HOW  TO  RESTORE  YOUR  PERSONAL  FILES


This section continues from the previous Backup section and shows how to restore personal files from a backup, and more precisely gives an example of restoring a deleted file. So begin the restore process by first opening the Control Panel window and clicking on the BACKUP AND RESTORE (Windows 7) icon (control panel/program) to open the Backup And Restore window (Fig 1.1). Never mind about the wording: Windows 7. From there, click on the RESTORE MY FILES button to continue.

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.0 - Click on the BACKUP AND RESTORE icon (Control Panel/Program Link) to continue

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.1 - Click on the RESTORE MY FILES button to continue

When the Backup And Restore window appears (above) continue by clicking on the RESTORE MY FILES button. This will take you to the Restore Files window (Fig 1.2 below) whereby you can then search for one or more folders/files to restore. (undelete/put back). Although there are advanced options within the restore control panel, in this example I am using an every-day scenario of wanting to restore one file that I have accidentally deleted.

The Restore Files window has three buttons on it. SEARCH - This allows you to search for folders and files, within the Backup file, by full name or partial name. If any folders and files with that name are found you can add each one to your Restore List. BROWSE FOR FILES - Allows you to browse the folders, within the Backup file, for one or more files. You can then add those files to the Restore List. And finally the BROWSE FOR FOLDERS button - It allows you to browse the folders, within the Backup file, for one or more folders to add to the Restore List. For this example just click on the SEARCH button to continue.

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.2 - Click on the SEARCH button to continue

Clicking on the SEARCH button brings up the Search For Files To Restore window (below) which requires you to enter a full name, partial name or file extension name (i.e. docx or .mp3) to search for. You can also use characters such as the under_scrore. Basically, anything that is a valid folder/file name. In this example I have entered the words Receipt Book, pretending for this example that I have delete one by mistake. After entering the words into the SEARCH edit box I then clicked on the SEARCH button whereby a list of files came up (Restore List) matching my search criteria (i.e. they contained the words Receipt Book).

As I cannot remember the specific date of the Receipt Book's (file's) creation or when it was last modified, I have been forced to play safe by selecting all of the listed files for recovery. This is not always a good idea though simply because if you had two files with similar names (i.e. File1 and File2) whereby you saved them within seconds of each other, but now cannot remember if you need File1 or File2 you might be recovering (replacing/over wiping) a valid File1 or File2 that still exists on your computer; simply because you have forgotten the exact file name and its creation or last modified date.

You can search as many times as you like for file names until you are happy with your Restore List. When you are, select (tick) each file you want recovering and then click on the OK button to continue.

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.3 - Enter one or more words, click on the SEARCH button, select the files to recover and then click OK.

After clicking on the OK button you are returned to the Restore Files window whereby you are then given the option to REMOVE ALL files from your Rstore List, because you want to begin a new SEARCH. You could then BROWSE FOR FOLDERS or BROWSE FOR FILES by clicking on the relevant buttons. Assuming you are happy with your Restore List, the next step is to click on the NEXT button.

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.4 - Click on the NEXT button to continue

After clicking on the NEXT button you are then asked where you would like to save the recovered files to. In their original location (original folders) or inside a folder of your choice? The latter requires you to BROWSE (look) for a destination folder. I would suggest creating a new folder called Recovered Files for example, inside the DOCUMENTS or DESKTOP folder as a sub-folder, and then BROWSE to it; which is what I have done in this example. Remember what I said in the File1 and File2 scenario above. You don't want to overwrite good files.


So to clarify: I have created a new destination folder (sub-folder) inside the DOCUMENTS folder called Recovered Files, which I have since navigated to using the BROWSE button. I have also ticked the option called RESTORE THE FILES TO THEIR ORIGINAL SUBFOLDERS. That option is very useful as it creates the actual (original) folders and sub-folders the original files would of residing in. So if a file was inside the DOCUMENTS folder, it will now be recovered to RECOVERED FILES >> C >> USERS >> JOHN >> DOCUMENTS. This is useful because, once recovered, you could then go and inspect the original folder (i.e. DOCUMENTS) to compare files; with existing files.

With your option of destination folder versus original folder made, the next step is to click on the RESTORE button.

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.5 - Click on the RESTORE button to continue

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.6 - The files from your Restore List are being recovered

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.7 - The file recovery process has completed

One thing to note here about using the original destination folder (original location) is that if an original folder/file still exists (has not been deleted), by the time you click on the RESTORE button, you will be given three choices as to whether or not you want it overwritten (copied over/replaced) by the restore folder/file, regardless if the restore file is older or newer than the original existing folder/file. The choices are self-explanatory and therefore do not need further explanation from me. Saying that; If you have many folders/files that require action you may want to tick the option called DO THIS FOR ALL CONFLICTS so that the same action is applied for all folders/files thereafter.

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.8 - Click on a choice that suits the needs of the current folder/file, or of all folders/files.

Backup Restore Explained

Fig 1.9 - An example of the Path Name used by the recovery process

At the end of the day you have to experiment with, and look around, the control panel (program) you are using. Meaning, the above just outlined the basics of the Backup And Restore control panel, but it does offer more functionality that can be explained in this section. For example: Investigate the SELECT ANOTHER BACKUP TO RESTORE FILES FROM link - It allows you to restore from a Backup file that is on a Network.