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Home Directory Service

Recovering Lost Files

The Home Directory Service (HDS) provides users with "snapshots," uneditable backup copies of all the files and folders in your Home Directory account, taken at hourly intervals. The system keeps these hourly snapshots for 24 hours each on a rolling basis (the 1 PM backup for today replaces the 1 PM backup for yesterday, etc.)

It also retains daily snapshots of your Home Directory account, which it keeps for 2 weeks. These daily backups are taken at just before 8 AM EST so restoration can be done from before changes were made as part of the working day.

Restoring from Snapshots

To view the snapshot for any given folder, you must open it in Windows Explorer. Instructions to do so either directly or using the Home Directory Utility are available at

Right click the folder containing the files (you cannot use this procedure for files directly, just for folders), and click Properties. A new window will appear with the folder details. Then click on the Previous Versions tab to view the snapshots available for this folder.

Open folder to see snapshots

Locate the latest snapshot that has the files you would like to restore from and double-click the folder. A new, read-only folder will appear with the contents of the files in the snapshot state. It will indicate in the Resource bar the time and date the files were saved:

Folder with snapshot state files

You may drag and drop these files to a temporary location on your computer and then copy them back to your Home Directory folder.

Recovering Older Snapshot Files

If you need to recover files older than your oldest snapshot file, please email your request to Include the following information in your request:

  • Complete pathname of the file. Include the directory/folder if the file was not in the top directory of your account.
  • Modification date and time of the file you want restored. Backup tapes written before this time will either not have the file or have an earlier version of it.
  • Date and time when the file was lost. Backup tapes written after this time will not have the file.

  Page Updated: Thursday 2017-07-20 14:56:48 EDT