I always love it when the operating system I run finds new ways to absolutely delight me.
Yesterday, due to a stupid pilot error, I accidentally deleted all the music and pictures from my machine at work (8G of pictures and 30G of music). This wasn't actually the end of the world, since all the data's backed up at home (thrice, see yesterday's post about single points of failure). But my data's gone from my machine at work, which means I didn't get to annoy my neighbors by playing Avenue Q at full volume.
Well, I was poking around, trying to figure out what had gone wrong with my machine, and I noticed the "Restore Previous Versions" tab when I navigated to the users\larryo directory.
Just for grins, I clicked on it and guess what showed up? Yup, the previous version of my music and photos directory!
Wow, that's cool - so I selected the appropriate version of the folder and selected "Restore", it asked me if I wanted to restore the pictures, and like Magic, the system restored my files from my volume shadow store.
Of course, the magic that made all this work is the Volume Shadow Copy Service which has been in Windows since XP. In Vista, the VSS guys enabled it for most user data (by default only the system drive is managed). This Technet article has some information about how to enable it and demo it.
Ultimately, I don't care - my data's back and all is well and I didn't need to bring in one of my backup drives. And Vista's a bit more magic to me.
I love it when that happens.