was taken. It also changes the name of the VM in the virtual machine configuration file in a similar fashion. This is so you can easily pick out your restored backup and to prevent overwriting existing virtual machines. If you would decide run it one more time then it would add a “(1)” suffix to the suffix.

Open the restored Virtual Machine in VMware Workstation

You can open the restored virtual machine now in VMware Workstation either via a double click on the .vmx file in Windows Explorer or via the File -> Open menu in VMware Workstation.

(Note that since Workstation 14, you also have a File -> “Scan for Virtual Machines” option which is very convenient for registering virtual machines)

In VMware Workstation you will see the restored VM:

VMware Workstation - restore VM completed

VMware Workstation – restore VM completed

VMware workstation will ask the “move or copy” question when you resume or start the VM

For restoring a VM from a backup this question has the wrong default. You most likely want to get the exact same VM with the exact same virtual hardware since you are restoring a backup.

VMware workstation - copy or move question

VMware workstation – copy or move question

Answer “I Moved it” unless you want to have to re-activate your windows license in the VM.

If you decide to select “I Copied it” then your Virtual Machine will get a different set of virtual hardware identifiers. New hardware identifiers will create issues such as activation problems on Windows VMs and possibly network adapters that stop working on Linux VMs.

After clicking “I Moved It” the VM will boot up normally, or in this case resume to the exact state of the VM at the time of the backup.

VMware Workstation - running restored VM

VMware Workstation – running restored VM