Tech – for Everyone

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

How to retrieve old copies of files- Ultimate style

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

Using the Shadow Copy service is a far easier way to recover your files than opening a backup you’ve made, and 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 Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions. (Clearly as a method to try to sell more copies of the pricier Ultimate Edition. Shame on you Microsoft; backup and recovery should be free.)

Tip of the day: Users of the “Home” editions of Vista can use Shadow Copy too.
The odds are pretty durned 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.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 16, 2008 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, file system, how to, missing files, software, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Life is an accumulation of memories

Baby’s first steps. Graduations. Birthday parties. Wedding ceremonies. Today’s title came from a friend of mine– “That’s what life is; an accumulation of memories”– during a recent conversation; and it got me onto to thinking about Deep Things.. and yes, I took a little stroll down my own Memory Lane…

But this is, after all, a tech site, and I am a World Renown Tech Journalist, and so I will not get all nostalgic on you, nor ‘share’ some of my favorite recollections. No, I won’t. But I will point out to you that more and more frequently, we are coming to rely on our computers to help us ‘remember’.

What do I mean by that? Well, now that we have digital photography, the odds are pretty good that the pictures you take — of baby’s first steps, graduation, B-Day parties, etc. –are not in a shoebox, or photo album, but are on your hard drive. Your “home movies” too.
Perhaps your computer is the only place you have those pictures/memories.

Tip of the day: Loyal Friends and True to this series know that once a month I remind my readers to make a backup copy of their important files (Ahem), and to store those copies someplace else. That’s because hard drives fail. (Not all that often, I grant you that, but they do die.. and not just from old age.) They can also get corrupted by malware, or erased by a virus or hacker, or…

If — for some bizarre and mysterious reason — your computer (or, just the hard drive) croaked and started pushing up daisies, would you lose the only pictures you have of Junior’s birth? Of your hard-earned graduation? Of your Grandmother?

Well, don’t let your heart get broken because you just “never got around” to making backup copies. Make copies today! Burn some CD’s/DVD’s and one other form of storage– another (external, maybe) hard drive, or perhaps online.

To help you, I refer you to two prior articles–
1) Windows has a built-in Backup Utility, found in Programs> Accessories> System Tools and my advice for using it is here, https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/07/02/automate-your-backup-and-get-some-peace-of-mind/ 

2) Instead of buying an external drive, you might prefer to take advantage of an online storage service.. of which there are many. My article on selecting one is here, https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/04/26/online-storage-for-data-backup/

Folks.. there are many, many reasons to make backup copies, and one reason not to (can you guess what it is?).

Today’s free link: Perhaps you would like a backup tool other than Windows’ own.. SyncBack is worth taking a look at. From C/Net Editor review, “This straightforward backup utility makes it a snap to safeguard and synchronize your files, and its freeware price just sweetens the deal. Surprisingly flexible for a free program, SyncBack can save your files anywhere: on external hard drives, in ZIP archives, on network drives, on CDs (using UDF), or transfer them via FTP. Recovering from a drive loss is also cinch, with a convenient restore tool that replicates folder trees along with the files in them.”

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

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July 7, 2008 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, how to, PC, security, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment