Feb 17

How to: Enable Shadow Copy or Previous Version in Windows 2012 R2?

How to: Enable Shadow Copy or Previous Version in Windows 2012 R2?

I recently had a bit of an issue with a program. It uses an access database and one of the employees modified it but we needed to revert the changes. Seemed simple enough, just reach out to pick a previous version from the server share and call it a day. I unfortunately realized that we had not activated Shadow Copy on the server. Enabling Shadow Copy allows you to configure how often the server takes “snapshots” of the files and allows you to go back in time and see the versions as they are modified. It is a pretty nifty feature that you need to activate manually. Word of caution, it does consume disk space.


So, moving on to the How To:

To enable and configure Shadow Copies of Shared Folders

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Computer Management.
  2. In the console tree, right-click Shared Folders, click All Tasks, and then click Configure Shadow Copies.
  3. In Select a volume, click the volume that you want to enable Shadow Copies of Shared Folders for, and then click Enable.
  4. You will see an alert that Windows will create a shadow copy now with the current settings and that the settings might not be appropriate for servers with high I/O loads. Click Yesif you want to continue or No if you want to select a different volume or settings.
  5. To make changes to the default schedule and storage area, click Settings.

As easy as that! I suggest you only enable Shadow Copies of Shared Folders for User shares. It is better to do a backup of a SQL database than having it perform Shadow Copies, this is really not a backup solution. Also, Shadow Copies is not recommended for IO intensive loads.

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