Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Windows 8 File History is great for version history, but make sure you have an alternate "latest version restore" plan.

My hard drive crashed today. As you can see in "My Backup Strategy" post, I am a rigorous backer-upper, but I got schooled today.

My strategy includes "File History" from my C drive to my L drive and then backup the L drive to CrashPlan. When I setup my backup strategy I was under the impression that I'd be able to go to File History and restore all files to the latest version. Unfortunately that isn't the case.

Important lesson for me: Don't depend on File History for a pure "latest version" backup. It may be a user error, I may have done something along the way that cleaned up old versions or whatever, but the point is I'm in a state right now that I don't know for sure if I'll be able to recover my C drive. Let's hope I can.

Here's what I am seeing in File History.

There is a file on my C drive called Google.txt.

win81

When I click "Restore" I get this…

win82

The path indicates that File History didn't correct itself after I did a big file move from C:\_my_c to C:\_docs\.

I still think File History is a decent feature to go back and get a previous version, but as you can see in my case it has failed for me.  Don’t repeat my mistake. Have an alternate plan to restore the latest version.  In my case, I’m just going to sync my C drive to CrashPlan as well as File History.

Jon