Recovering lost files on H: or S: drive

LSA Technology Services provides file space to each faculty and staff member for storing their files. This space has a built in snapshot feature which will let you look at old versions of files or folders. This can be very handy to recover data that was accidentally deleted or corrupted without having to contact LSA Technology Services


  • LSA H: or S: drive (also known as Personal and Departmental drives)
  • Windows on the university's network
  • Mac on the university's network

What are snapshots?

Snapshots take advantage of a feature installed on the disk storage system used to store the data. This feature stores changes made to the files and folders housed in the system. In cases where you accidentally delete a file or want to recover a previous version of one, you can use snapshots to restore a previous version of the file or folder. Due to the large amount of data involved and the frequent changes made, snapshots can only be retained for a set period of time. After that set period of time previous versions of the files can no longer be restored.

Currently LSA Technology Services takes snapshots on the following schedule:

  • Daily snapshots around noon and 4pm, retained for 3 days
  • Nightly snapshots around midnight every day, retained for 7 days
  • Weekly snapshots every Sunday morning at midnight, retained for 8 weeks

How do I access the snapshots?

To find the snapshot folder from an on-campus Windows computer:

  1. Open the H: or S: drive in question
  2. Right click on an empty space within the folder and select "Properties"
  3. Click the "Previous Versions" tab. the previous versions may take a few seconds to populate
  4. Click on a desired snapshot date and click the "Open" button
  5. From here you can view and copy previous versions of documents

To find the snapshot folder from an on-campus Mac computer

Unfortunately you cannot access H: or S: drive snapshots on a Mac. If you need to access snapshots and do not have a Windows computer available please contact LSA Technology Services for additional assistance

Additional Notes

It’s that simple! You should now see your data as it appeared at the time you selected above. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when doing this:

  • The snapshots are read only. This means that you can copy out old versions of files and folders but, you cannot save to the snapshots.
  • The permissions in the previous versions folder are identical to the permissions in the “live” folders so, others will not be able to look at your snapshots and you cannot look at theirs


Article ID: 1567
Tue 5/26/20 6:22 PM
Fri 6/4/21 12:09 PM