Shadow copies of shared folders are designed to help recover files that were accidentally deleted, corrupted, or inappropriately edited. Once you configure shadow copies on a server, the server creates and maintains previous versions of all files and folders created on the volumes you've specified. It does this by creating snapshots of shared folders at predetermined intervals and storing these images in shadow copy storage in such a way that users and administrators can easily access the data to recover previous versions of files and folders.
Ideally, once you implement shadow copies throughout the organization and show users how to use the feature, users will be able to recover files and folders without needing assistance. This allows users to manage their own files, resolve problems, and fix mistakes. It also saves time and money because previous versions can be recovered quickly and easily and resources that would have been used to recover files and perform related tasks can be used elsewhere.
When planning to deploy shadow copies in your organization, look at the shared folders that are in use. When you identify the ones that would benefit from this feature, note the volumes on which those shares are located. Those are the volumes for which you will need to configure shadow copying. You might also want to consider changing the way users' personal data is stored. In Windows Server 2003, you can centrally manage user data folders through file shares, and then if you configure shadow copies on these file shares, users will have access to previous versions of all their data files and folders. The folders you can centrally manage are the following:
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