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Is there a way to recover data files that are accidentally deleted on a Windows 2019 Server file server? We have a pair of Win2k19 servers running DFS-R and sharing the folder for departmental data shares. I've routinely received requests from users stating that a file is "missing" and needs to be recovered. Although I'm lucky enough to be able to find the files on our old server, I am concerned that there may come a moment where I won't be able to pull it back from an archived directory.

Volume Shadow Copies option seems to be overkill for what I need as this will recovere the entire folder when all I need is just a single file. I may be misunderstanding how it works, but I don't want to revert all the data back to the designated time, but recover a single missing file.

Advice?

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First of all: Invest in real on- and off-site backups. Set them up and automate regular restore tests. That's how you ensure that data can be restored.

As for your specific question: I don't have a Windows 2019 server in front of me currently, but if you open the Properties window for a folder and select the Previous Versions tab, you should be able to press Open instead of Restore. That opens an Explorer window from which you can granularly restore singular objects to the current version of the file system.

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  • Well, the Previous Version option looks like it might be my best, workable, option. – David Dec 17 '19 at 23:58
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    The best option would be to implement an honest to goodness backup solution for this data. – joeqwerty Dec 18 '19 at 1:07
  • @David, Speak to the people in charge of your budget and explain the concept of insurance to them. How much is their data worth to the company? If you get hit by well-written malware or if you're unlucky in a server or hard drive failure this data may be lost, where having offline backup copies of it would have saved you. Just saying: Research the subject and make a business case for it. – Mikael H Dec 18 '19 at 6:51

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