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Have you ever had an "Oh, no!" moment, when you realize that the paragraph you were in the process of moving never got pasted where you wanted, because you got distracted by a more urgent matter, and then saved the file? Or you deleted a file and emptied the Recycle Bin, then it dawned on you that you needed that file, and like most folks, you haven't done a backup for nearly a month? How can you recover a previous version of a file?

Restore Previous VersionsStarting with Windows Vista and continuing in Windows 7, your loving "MotherShip" (MicroSoft) has included a little-known feature called Restore Previous Versions that runs whenever Windows creates a System Restore Point: it also makes a temporary backup of any new or changed files. When you need to recover an older version of a file, you can see if it still exists in one of those backups. How?

Simply right-click on the folder where the document was, for example on "My Documents" as in the photo to the left, select "Restore previous versions" and then on the next pop-up window select the System Restore Point you want. Aren't you glad that your "Mother" cares for you so much, that she might have saved an old copy of that file you need?

If and when you find the desired file, just click on it and it will open in "read only" mode. Of course, you can't make any changes to it right then and there, because it's in an archive. So to restore it, while you have it open, for example in MS Word, click on "File → Save As" and save it under a different name in the folder it belongs in. (If you were to save it under the same name, you might over-write a later version of that file that could contain some info you need.)

But there are a few "gotchas" - first, Windows might not have created a System Restore Point to capture the version of the file you need: maybe it only has an older or a later version, or you created the file after the latest System Restore Point was made. Second - and very important - System Restore Points are only kept for a limited period of time, depending on how much space you (or your computer administrator) has allocated for System Restore Points, and depending on how frequently System Restore Points have been run. So if you've only allocated 5% of your primary hard drive for System Restore Points and that 5% fills up, the oldest Restore Points will be deleted. So you might want to allocate 20% or 25% of your hard drive for System Restore Points "just in case."

Bear in mind, however, that the Restore Previous Versions feature is not a substitute for making regular backups. You should backup all your files at least weekly. (Can you afford to lose a whole week's worth of work, or a whole month's worth? Perhaps you should run a daily backup!) And you should store those backups somewhere away from your computer: in case your hard drive crashes, or a fire/flood/tornado destroys or a burglar breaks in and steals all your techie stuff including your DVD disks and/or external backup drive.

MicroSoft includes a respectable backup system in Windows 7, but most people still don't make use of it - they're "too busy" ...until it's too late. This is why I keep reminding people to at the very least get the free 5-gigabyte offsite backup from IDrive (see the Offsite Backup Services link below). This will run automatically every 10 minutes to preserve current copies of your files plus 30 previous versions of your files, encrypted on a remote server. You don't have to do anything other than to remember your account name and encryption password!

Click on Online PC Support for our worldwide help   &   Offsite Backup Services for securing your files!

Click to see full-size It's popular to bad-mouth MicroSoft, but now they have lots to offer: click on the thumbnail photo to see what you can do with a Windows LIve account. You can do email, connect your MS Messenger account to your Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Blogger, WordPress and other accounts, you have 25Gb (that's Gigabytes!) of storage on SkyDrive, set up "Groups" of family or co-workers to share files in your "Public" folder, sync files between computers, create and edit MS Word, Excel, Publisher and OneNote documents online, and much more. Check it out at www.live.com.

There's a cool new feature in HTML5 called "localStorage" that the latest versions of browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer all make use of. I started to test it a couple of weeks ago here: www.CompuNerds.Net/localStorage_test.html - take a look! It lets you store information in your computer's browser folders instead of online somewhere, and even when you go to another website or close your browser, when you come back to this site your info should still appear. Now I've added it on my www.Agape-Biblia.Org/index-en.htm website to the Sun. - Mon. - Tue. - Wed. - Thu. - Fri. - Sat. sections, to "My Journal" and to "Read the Bible in One Year." And it works at that website in five different languages!

Brett Wahlin, a former North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) counter intelligence agent and now McAfee Chief Security Officer, gave an iterview to ComputerWorld: "Cyberwarfare unfreezing a new Cold War warns McAfee CSO" in which he tells about growing the cyber-espionage conducted by China and North Korea. These are the countries with most to gain by hacking into U.S. defense companies' computer systems. He suggests that hired hackers - groups like Anonymous and LulzSec - might sell their services to the highest bidders. "If you get more organisations like Anonymous forming, then it becomes like the Mafia," Wahlin said.

Keep in mind, though, that you're not Lockheed Martin, Sony, Chase Bank, MicroSoft or Google. Those sorts of companies need top-level security due to the high risk and high rewards of break-ins. You just need to keep your passwords in a good password vault, have a reliable firewall and an anti-virus program on your computer, and watch out for suspicious website links and attachments in your email inbox. Use the recommended security practices, and you shouldn't have to worry about hackers.

People like me who think they know everything are very annoying to those of you who actually do.

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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