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These days it’s common that an application fails while in use. It’s no mystery why programs have auto save features and even can recover from a disaster. These new features make you think is impossible that you can lose data. We feel very comfortable because it seems that nothings bad is going to happen. How many people do you know that have never done a back up?

Another problem is that we are humans and it is very common that we make mistakes. Have you ever worked on a document for hours and then realized that it was better before? Some can say that Windows has the Previous Version feature but for me it is not enough.

We are going to see today how to configure Windows 7 to backup files while you work on them.We are only going to use programs that are previously installed in Windows 7 (note: Group Policy is only available in Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise.) To be more precise we are going to use the audit feature and create a task to copy the files. This way we will have a folder; in our case a folder on the desktop.

Firs we have to enable audit because it is not enabled by default.

Press WinKey + R, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter.

Go to Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Windows Settings, Security Settings, Local policies, Audit Policy.

Double click over Audit object access

Select Success, this way the message will only pop when something has changed.

Right click over the file you want to make copies when you are working on it.

Select the security tab.

Press Advanced, go to auditing tab and press continue.

You can choose the users you want to audit. Type Everyone and press Enter.

A list of check boxes appears, these way an event will be created when the file changes:

Save data to the file so a new event will be created. To Open the Event Viewer, press WinKey + R, type eventvwr and press Enter.

Go to Windows Logs, Security.

You have to find an event with an even id of 4663. Right click and select Attach Task To This event…

Select a name for the task. Press next twice and select and action start a program.

On the next window the program to start is:

Program/script: cmd

Add arguments: /c copy *.* “c:\backup\*.*%random%%random%%random%”

Start in: C:\Users\angel-test\Desktop\Folder


This way you are going to copy to a backup folder in the C drive. In this case I have used one with the name folder in the desktop. You can for example select instead of the C drive a USB or other kind of device.

Finally you will get something like this on the backup folder:

You now have to change the extension in order to see the different versions of the files. Maybe in a next post I will create something different to not make this too hard to understand.



About Angel Luis

I am an Engineer of Telecommunications that love computers. My first computer was a Commodore 16kb, about 25 years ago and since then I am always fighting computers problems. Please visit my entries and ask me about whatever problem you have, I will be pleased to help you. My email is discoveryourpc [at] gmail [dot] com. You can follow me on twitter @agenlu or read my blog www.discoveryourpc.net

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