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Windows XP

Working with ShadowCopy

ShadowCopy is a program that allows users easy access to back-up copies of files or entire folders. Back-up copies are created twice daily: once in the morning and once in the afternoon. These back-up copies or previous versions are kept for two weeks. They can be copied so that the user can access both the current version and a previous version. Back-up copies can also be used to overwrite or restore a current version to its previous state.

Accessing previous versions of files with ShadowCopy is done through the Properties dialog box from Windows Explorer. This document assumes that you have some familiarity with Windows Explorer. For more information, refer to Windows XP: Explorer Basics.

This document covers the following tasks when working with ShadowCopy:

return to topAccessing the Previous Versions Tab

You can view and access previous versions of files with ShadowCopy through the Properties dialog box from Windows Explorer. Viewing previous versions can help you locate the version that you want to copy or restore.

  1. On the Desktop, right click MY COMPUTER » select Explore
    OR
    On the Taskbar, right click START » select Explore
    Windows Explorer opens.

  2. Navigate to the desired file

  3. Right click the file » select Properties
    The Properties dialog box appears.
    Properties dialog box

  4. Select the Previous Versions tab
    The Folder versions scroll box lists all available previous versions.
    Previous Versions tab of the Properties dialog box

return to topViewing Previous Versions

You can view and access previous versions of files with ShadowCopy through the Properties dialog box from Windows Explorer. Viewing previous versions can help you locate the version that you want to copy or restore.

  1. Access the Previous Versions tab

  2. From the Folder versions scroll box, select the version you want to view

  3. Click VIEW
    A new Windows Explorer window appears, showing that version of the file.

return to topMaking a Copy of Previous Versions

There may be times, after having made changes to a file, that you would like to have a copy of the file as it existed before your changes. Using ShadowCopy, once you locate the desired previous version of a file, you can make a copy of it. You can place the copy in an existing folder or create a new folder for the copy.

  1. Access the Previous Versions tab

  2. From the Folder versions scroll box, select the version you want to copy

  3. Click COPY...
    The Copy Items dialog box appears.
    Copy Items dialog box  

  4. From the scroll box, select a location for the copy

  5. OPTIONAL: To create a new folder for the copy,
    1. Click MAKE NEW FOLDER
      A new folder appears in the location you selected in step 7. The name New Folder is highlighted.
      New Folder icon
    2. Type a name for the folder
    3. Press [Enter]

  6. Click COPY
    The previous version of the file is copied to the designated location.

return to topRestoring a Previous Version

You can restore files that you have deleted. Or there may be times, after having made changes to a file, that you would like to return to the original file as it existed before your changes. Using ShadowCopy, once you locate the desired previous version of a file, you can restore it.

WARNING: The Restore function overwrites the current version of a file. So, if the current version has not been backed up yet and not saved under another name, it will be lost.

  1. Access the Previous Versions tab

  2. From the Folder versions scroll box, select the version you want to restore

  3. Click RESTORE
    A confirmation dialog box appears.

  4. To restore the file to that version, click YES
    The previous version overwrites the current file.

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