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Understanding "Previous Versions" feature on Win7 and Shadow Copies on W2k3 server

Hello - looking for clarification on how these 2 features in subject line work off each other

Scenario: I have a Win7 Pro desktop operating in a 2003 server domain based network, and accessing files off the server network shared folder for user documents. Shadow Copy is enabled on the server drive where shared folder exists.

A user edits a Word document stored on the network drive- saves on network drive and then closes document. To retrieve a "previous version" of the just modified document, the user should be able to open the network-drive folder - locate document - right click - select previous version and should have a copy to select from when the last "shadow copy" routine ran on the server. That's how it should work (as I understand)

A problem I'm having is that is not working. A previous version is not shown to restore from. Does the Win7 w/s have to have "system restore" running at their w/s in order for  network-drive located documents to have previous versions to pick from? I'm thinking "no" that that would be for local document storage on the workstation..Correct me if I'm wrong.

I've read about issues with NetApp applicances having this bug, but this is a vanilla W2k3 server using local drives for storage. Also read an article about deleting a reg key "disable downleveltimewarp". That key was not present on this server.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm running out of ideas on what to look for next on this server - thank you.
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hwtech
Asked:
hwtech
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1 Solution
 
Justin YeungCommented:
Shadow copy is based on scheduling, by default it will make 2 copies per day.

you can logon to your server and check if it actually have the SC enabled.
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PAdocITCommented:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy#Windows_Vista_and_later

From what I can gather previous versions is local only.

Beginning with Windows Vista, VSS is also used by the System Protection component which creates and maintains periodic copies of system and user data on the same local volume (similar to the Shadow Copies for Shared Folders feature in Windows Server) but allows it to be locally accessed by System Restore. System Restore allows reverting to an entire previous set of shadow copies called a restore point. Prior to Windows Vista, System Restore was based on a file-based filter that watched changes for a certain set of file extensions, and then copied files before they were overwritten.[2]
Additionally, a part of Windows Explorer called Previous Versions allows restoring individual files or folders locally from restore points as they existed at the time of the snapshot, thus retrieving an earlier version of a file or recovering a file deleted by mistake.

Looks like apples to system protected drives only.
System Protection
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
Yes on SC being enabled on the server. I modified the SC run schedule on the W2k3 server to run a schedule other than the default 2/day schedule. So server side I have set accordingly.

What I haven't check is system restore at the w/s side at this point. But again, I'm not sure that that's a requirement to get this working given the domain environment using networked shares.
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PAdocITCommented:
http://www.howtogeek.com/56891/use-windows-7s-previous-versions-to-go-back-in-time-and-save-your-files/

Previous versions of files are recorded as part of a System Restore Point. So whenever a restore point is created, if you have the option set to capture previous versions of files, this data will be recorded at that time.
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
Thanks PAdocIT - I read that very article a few days ago. I noticed this exchange at the end of the article between author and questionee:
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 Is your system a member of a domain? If it is, I think you will need to revise your article (which is an excellent article anyway) to make that distinction…
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@BK – I am not attached to a domain in this example, but that should not matter. The multiple shapshots are created over time. The end of the article discusses how you can force snapshots to be created on your schedule instead of relying on the Windows automatic timer.
========

which really doesn't answer the question either...as I'm not sure that it doesn't matter on a domain-based environment, how this feature works as the author suggests. I don't think the article was written as to how previous versions works in a domain network-accessed document environment...but rather documents stored local on the PC.

So let me re-phrase the question at this point:

Is there any reliance on the system-restore feature to be enabled at the Windows 7 workstation level - for the "previous version" feature to work on a Windows 7 system that is accessing documents -and needs to restore documents- stored via network-shares on a Windows 2003 server that has the "shadow copies" featured enabled on the server?
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PAdocITCommented:
I just did a test on my Win 7 domain machine and previous versions does work on a network share but only after I configured the restore settings and created a restore point.

Previous Versions on network shared fileSettings
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the follow-up PAdoc - This is actually an issue I'm working on for a customer - and was onsite yesterday and did note that the option to "restore system settings and previous versions of files" was enabled on this particular users system.  Unfortunately I had no time to work on this particular issue on this visit, other than checking this setting.

One question that does come to mind is if the file you tested on, was a file contained within a folder managed by the folder redirection policy?  This would put an offline copy local to your system. And if that local cached copy was the location where the restore point got a copy of the file you successfully restored.

I ask as in working on this on a prior visit - the files we tested were files not local to this users home or Documents folder. I.E., documents not snapped in a folder redirection policy configuration.  They were on a separately mapped network drive location...thanks
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PAdocITCommented:
Hmmm. Good point. I will have to test another file at work tomorrow.
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PAdocITCommented:
I tested a file in a non-folder redirected mapped drive and previous versions was not available. However, if you right-click the drive itself, it is. Select the date and click open and you should then be able to restore a specific file from within the "restore point" of that folder.

Previous Versions - Mapped Network Drive (removed some info for security reasons)
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
Awesome...that gives me something concrete to work with on my next visit. Many thanks for assisting...not playing the lazy role on this end, I don't have a 2003 SBS server avail to test with on this particular issue.

My visits with this particular customer is weekly, usually the latter part of the week. So may go silent for a few days, but will update appropriately as I have updated info - thanks again.
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PAdocITCommented:
No problem. Look forward to hearing how you make out. Hopefully that's a solution that works.
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
Wanted to provide a quick update. I'm yet to make it back to this particular account...so nothing new to report. Will do so upon next visit.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
Hi - on this particular subject thread, I'm heading to this customer account for the 1st time since this thread was opened. I think I have enough information from the exchange with the poster PAdocIT on what to look for - but would like to extend the courtesy to close the thread and award points to PAdoc for his assistance, if possible - thanks
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
You will need to post an "objection" in order to cancel the Delete request I made.  Just click on the button for "Object" instead of "Submit" for your next comment.
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
Request this thread remain open to post a final comment/status and add some closing comments to finalize this topic. Thanks
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hwtechAuthor Commented:
PAdocIT - well I made it back to the customer site this past Thur for the first time since opening this thread...only to get diverted to other customer requested priorities.

So I'm going to award you the points for your steadfastness in sticking with me on finding a solution to this problem, in addition to the fact that I think your last post may have hit upon a solution..at least I hope! Plus I can't commit to a timeline for prompt resolution on this issue in order to get it closed.

Thanks for all your assistance.
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