One of the new features in Windows 2003 is the Shadow Copy Restore function, which prevents data loss by creating backup copies (called "shadow" copies) of files and folders when they are modified, or at predetermined intervals.

Shadow Copy only works when files are hosted on a Windows Server 2003 volume. Normally the server administrator is the only one who can access shadow copies or restore them for users. If you have an administrator on call a good deal of the time, this isn't too much of a problem, but there will almost certainly be times when a user will need to access shadow copies for himself.

To do this, Microsoft has provided a piece of software called the Shadow Copy Client. This program installs on the user's PC and extends the Properties pane of a file, adding a tab labeled "Previous Versions." Here, the user can access earlier versions of a given file as stored on the remote server, and can "roll back" the file to an earlier version in the event of a disaster.

The Shadow Copy Client is available at

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this URL.

If you are using Windows 2000 Server rather than 2003, you must install the Shadow Copy Client on both the server and the workstation. Also, if you do not already have Windows Installer 2.0 or higher present, you must install that first.

The Windows Installer 2.0 executeable for Windows 2000 / NT 4.0.

You can find the one for Windows 95/98/Me here.


Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter. Check out his Windows 2000 blog for his latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators – please share your thoughts as well!


This was first published in September 2003

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