Monday, September 16, 2013

Keep History of Any Document in Windows

Has this happened to you that you modified your file and did not realize that you have removed some important section of the data. After a couple of days you re-open the file and realize an important section from the file is gone. You cannot do undo, you look for backup which may be a month / a few weeks old. You realize it would have been a great thing to keep history of the file. I have come across the same issue and somehow managed to get the data back from the backup but it was not a permanent solution so I looked for my options and found a couple below:

1. Sugarsync / Syncplicity Tools
These online backup tools keep a few versions of your important files for example, sugarsync keeps 5 copies of any files you edited and gives you an option to download or preview any version you would like to download. Hence recovering the data which you missed or lost. In my case the data was lost beyond 5 versions so this service could not be of good help. Still if you want to make sure your data is backed up automatically without even you thinking about it twice, this is your solution.

2. Windows 8’s File History Feature.
I was using Windows 8 since its launch but never used this feature. The main reason why I did not go for it was the need to add additional storage devices like External HDD or SD / MMC cards for keeping the backup of the data. After I recovered my files I looked at this feature in detail and found the network storage option as one of the options. I then realized it is so easy to fool the OS by showing the UNC (\\same_machine_name\Share) path of the same machine but in network format and keeping the file history in a separate partition. Without a second I did that and it worked fine. For me My Documents were very important so I only selected the Documents library and did not select other libraries, after the initial backup of the data all the files started storing in that share every time I made any change to any file.

This has given me an option to keep the history of the important files on the same machine without the need of internet or bandwidth being an issue. Give it a try and you will love this new feature.


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