Presentation of shadow copies
Shadow copies also called previous version or snapshot is a feature available on Windows Servers.
It allows to make a “backup” of a partition by storing only the modified files.
When making the snapshots at a time T (12H) a photograph of the partition is made, it contains only pointers to the files. At 14H a file on this partition is modified then save, at that moment, Windows will copy the old file to have it as it was at 12H. If the user who modified the file realizes that he made a mistake, it is possible to restore him as he was at 12H.
On which type of partition can I activate shadow copies?
This feature is mainly activated on the file servers, because it allows to restore a file at time T very quickly and allows to make several “backups” in the day taking few resources.
Personally I also activate it on the web servers taking care to separate on different partitions the file and database part.
On partitions containing virtual machines, databases, and system, it is not recommended to enable shadow copies.
3. From here, you can configure the space allocated for shadow copies (the larger the space, the more restore points will be there). It is also possible to manage the planning, click on the button Plan 1 .
Access to previous versions is available using Windows Explorer on clients (W7 / 8/10) and on Servers (2008/2012/2016/2019 …). They are available both locally and by network shares and by default are available to everyone.
1. From Windows Explorer, go to the folder where you want to restore the file and right click on 1 . Depending on the location and system two options are available 2 , click on:
- Restore previous versions
The Restore option allows you to directly replace the contents of the folder.
Shadow copies allow for “backups” and restores of a file server. Fast access to restore points can restore a file in less than 5 minutes, which is not the case with most backup software.
Il est quand même nécessaire de sauvegarder quotidiennement le serveur, les clichés instantanés ne remplacent pas une vrai sauvegarde.