Undelete from network share and protect using Shadow Copy

The problem

While working on a network share (Windows Home Server) from a Win7 notebook I’ve accidentally pressed Delete and OK on the wrong (and important!) folder. And then spent several hours trying to restore. Below is the summary of what I have found.

Restore the deleted files

First – you are in trouble. The files are gone and won’t be in Recycle Bin on neither of computers. (Was it really that difficult to put them in the Bin, MS?) Let’s try to restore.

  • Login to the server and check if you have Shadow Copy running. (search for your Windows version to find about it). If you are and the files that were deleted were picked up by Shadow Copy (that usually runs twice a day). Then try to restore. On Win 7 just select “Restore to previous version” from Right-Click on the folder. On older version you could use Shadow Explorer
  • If you have no luck with Shadow Explorer, check if you have other backups
  • If still no luck, you can try using the restore tools like Undelete 360 or Recuva. They find files just fine, but break some media files while restoring.

How to protect yourself in the future

You could install something like Undelete from Condusiv that protects you just against this case – but you’d need to pay for it. Or make sure that Shadow Copy is configured correctly on your server – it is easy to find on the web how to do it. Keep in mind that Shadow Copy won’t protect you if you disk fails – the copies are stored on the same disk. So always have backups (preferably in the cloud)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *