Windows Vista’s Backup and Restore tools are completely different from the Backup program that came with Windows XP and so the backup files are incompatible. What do you do if you need/want to restore a Windows XP backup in Windows Vista?
Fortunately, Microsoft took this scenario into account and provided a supplemental utility called the Windows NT Backup - Restore Utility that you can download and install in Vista. You can then use it to restore a backup made in Windows XP from within Windows Vista.
Before you actually install and run the Windows NT Backup - Restore Utility, you must enable the Removable Storage Management feature. (If you don’t, you may receive an NTSMAPI.DLL error.) To do so, access the Control Panel from the Start menu and click the Programs item. Once the Programs window appears, locate and select the Turn Windows Features On or Off command under the Programs and Features heading. When you do, you’ll encounter a User Account Control (UAC) dialog box and will need to respond accordingly.
When you see the Windows Features dialog box, locate and select the check box next to Removable Storage Management option to turn the feature on. Then, click OK. When you do, you’ll see a progress dialog box and it may take a minute or two to turn on the Removable Storage Management feature.
Once the Windows NT Backup - Restore Utility is installed, you can launch it from the Start menu. Oddly enough, Vista doesn’t recognize the utility at all and displays a UAC that calls it an unidentified program. To continue, just click the Allow button.
You’ll then see the main Windows NT Backup - Restore Utility. The Utility window contains two tabs allowing you to either use the Restore Wizard on the Welcome tab or to perform a manual restore operation on the Restore and Manage Media tab.