Any files stored on a McIntire network drive (e.g., F, G, R, or S drives) are backed up nightly for disaster recovery purposes. In addition, a service called "shadow copies" makes snapshots of your files at 7 a.m. and noon each day. These shadow copies record any changes made to files as well as allow recovery of deleted files and folders. The shadow copies are kept for approximately two weeks, depending on usage. You cannot back up files saved to external drives or media by this process.
Restoring a Previous Version of a File
If you find that a file needs to be restored to a previous version using the shadow copy service, open your network drive and navigate to the file. Once you have located the file, right-click on it, and select Properties. The following window will appear:
From here, select the Previous Versions tab seen at the top of the window. This will display the following window:
Notice that, in the example, there are no available previous versions of the document. This is likely because the document was not altered once uploaded to the network drive. If it had been altered and this alteration was detected at either of the scan times of 7 a.m. or noon, a shadow copy of the document would have been preserved. This copy would be listed in the File versions window, and the options to View, Copy, or Restore the previous versions would be available, rather than grayed out as seen above.
It is recommended that you use the View option to ensure that the previous version you have selected is actually the version you wish to restore before using the Restore function.
Restoring a Deleted File or Folder
Of course, if you have accidentally deleted the file or folder in question, it will not be available to right click. In this case, you need to navigate to the parent folder in which the deleted item was stored. If the item was located in the root of your network drive, you will need to navigate to the network drive located in My Computer (or Computer, for Vista users). Right click this folder or drive, and select Properties. You will see the window displayed below:
From here, select the Previous Versions tab, which will display the following window:
Once here, you will see a list of all of the previous versions of the folder you have selected. Note that these previous versions are snapshots of the entire folder in question, containing all of the documents within that folder precisely as they appeared at the recorded date and time. For this reason, it is rarely advisable to restore a directory. Instead, select the date and time at which you believe your deleted item to have resided before its deletion, and use the View function to navigate the shadow copy. Once you locate your deleted item, you can then restore that particular item as opposed to the entire directory.