| By Fred Langa |
It’s alarming: the folder that you thought held all your backups shows a size of zero bytes!
But it’s also normal; your Windows backups are there — just hidden. Here’s how to see them.
Revealing files Win7 hides by default
Reader Jean-Pierre was understandably concerned:
- “Hi Fred, I have done a complete image backup as you explained [in the May 12 Top Story, 'Build a complete Windows 7 safety net']. However, when I went to where the image was saved and clicked Properties, it showed the size was 0 bytes. Is it right? Or did I do something wrong?”
Here’s an example. Figure 1 shows the Properties box for a Win7 backup folder on a test PC named “NV4K.” As you can see, Windows Explorer can’t see inside the backup folder and reports it as zero length, zero files, zero folders.
Figure 1. Don’t be alarmed when standard file browsing makes it seem that your backups are missing; Win7 hides them for safety.
You can choose several ways to reveal the backup’s contents, but by far the easiest is to simply double-click the seemingly empty backup folder. Assuming you’re in an admin account (or otherwise have permission to access the backups), a Windows Backup dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure 2 should open.