Volume Shadow Copies / Windows Restore Points

What are shadow copies?

Shadow copies (Volume Shadow Copies) is a mechanism of the Windows NTFS File system. With it deleted or overwritten files can be easily restored.

In contrast to a backup, files not copied when creating a shadow copy. Only the table of contents is duplicated and the copy is frozen. When a file is deleted or modified, the file itself remains of the drive, in case of a modification a new version is written somewhere else, and the current table of contents is updated. The table of contents of the shadow copy remains the same.

Windows Restore Points

Windows creates e.g. when installing a new program a Windows Restore Point (snapshot or Volume Shadow Copy). (A Windows Restore Point is a special shadow copy.)

In case the new installed programs causes trouble, you can go back to the previous system state via this Windows Restore Point.

PureSync functions

  • Create shadow copies, manually or automatically e.g. at logon or scheduled
  • Search shadow copies for changed files
  • Mount shadow copies (or a folder in it) as drive
  • Compare current files with the ones in the shadow copy/restore point
    PureSync can compare the current system with one of the Windows Restore Points. With this you can e.g. see which files have been modified or added by the program you have installed
  • You can do a compare of the whole drive or only of selected folders
  • You can restore files from the Windows Restore Point or copy them to another location (Professional Edition required for this)

Shadow Copy Explorer