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September 21, 2008

Vista Gem #8

Filed under Computers, Software

Yesterday I ran into a photo that I've had for over a year that was corrupt...half the picture was missing...



What to do?

Use "Previous Versions," a new feature in Vista.

How? Just right click on a file/folder, choose "Properties"  and then click on the "Previous Versions" tab...



Previous Versions found a backed up copy of my picture. I clicked on "Restore..." and got this dialog...


I choose the last option "Copy, but keep both files" so I could compare the files after the restore.


It worked! I got my file back. And I didn't have to switch to the backup/restore utility to get it...I did this all from Explorer.

I run a nightly backup, which is how Previous Versions rescued my file. If you haven't run a backup, then Previous Versions uses "Shadow Copies" of your files. Shadow Copies are done daily and at "restore points." It looks like backups reset shadow copies, so I don't have any.

Comments (1)


Shadow Copy is a nice feature. It is also in Windows server which I use at work on the file server. It makes for a nice quick way of retrieving a file for users.

Side notes…Vista Home Edition doesn’t have “Previous Version” feature even though the service is running. Vista Home Edition users will have to use a third party tool like ShadowExplorer to view/retrieve previous versions.

Shadow Copy should not be a replacement for regular backups since the shadow copy is kept on the same disc as the original data. If a hard drive fails, all data is lost including Shadow Copies. Shadow Copies are a complement to a regular backup but not a replacement.

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