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Backups & Restores


The CSE Department runs nightly backups of all instructional servers. Backed up data is retained for 10 months, at which time it is overwritten.

Twice daily, "Previous Versions" (also known as "Shadow Copies") of Windows home directory (the U:\ drive) are also maintained. Hourly checkpoints are available for 30 days.


How do I access Previous Versions?

It is simple 3 step process to access previous versions of any of your document files or folders on your Windows computer. 

1) Open Windows Explorer, right-click on a file or folder you wish to restore a file from, and select “Restore Previous Versions.”  For instance, if you accidently deleted a file from a folder in your user account’s Documents folder, browse to that folder, then expand it thus showing the ‘My Documents’ and ‘Public Documents’ sub folders. Now right click on ‘My Documents’ and from the drop down list select ‘Restore previous versions’.

2) The ‘My Documents Properties’ window will show a listing of all folder versions by date that have been included as part
of one or more restore points. You can also perform file comparisons by opening multiple Shadow Copy backups as I’ll show you later.

To see what documents are available, in the ‘Date Modified’ field, double click on the date and time to view the contents (as shown below) or alternately highlight the folder and click the ‘Open’ button.

3) You can open some types of documents (.txt) and photos to view the contents as saved in a restore point / Shadow Copy backup by double clicking to open the file. This takes the uncertainty as to what the contents of a document or edited photo contained (before you restore it) when the shadow copy backup was created.

Note: If after selecting the ‘Date and Time’ for a specific folder and if you click on the ‘Restore’ button located in the lower right corner, the entire contents of the backup is restored, use this option carefully as newer versions of a document or other data files can be overwritten by an older version which you may not want.

You can avoid any possibility of accidentally over writing any document if you choose ‘Copy’ option. Then the entire contents of the folder as it was at that point in time can be copied to another local folder, a flash drive or to a location on an external USB drive. Once copied you can compare the current version of a document with the restored version and decide which one you want to keep.

You can also ‘Copy’ a single file from the Shadow Copy backup and ‘Paste’ it back to it original location.

File comparisons can be performed by opening multiple Shadow Copy backups. Each window will display the date and time of all files contained within the ‘Previous Version’ you are comparing.

Off-site Storage

Each week, copies of backed up data are transferred to a secure, off-campus location. In case of a catastrophic event, data may be retrieved and restored from these off-site copies.