Win7’s Restore Previous Versions system is designed to automatically back up your PC and let you easily recover earlier versions of almost any file or folder.
But some faulty configurations can prevent RPV (and related systems such as System Restore) from working as they should.
Simple steps for putting RPV back in order
Reader Steve Almond is flummoxed by a “no previous versions available” error.
- “Fred, I read your June 16, 2011, Top Story, ‘RPV: Win7’s least-known data-protection system,’ and also the June 20 LangaList Plus item, ‘The pros and cons of regular hard-drive upkeep,’ in which you mention Windows 7’s Restore Previous Versions function once again.
“I followed your instructions to use the feature, and twice it reported ‘No previous versions are available.’ I checked that System Protection was turned on, and it was. Restore system settings and previous versions of files is checked. I found the same result in both My Documents and My Pictures.
“I’m confused. I want to make Previous Versions available. Thanks!”
Windows 7’s built-in backup technologies are truly comprehensive, and they now include disk imaging, regular (file-oriented) backups, the Restore Previous Versions feature, and System Restore. While this can make your data all but bulletproof (see the May 12, 2011, Top Story, “Build a complete Windows 7 safety net”), there is a downside: the whole shebang can consume a lot of disk space.