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Windows 7: Problem with previous versions: "No previous versions available"

11 Jun 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium Version 6.1 Build 7601 (Service Pack 1) 64bit
Problem with previous versions: "No previous versions available"

I (stupidly and accidentally) deleted all files in my "Downloads" folder. As in, hard deleted them - not to the recycle bin.

I right-clicked the folder and picked "Properties", "Previous versions". Lo and behold, there were several previous versions. I opened the one from today, browsed through it, and it looked good - all 300+ GB of my files were there. So I went back to "Previous versions" and clicked "Restore". It managed to restore a few files, but most files it said were "missing", or that it needed "administrator access" for them. (I am obviously admin on this computer.) So I clicked "Skip" for those, and let it carry on.

After the restore process was done, it had only successfully restored about ten files. When I now click "Previous versions" for my "Downloads" folder, to at least get a list of the files that are missing, it suddenly says there are no files available! But before I did the restore, there were several restore points there. What happened?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2014   #2

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Next time you want to recover a folder - rename the currently existing folder before restoring the old version as it will otherwise get overwritten.

Also suggest mounting system restore points and manually copying the required files. See the following software:

System Restore Explorer | Nic's Blog

The download link is hard to spot. It's in the line of text just above the section headed History

Other than that there's also:

ShadowExplorer - Recover Lost Files and Folders
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2014   #3

Windows 10 Pro

Method 1: Verify the Volume Shadow Copy and Windows backup service is started. If it has not started, start the service and check. Follow these steps:

a) Click Start, type “services” on the start search box and press enter.

b) Scroll down and check for the service mentioned above (Volume Shadow Copy and Windows backup).

c) Double click each of the services and start them if they have not started. Click ok.

Method 2: Run the System File Checker (SFC) scan to fix any corrupted files.

You may also refer this article for more information:

System Restore: frequently asked questions - Windows Help

What is System Restore? - Windows Help
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jul 2017   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I realize this thread is old, but in case this helps someone else as it did me today:

The problem of "There are no previous versions available" could also be related to which link you right-click on to bring up Properties.

For example, it will find nothing if you open Windows Explorer and right click Downloads (or Desktop) when it appears under Favorites at the top left.

However, if you expand the C: drive and scroll down to your Users folder (C:\Users\[username]\) and right click on the Downloads or Desktop folder there, then it will show previous versions (assuming System Restore is properly enabled).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2017   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

+1 rccryan! I did something similarly as you indicated and found my "missing" stuff :)
And, it does not hurt to have Wise Jet Search, FileSeek, or anything similar free utility already installed (meaning before one needs to search for seemingly missing folders and files). I used one or the other over time to locate and find "missing" files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Problem with previous versions: "No previous versions available"

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