Self-Service File Restores with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy  


If you accidentally delete a file from your V or Z drives, you can now restore an earlier version of the file yourself without opening a help ticket or waiting for help!



A new service introduced with Windows 2003 Server is Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy (VSS). SLAC users of our central file system can now restore deleted or changed files or folders on your own without creating a Help Track request. VSS copies are created daily at 5:00AM, 12:00PM and 5:00PM, so copies of changed files and folders are created 3 times a day, 7 days a week.  You can access the previous versions of files or folders stored on the central file servers via the 'Previous Versions' tab in the 'Properties' applet.


SCCS will still continue to maintain our regular tape backup schedule. If you cannot find the deleted file or folder you need in the Previous Versions list, please submit a HelpTrack so we can look for it in our tape backups.


This document gives step-by-step instructions on restoring deleted or changed files or folders.


*NOTE* When you restore the file or folder to the original location, this will overwrite the current version of that file or folder.  It is recommended you restore information to a new location.  Also, when you restore from a previous version, once you have restored the file or folder, it is removed from the previous versions tab.


Restoring Files or Folders:

Step 1: Identify a file or folder to restore

Identify the file or folder to restore (Note: if a file was deleted it will not show up unless you use the "View" button on a folder in step 3). To restore a file or folder, right click on a file or folder and click Properties.


Example of restoring an entire folder:



Example of restoring a single file:

 Step 2: Viewing Previous Versions

After opening the Properties window, click on the Previous Versions tab.




Step 3: Viewing File or Folder

Preview the file or folder to make sure it is the information that you want, highlight the version of file or folder you wish to view and click on the view button. This screen shows up to 64 copies of the file or folder (Copies are only created if the file has changed).



 STEP 4: Restoring File or Folder

Once you have determined which file or folder to restore, highlight the file or folder you wish to restore, click on either the Copy or Restore buttons.  Details and ramifications of each action are listed below:

(Note: you cannot restore a file or folder that you do not have write access to).

View: This is to open the file or folder to view it.  This is a handy action if your not sure which file or folder you wish to restore or to view the contents before restoring or copying the file. It is recommended that you use the view function to find the version of the file or folder you are looking for before copying or restoring it.


Copy: This option allows you to copy the file or folder to some other location that is not the original location.  This is handy when you need to get information without over writing the current copy.


Restore: This action restores the selected file or folder to the original location, over writing the current file or folder in that location.  Unless there is another backup of the file or folder, all currently in the file or folder is lost and is reverted back to the state of the Snapshot.  Use the restore action with EXTREME care!


NOTE: Both the Copy and Restore Actions DELETE that copy of the data.  So once you have decided to Copy the information to another location or you have decided to restore the information to the original location, that Shadow Copy is removed from the list and CANNOT be restored or copied again.



Do steps 1, 2, and 3 once you discover that you need a file or an entire folder recovered.  Before doing step 4, use the view button to view the contents of the file or folder to make sure that it is the information you need recovered.  Use the copy action to copy the information to a new location for use.  At that point you can rename the file or folder to ensure that no other information is accidentally deleted.  Use the Restore action ONLY if the file or folder was deleted.  If you use the restore action and the file or folder exists, then the entire content is reversed to that copy.