by September 17, 2006 0 comments

There is backup and there is back-up software. Books have been written about
it. But, it does not require a PhD in Computer Science to configure, make,
manage or use backups if you use Win 2003. There is a handy feature built into
the OS itself, called VSC (Volume Shadow Copies), that can do this
transparently. You can configure the times when you need Windows to take the
snapshots. The process is very space friendly using file content differences to
store revisions instead of the entire file; and not much hard disk space is used
up as a result if you enable this feature. You can use VSC to not only look at
how the file looked at a particular time in the past, but also to recover files
that were deleted at some point.

Win 2003 Server administrators
Learn to take automated backups of your files and folders without needing any third-party s/w 
volume shadow copies 2003 

This article walks you through setting up and using this feature. Before you
start, make sure that the server’s drives you wish to have VSC on should be
formatted with NTFS.

Step 1: Enable VSC
To enable VSC, you need to first enable the ‘Volume Shadow Copy’ service and
start it from your Settings>Administrative Tools>Services. You can only
enable VSC at the drive level and not the folder level, so right click on the
drive and select Properties. Click on the Shadow Copies tab and then the Enable
button there. You can then click on the Settings button here to set up a
different (but NTFS) volume using the Details button there. Click on the
Schedule button to configure the times at which you want the shadow copies

More the number of copies, the more safety you have. But select the times
carefully as the entire drive is snapshot at this time and this may affect your
file serving performance.

Snapshots can be taken at
preset times and can be repeated at configured intervals

Step 2: Out of order copies
Instead of trusting the VSC to take sufficient copies of your files, you can
manually create your own copies as well on-demand. You can do this on a per
folder/file basis. Simply right click on the file or the containing folder, go
to the Shadow Copies tab again and click on the ‘Create Now’ button.

You can restore a folder to one from a previous time by clicking on Restore. You can also do this at the volume level

Step 3: Viewing or extracting
When you need to look at a file in a shadow copied drive access the Previous
Versions tab from the Properties window of the folder. Select one of the
date/time combinations and click on View. This pops up the folder contents at
that time. You can directly open and view files out of this folder. To restore a
copy, click on Restore and to copy them elsewhere, click on Copy and select a
folder from the window that pops up.

You can view previous versions in a folder without restoring them from backup. This can be done by clicking on the View button

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