Computers And Industry

Configuring File History In Windows 10

File History is a Windows feature that makes intermittant backups of the files contained in your libraries, Desktop, Contacts, and Favorites. The near real-time backups are stored on an attached external drive. In fact, Windows won't even allow File History to run unless an attached external storage device is available. However, with a little computer configuration, Windows can be "fooled" into thinking that an internal hard drive is an attached external drive.

To enable File History, please do the following.

1. Attach an External Drive to the computer. Make sure it is large enough to keep a copy of all your working files. If you do not have an external drive, create and enable a Virtual Hard Drive. See the end of this discussion as to how to create a Virtual Drive if this is the case.
2. Right Click the mouse on the Windows Start Menu icon and select Control Panel.
3. In the Control Panel screen, click on File History icon
4. If valid drive(s) are available, they will be presented. Select one.
5. On the Keep A History Of Your Files screen, click Turn on. File History will start.

Creating A Virtual Hard Drive

A Virtual Hard Drive is a "fake" hard drive. In reality, it is a folder on your computer configured to look like a hard drive to Windows. If you want to enable File History, and want to use one of your internal drives (C, D, or whatever) to store the file history, then it is necessary to create a Virtual Hard Drive. To create a Virtual Hard Drive, please do the following.

1. Create an new folder on the hard drive (C, D, any) on which you wish to store the File History.
2. Right click the mouse on the Windows Start Menu icon.
2. Select the Computer Management menu icon.
3. On the Computer Management screen, select the Disk Management item in the left hand folder list.
4. From the menu at the top of the screen, select Action and then select Create VHD from the drop down menu.
5. On the Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk screen, Specify the folder created in Step 1 as the location.
6. For the Virtual Hard Disk Size value, specify the number of Gigabytes you wish the size of the Virtual Hard Drive to be. NOTE. It must be large enough to contain all the files you are going be storing. ie, the size of your Documents library, plus Desktop, plus Contacts, plus Favorites. For testing purposes, you can just make it a couple of Gigabtyes for now.
7. In the Virtual Hard Disk Format section, select the VHD option
8. In the Virtual Hard Disk Type section, select Fixed.
9. Click OK. This will take a while so sit back and wait for Windows to create the Virtual Hard Disk.
10. When the process is complete, you should see the new disk in the disk list at the bottom of the screen. Where the disk label is, it should say Unitialized with a little blue thingy label next to the name.
11. Right click on the label of the new disk and select Initialize.
12. When the Initialize Disk screen pops up, make sure MBR is selected. You can select GPT too. It is your choice. Click OK. The disk will quickly initialize.
13. Now click on the disk area next to the label (Unallocated space). Right click the mouse and select New Simple Volume from the drop down menu.
14. When the New Simple Volume wizard appears, on the Specify Volume Size screen, specify the Maximum Volume size as the Simple Volume size. It should already be filled in. Click Next.
15. On the Assign Drive Letter and Path screen, specify the drive letter. V is recommended. Click Next.
16. On the Format Partition screen, select the Format This Volume With The Following Settings option and for the File System value, specify NTFS. For the allocation unit size, specify Default. And, for the Volume Label, call it anything. I named it File History. Click Next.
17. Click Finish. The Volume will create.
18. Finished.

Now, if you go back into File History, you should see this newly created Virtual Hard Drive as one of the drive(s) File History can use to store it's files.

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Paul F. Sirpenski
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