How to Restore Files from an Older Windows Vista Backup - dummies

How to Restore Files from an Older Windows Vista Backup

By Dan Gookin

When restoring files from a backup, the Windows restore operation looks for only the most recently backed-up file. But what about older files? What if you have a file that’s evolved and you need to recover an earlier version? Maybe you want both the earlier version and the current version. Windows Backup can handle that.

  1. Open the Backup Status and Configuration window.

    From the Start Menu, All Programs→Accessories→System Tools→Backup Status and Configuration.

  2. Choose the Back Up Now button from the left side of the Backup Status and Configuration window.

  3. Click the Restore Files button.

    You are presented with two choices:

    • Files from the latest backup: The file you restore is the most recent version of the file that’s backed up. Most often, this choice is the one you want.

    • Files from an older backup: Use this option only when you want to recover an older version of a file.

  4. Choose the option Files from an Older Backup and click the Next button.

    After clicking the Next button, you see a list of recent backup sets. To see even older backup sets, put a check mark by the option Show Backups Older than 30 Days.

  5. Choose a date and time in the window.

    The dates march back through time as long as you’ve been backing up your computer (though older backup sets are purged as the backup media gets full).

  6. Click the Next button..

  7. Add files and folders to be recovered.

    You can use three buttons on the right side of the screen to add files to the list:

    • Search: Click the Search button to search for the file(s) you want to restore.

    • Add Files: Click this button to choose individual files to restore.

    • Add Folders: Click this button to restore an entire folder — and all files and folders in that folder.

    After choosing a button, you see another dialog box from which you choose the files. The dialog box lists files on the backup, not on your computer.

    Keep adding the files you want to restore; repeat Step 5 and keep clicking the buttons to collect all the files and folders you want to restore.

  8. Click the Next button.

    You need to choose where to restore files. You have two options:

    • In the original location: The files and folders you selected are placed back on the hard drive in the same folder where Backup found them.

    • In the following location: You get to select in which folder to place the restored files. This option is best for recovering an older version of a file where you don’t want to overwrite the current version.

  9. Click the Start Restore button.

    The files are restored.

  10. Click the Finish button.

  11. Close the Backup window.

Be sure that you choose the option Copy But Keep Both Files when restoring the older version, when you do want to keep both files.