Microsoft’s new Vista operating system may only be getting lukewarm reviews, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some useful new features. James Kendrick describes how Vista shadow copies saved his bacon when he accidentally deleted a bunch of notes he had taken with Microsoft’s OneNote application:
Reader Ryan Kabir left a comment and sent me an email with the two words that I’ll never forget– Vista’s shadow copies. OK, that’s three words but you’ll have to forgive me as I am as giddy as one can be without chemical influence. Ryan’s comment pointed out correctly that in Vista, shadow copies are activated by default (at least I didn’t specifically enable them) which means the OS saves snapshots of user files when they are modified. I’ve just spent 30 minutes, the most fun I’ve had in a good while, recovering EVERY SINGLE OneNote file that had been overwritten. Every. Single. File.
Vista and Ryan have come to my rescue and I am now grinning like the village idiot with all of my notes back where they were before catastrophe struck. Big shout out to the Vista team for putting shadow copies into the OS for just such an emergency.
Backup is easily the most important thing that most people never do for their computers and I am as guilty as everyone else. Vista shadow copies are a great idea for protecting yourself against user error, but you still need something external to protect you against hard drive crashes or the like. Some suggestions on that will be upcoming in a later post.