Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Enable ShadowCopy On Home Editions / XP

From time to time Vista creates ’snapshot’ copies of your files with a service called “Shadow Copy”.  This allows you to retrieve older versions of files you accidentally delete or alter.

To go back to a prior version of your file/document, you simply right-click on the file and select “Restore previous versions”, which can get you out of some nasty jams. (For more on recovering deleted files, click here.)

Shadow Copy is enabled on all versions  of Vista, but Microsoft grants user access to these copies only in the Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions. (Clearly as a method to try to sell more copies of the pricier Ultimate Edition.)

Tip of the day: Users of the “Home” editions of Vista can use Shadow Copy too.
The odds are pretty good that if you bought a new computer, and it came with Vista, it came with Vista Home Premium. I say that because if you walk into a store selling computers, I dare you to find the one that has Ultimate Edition on it. It seems to me that they all come with Home Premium!

Remember how I said Shadow Copy was “enabled” on all versions? Yes? Well, for owners of Vista Home Premium and Vista Home Basic, the service is running, but you need a way to “interface” with it (sometimes called a “front end”). To do that, download and install ShadowExplorer, and gain some of Ultimate Edition’s functionality. This cool piece of software is free, but donations are accepted.

Today’s free link: People who are using Windows 2000 or XP can get an almost identical file functionality with FileHamster from Mogware. This program is designed for people whose talents lie in the Creative Arts, so you don’t ave to be a geek to use it. There’s helpful user forums, too.

Please note: This ability is by no means a substitute for regular system backups. This is for small “oopsies”, not recovery/restoration.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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December 30, 2008 - Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, file system, how to, missing files, PC, performance, software, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. TechPaul,

    “ShadowExplorer” I can confirm, works very well in those “oopsy” type of situations… Often wonder what else in buried in our operating systems that we could tap into and don’t even know it? Thanks for the article!

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Rick | December 30, 2008 | Reply

    • Thank you, Rick. Yes.. it is kind of like the “easter eggs” sometimes hidden in video games, and I love discovering and “unlocking” them. Shadow Copy is not something the average person will use everyday (and hopefully, never use hardly at all) but there’s nothing nicer to have on that rare occasion that you actually do need it.. kind of like an insurance policy.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | December 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. HAVE YOU LOOKED AT TIME TRAVELER BY BEARS ON THE LOOSE IN MONTREAL? I LIKE THE INTERFACE, IT’S INTEGRATED INTO EXPLORER …. AND GIVES YOU PRETTY GOOD CONTROL OF THE SHADOW COPY ENVIRONMENT.

    Like

    Comment by RICK | March 18, 2010 | Reply

    • RICK,
      No, I had not heard of it, so thanks for the tip. I will take a look.

      It’s only fair that I give you a tip in return… All caps (on the Internet) is equated with SHOUTING, and is considered very bad form.

      [update: Folks, I took a look at their website and it appears that Time Traveler is a $20 program (with a 30-day trial) for Vista/Win7. I believe it might be of interest to owners of “Home” Editions. I did not try it.]

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | March 19, 2010 | Reply


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