Sorry about the truncated subject. It should read:
What's it Going to Take to Restore Previous Versions from Shadow Copies?
Microsoft removed the Previous Versions feature from File Explorer in Windows 8.
I've been doing some digging, as I would like to continue to be able to access data in Shadow Copies (to restore a file or folder from a shadow copy-integrated System Image backup, for example).
I've uncovered a number of half-baked tools to access shadow copy data, but none of them are currently of a quality that breeds much confidence. They're either buggy or clunky. These include ShadowExplorer, Z-VSSCopy, and Previous Version Recoverer... I'd love to hear about more if you know them.
I've learned that the property page in Windows Explorer in Windows 7 that shows the Previous Versions and allows, Restore, etc. is provided by a shell extension called twext.dll, and it turns out this DLL is present and accounted for in Windows 8 as well, though notably it's a little bit smaller than the one from Windows 7. It's typically found at C:\Windows\System32\twext.dll.
The fact that twext.dll is still wired in makes me wonder whether with an appropriate registry (or some other) tweak it might be possible to just restore the Previous Versions sheet to the Properties panel in File Explorer. It seems the Microsoft people haven't really deleted it outright, but may have just hidden it.
Do any of you with more knowledge of how Explorer is put together have any ideas how to restore the Previous Versions property page? Knowledge online is a bit scarce and I'm just trying to get the creative juices flowing to solve yet another Windows 8 shortcoming.
Edited by NoelC, 05 December 2013 - 11:11 AM.