Hey guys, your know who you are, Dad. I found a work around for this problem.
The back up is in a .VhD file, which is a virtual hard drive format. So I downloaded Windows server, which you can have a virtual hard drive thingy, the techy terms escape me.
Then on this virtual hard drive I mounted windows XP. Then I opened by back up, and lo, there was my files.
Copy and paste and I was done.
This is a very simplified version of the hours and hours of getting all this to function.
The Microsoft guys in India were trying their best etc etc. Came back with some soloution or other, but I could see they were working from a check list.
Anyway, I got my files back.