What is Shadow Copy?

Shadow Copy is a new feature on the Community Network servers you can use to restore or recover recently modified or deleted files. This allows Windows users to recover recently modified files on your own, without having to call for help. (Mac users will still need to call us, as Shadow Copy is not compatible with Macs.)

Shadow Copy Details

Shadow Copy takes a snapshot of any changes that are made to files since the last snapshot. This allows customers to recover changes that they've made previously (or the complete file if its deleted.) If files are not available via Shadow Copy then data can be recovered by going through your support team, who will extract them from nightly tape backups.

Shadow Copy takes a snapshot two times a day during the week and one time a day during the weekend.

  • Monday - Friday: 5:00am and 12:00pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm

Shadow Copy Limitations

There are some limitations to Shadow Copy that you will need to be aware of.

  • When restoring a previous version of a file, customers can overwrite a known good file with a previous version. Be very careful!
  • Shadow Copy is only available on your network locations. This includes your personal and shared network drives. Data lost on your local computer cannot be retrieved by Shadow Copy or Tape Backup.
  • This is a PC-only feature. Customers that use a Macintosh will have to call their support team to have them do a Shadow Copy restore for them.
  • Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, and XP SP1 will need to install a client in order to restore files. To install the client you can run the setup from here or speak with your support team to get the correct client installed.

How to use Shadow Copy to recover deleted or modified files

Recovering a Deleted File or Folder

This process will walk you through the steps of recovering a file or folder that has been deleted.

  • Open the directory that the file was located in.
  • Right Click in the directory that the file or folder was stored and select Properties.

    Shadow Copy screenshot

  • Click on the "Previous Versions" tab when the Properties window opens. If you don't see a "Previous versions" tab you need to install the client. To install the client you can speak with your support team to get the correct client installed.

    Shadow Copy screenshot

  • A list of snapshots will be listed for that resource.
  • Select a snapshot that had the last known good copy of your file or directory and click View.
  • A different window will open up displaying the contents at the moment of that snapshot.
  • Locate the file or folder that you wish to restore.
  • You have a few options at this point.
  • Option 1: Opening and saving the file
  •     Open the file and save it to the correct location.
  • Option 2: Drag the file/folder where you want
  •     If you have multiple files or a folder, simply drag the files or folder to their correct locations

Restoring a previous version of a file (or folder)

This process will walk you through the steps of recovering a previous version of an existing file.

  • Locate the directory where the file is stored.
  • Right Click on the File and Select Properties

    Shadow Copy screenshot

  • Click on the "Previous Versions" tab when the Properties window opens. If you don't see a "Previous Versions" tab, you need to install the client. To install the client you can speak with your support team to get the correct client installed.

    Shadow Copy screenshot

  • A list of available snapshots will be presented to you of that particular file.

    Shadow Copy screenshot

  • Select the snapshot that represents the last known good version of the file.
  • Click 'View' and verify it is the correct version of the file.
  • Once you have found the correct file you can do the following:
  • View: View the file directly and then save the file by clicking on File --> Save As to the correct location.
  • Copy: Create a copy of this file in the same directory as the original. You will now have both copies available.
  • Restore: This will restore the old file over the top of the current file.

** Warning ** Restoring the file will overwrite the current copy. Any data saved in the current copy will be overwritten with the older file.

More information about Shadow Copy

I don't see a "Previous Versions" tab

If you do not see a Previous Versions tab you will need to install the Shadow Copy client. Windows XP SP2 customers have this installed by default. Windows XP SP1, Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME customers will need to install the Shadow Copy client in order to use this feature. If you need help, please contact your support team.

What do I do if Shadow Copy doesn't bring my file back?

If the file cannot be recovered through Shadow Copy, it is most likely available through a tape backup restore. Contact your support team and provide the following information:

  • Name of the file
  • Location of the file
  • Last known time that the file was working for you

With this information the support team will do their best to locate the lost file for you. Always remember to back up important information.