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Shadow Copies for Vista
April 26, 2009
ALL editions of Vista save shadow copies of your files, including documents etc, on drives for which you have System Restore Points enabled (only drive C: by default, but you can enable it for other drives too). They take up space on your hard disk (in the hidden System Volume Information folder) but if you are using Vista Home Basic or Premium you are not given any way to retrieve them.If you have Business or Enterprise or Ultimate, there is a tab called Previous Versions, in Right-Click > Properties for any folder, to view and optionally restore these shadow copies, but that feature doesn't exist in Home editions.There is a neat GUI freeware called ShadowExplorer which lets you browse and optionally restore files from the shadowy realms of the System Volume Information folder.This is no substitute for keeping proper backups, but it can be useful if you accidentally saved some wrong edits of a file, so you want a recent version of it which was saved after making your last backup.Using ShadowExplorer, I was able to see a copy of almost my entire C: drive in a neat tree in shadowland, with previous versions of my files. This frequently updated stash has been using my PC's resources, but I haven't been allowed to access it because I didn't buy Ultimate.So, if you have a Vista Home or Premium edition, Download this valuable app here for free.
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