Windows: How can I recover an old version of a file located on an Active Directory (AD) server that has moved, been deleted or just edited?

Use the Windows-only feature, Previous Versions, to recover an old version of a file located on Macalester's AD file servers.

Details to consider:
  • The current version of each file and folder is stored twice a day, at 6:00 AM and noon.
  • There may be several versions to choose from.
  • To recover a file that has moved or been deleted, you must restore a version of the parent folder that contains the file.


How to restore a FOLDER located on an AD file server with Previous Versions feature:
  1. From a Windows computer, go to your H: drive.
  2. Locate a folder within the H: drive, and right-click on it.
  3. Select Properties, then the Previous Versions tab.
  4. A list of the previous folder versions, up to 30 days worth appears. Select the date from which you want to restore.
  5. Choose from several options:

    Open: A new window opens that shows the selected previous version of the folder. View folder contents including, modification dates and sizes, and even open files to check contents. Modifying these files while working within this window is disabled. Manually copy the file(s) you want to recover to a new location, after which they become normal, editable files.

    Copy: Create a folder from the old version. Put it anywhere you have access, and once copied it becomes a regular folder where you can edit and save the contents.

    Restore: USE WITH CAUTION. This will overwrite the current folder with the old version.


How to restore a FILE located on an AD file server with Previous Versions option:

NOTE:   Files only have previous versions if they have changed since the last time they were versioned. If a file has never changed since it was first written/saved, there will be no previous versions.
  1. From a Windows computer, go to your H: drive.
  2. Locate a file from any folder on the H: drive, and right-click on it.
  3. Select Properties, then the Previous Versions tab.
  4. A list of the previous file versions, up to 30 days worth appears. Select the date from which you want to restore.
  5. Choose from several options:

    Open: A new window opens that shows the selected previous version of the file. View file options including, modification dates and sizes, and even open files to check contents. Modifying these files while working within this window is disabled. Manually copy the file to a new location, after which it will become normal, editable file.

    Copy: Create a file from the old version. Put it anywhere you have access, and once copied it becomes a regular file where you can edit and save the contents.

    Restore: USE WITH CAUTION. This will overwrite the current file with the old version.


keywords: active directory, activedirectory, shareddrive, shareddrives, h drive, m drive, g drive,