Odds are if you’re reading this, you’re a Windows user. Did you know that in Windows 7 (if not earlier), there is an inherent backup that gets created of every file and folder on your C: Drive? Officially, it’s called “System protection.”


You can access it from the “Control Panel > System” Window. This is also where you can manually create restore points, and roll back your computer to a previous date.

Now I will share with you my personal story and inspiration for this blog post. In a previous life, I used to love writing code. Software automation really intrigued me.  I would make it a habit of spending days writing a script to do something that would have taken me an hour to do manually. Hey, I went to school for engineering… not time management!

A long time ago, I wrote a piece of software to help with our training room. It was a handy interface that would “push” training files to each training machine and refresh it prior to each class.  It worked well for what it needed to do at the time. After a while, we wanted to push the limits and expand that functionality. So I started tinkering.

Here is where we face the crux of my predicament. While trying to modify the code, I broke a cardinal rule of… well, life. I didn’t back up a “good copy” and save over it with (what I know now) a broken copy that does not work. It was that feeling AS SOON as I hit the save icon of, “Oh no, what have I done?”


Luckily for me, Windows has the aforementioned feature of “Restore Previous Version.” I right-clicked the top folder I was in, and clicked the tool.


Whew! There was an automatic backup created only a few days ago! I can double-click the folder here and grab the file I need, or click “Restore…” at the bottom to restore the entire folder. I don’t know about you, but I will happily go back in time a few days rather than 10 years. In the System Protection settings (first image), you can specify how often you want these to occur and how much disk space you would like to devote to them.

So, I got lucky.  I’m sure we all have had instances where we were not so lucky. So as soon as you are done reading this (and like us on Facebook, and retweet this post); go into the control panel and familiarize yourself with these settings. It WILL come in handy some day!

For more information, check out the Microsoft online help.

Oh, by the way, this is in NO WAY a substitute for a proper PDM system for your CAD data. This method is to get you out of a jam as a last resort. It will permanently override what is in the folder with the older data, including deleting files created since the backup. So be careful.

Happy Designing!

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