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  • How to recover File History for a previous computer

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 How to recover File History for a previous computer

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      • #2361707
        AskWoody Plus


        My computer died on me about 10 days ago. Fortunately, I had a spare, and most things were backed up through OneDrive. However, I discovered that I had omitted to redirect my Music folder to OneDrive – hence all music is missing on the new machine.

        I had used FileHistory on the old machine, backing up to a MyCloud network device. Therefore the music is safe, but with date-appended filenames. I’m sure it’s possible to get File History to recover the old files to my new machine – but how? As with so many things in Windows 10, the stripped-down interface does not help you to do even simple tasks.

        Any guidance would be welcome.



      • #2361713
        AskWoody MVP

        This article is nearly four years old (e.g. “Creators Update”), but I don’t think File History has changed since then. The author clearly has practical experience of potential pitfalls:

        How to correctly use File History to transfer data files to a new Windows 10 installation

        The short version seems to be; don’t Turn On file history before selecting “use a previous backup”, but do then expect a backup operation to commence before you can restore files.

        Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.985 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

      • #2361829
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Can you whip the hard disk out of the old machine and copy the files to the new machine?

        cheers, Paul

      • #2362354
        AskWoody Plus

        Recently got a fine new machine after 11 (!) years. It came with Windows 10 Pro installed and works like a charm.

        *However*, on copying thousands of files from my backups to the new computer, somehow the OS has changed all the file names!

        Eg. A file named “letter1.txt” now becomes “letter1 (2018_04_20 19_22_48 UTC).txt !!

        As they say, “What Happened!?”

        Is there a way I can recover the original names without manually renaming each file?




        • #2362383
          AskWoody MVP

          Some used File History to restore files without the timestamp in the same situation:

          Backed Up Files Have UTC Timestamp

          Others resorted to using a free Bulk Rename Utility to remove the timestamps:

          Files being copied from Western Digital Passport have datestamp…

          (Success confirmed in the last post of each of those threads.)


          Both methods are also confirmed in this Microsoft Community thread:

          How to remove backup timestamp from the files


          Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.985 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2362384
            AskWoody Plus

            Yes, I confess to using a WD Passport as one of my backup drives! It’s comforting to know that others have encountered this extremely annoying “feature”. I thought I had somehow munged the file explorer settings. At least I wasn’t having delirious visions . . .

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2362499
            AskWoody Plus

            I note what appears to be a javascript program meant to rename filenames. To run it, a 729 MB file must be installed!


            I recall using PC-DOS in 1982 (before MS-DOS) and writing 300 Byte(!) .BAT files to do recursive file renaming.

            As a SW engineer employed by me once mentioned, “Beware of Creeping Elegance!”

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