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ITS Backup Services

Shadow Copies

“Shadow Copies” Service

Windows file servers offer a service called Shadow Copies that can be set to retain copies of files periodically throughout the day. The service is accessible via Windows Explorer, and allows users to restore files and folders on their own, granted they have permissions to write to the location they wish to restore files and/or folders to.

Requirements:

  • The user’s workstation must have Windows (XP or newer) installed, and
  • Files and/or folders to be restored must be stored on a Windows enterprise-grade file server.

Using Shadow Copies

The below instructions have been split into 2 parts: recovering a deleted file or folder and recovering an overwritten file.

Recovering a deleted file or folder

  1. Navigate to the location that contained the file or folder that was deleted.
  2. Right-click in the blank space of the folder and click Properties.
    Click on Properties
  3. Click on the Previous Versions tab.
    Click on Previous Versions tab
  4. You will be presented with a list of all snapshots and 3 buttons below it.
    1. To restore and overwrite any possible new versions of the file or folder, select the desired snapshot and click Restore.
    2. To restore a copy of a file or folder without overwriting any possible new versions, select the desired snapshot and click Copy.
    3. To see the contents of the folder before restoring, or copy individual files directly from a folder’s snapshot, select the desired snapshot and click Open.

Recovering an overwritten file

  1. Navigate to the location that contained the file or folder that was overwritten.
  2. Right-click on the file you’d like to restore and click Properties.
    Click on Properties - recover overwritten
  3. Click on the Previous Versions tab.
    Click on Previous Versions tab for overwritten
  4. You will be presented with a list of all snapshots and 3 buttons below it.
    1. To restore and overwrite the current version of the file, select the desired snapshot and click Restore.
    2. To restore a copy of a file without overwriting the current version of the file, select the desired snapshot and click Copy.
    3. To see the contents of the file before restoring, select the desired snapshot and click Open.

  Page Updated: Monday 2015-04-20 11:48:33 EDT