Windows 8 logo from www.oostdam.infoWindows 8 is a very nice product to my opinion. It is based on the previous 7 version but it can use apps instead of programs, but there is a full compatibility. Every program that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8 as well. This product is amazing. Microsoft improved it in so many ways that a new set of articles will appear on this site the next couple of weeks. I love it, and this experience is only based on the beta developer version yet. Lets hope the RTM and final release will be available soon. I'm afraid it will not be until autumn 2012.

In this article I want to show you a nice new and more user friendly way to backup your data. Microsoft did realize much earlier that most users are not paying attention on a regular basis to backup their data, but never found a good solution for it in the end-users systems. On server systems, the shadow copy function is quite old, but steady and commonly used. And thats exactly what Microsoft has created into the Windows 8 build. This is a very great solution for all those users that care about having a backup, but always forget to create one on a regular basis. A hugh step, compaired to the backup and recovery options that where present in Windows 7 and where quite the same as in earlier versions.

You can find the File History settings in the Control Panel, System and Security and then choose File History.
As you can see in the first picture it is off by default and you have to turn it on.   

Windows 8 - File history turn it on and save your files on a regular basis - - article 295 - picture 01

An external drive is recommended and that is a very good thing! Even the 'Copy files to" setting points to an external drive by default. Nice! But you can point the location to your NAS, or Home server share as well. It is possible to exclude folders which makes this solution a very complete one. (Exclude the regular things like Temp, Windows, Spool, Quarantine, Anti-Virus directories etc. etc.).

I would like to show you in this article a couple of more things that will make you smile even more. If you choose the "Advanced Settings" you are able to choose the number of versions the system will keep for you. This is almost becomming better than the old server shadow copy functions. You can choose from 8 monthly, yearly settings which will be more than enough for the avarage user.

Windows 8 - File history turn it on and save your files on a regular basis - - article 295 - picture 02

The next option made me sent a mail to Microsoft, as I found the text confusing with the previous setting. The text "Save copies of files" is more likely a number for me than that it is referring to a time schedule. I hope they change it before the final release. Besides that, it is a great option, although I mis a weekly, monthly, or manual setting. These settings are simply to much for the average customer, but at least they have set the default to 1 hour. 

Windows 8 - File history turn it on and save your files on a regular basis - - article 295 - picture 03

I guess you can figure the rest of the settings out yourself. Set it up once, and know your data is always backupped. That's always good to know. Remember to check on a regular basis the backup files, by doing a restore of some data-files and check the correct version, integrity etc. There can always go something wrong, even with Microsoft products.

Hopes this article has helped you, and getting you enthusiastic for Windows 8 as much as I already am!


Ben OostdamBen Oostdam has been working with Windows systems since 1993. Worked for several companies as a system administrator, and is currently a Senior Support Engineer for Qurius Managed Services in the Netherlands specialized in System Center Solutions.

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