Newsletter Archives

  • A ‘tip of the iceberg’ problem with RPV


    By Fred Langa

    Win7’s and Win10’s Restore previous versions (RPV) applets normally work in the background, so you might not notice when they’ve failed.

    But an RPV failure can be a symptom of deeper problems — especially in Win10, where RPV is intimately linked with other recovery components.

    Plus: “Bad penny” drivers and (ahem) “asking for a friend” about browser trouble.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.33.0 (2019-09-16).

  • How do you know if File History is really working?


    By Fred Langa

    For that matter, how do you know if any of your backups are working?

    The best proof is a nondestructive, no-overwrite, test-restore of one or more of your backed-up files. Here’s how, using Windows’ File History as the example.

    Plus: Full and partial fixes to a recurring and seemingly patternless boot failure.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.25.0 (2019-07-08).

  • Windows file History to disappear in the Fall Creators Update?

    There’s a lot of speculation on the web about the future of the Windows File History feature.

    You may recall that Windows 8’s File History replaced Windows 7’s “Previous version” shadow copy capability. Both maintain backup copies of user files stored in common locations. It was one of the big selling points for Windows 8 — as I described in InfoWorld five years ago:

    (In Windows 8), Microsoft is finally catching up with Apple’s Time Machine by introducing a very straightforward file backup feature called File History, found in Control Panel.

    Ends up that the mistakenly-pushed build 16212 of Windows 10 doesn’t include File History. The peripatetic Walking Cat found a telltale character string in one of the build 16212 system files:

    “Making new backups with File History is no longer supported.”

    You can read that a lot of ways, and there’s always a chance that it won’t appear in the final version of the Fall Creators Update, expected in September of this year. But it would be characteristic of Microsoft’s push to get your data into their cloud.

    Paul Thurrott has an excellent outline on of the arguments in favor of dumping File History, with one key argument: If you’re updating a file from two different computers, the “latest” version won’t synch correctly.

    Microsoft may use that as a reason to get you to use OneDrive. Then again, they may have a more complex — and compelling — argument by the time Fall Creators Update arrives. Or it may be a phantom harbinger of the next, next version of Windows 10.

    Personally, it won’t make much difference for me. I have all of my important files in Dropbox and use it religiously, with occasional manual backups in OneDrive. I’m still amazed at how easy it is to grab a laptop (or phone) and go on the road, with all of my files — going back many years — sitting there, waiting for me, no matter which OS I’m using on what computer.

  • File History duplicates in Windows 8.1 and 10

    First I’ve heard about it, but reader CH says it’s true:

    Wonder if you’ve noticed that File History in W10 has been bust for a long time (at least since Aug 2015 – see Microsoft Community posts). Microsoft tell us they know about it, yet apparently nothing gets done to fix it.
    The problem is that File History insists on always backing up everything in sight, regardless of whether files have been changed or not. With the net result that our external drives fill up exponentially with terabites of data – it’s hugely frustrating…..& to have to contemplate buying further back-up software, when W10’s file history should be doing the job for free.
    Anything you could do to get some traction with Microsoft would be IMMENSELY appreciated.

    I’ve encountered three different Answers forum posts on the topic, and none have any resolution posted. One of them dates back to 2013. (!)

    Anybody out there have any sage advice?