OUR RECENT examination of the 'undelete' technology in Windows Vista has become more important since Apple formally announced 'Time Machine' in Leopard, the next iteration of OSX.
Unfortunately Apple's Time Machine requires a separate disk, dedicated to the backing-up of data on your primary drive. Useful in the case of a hard-disk failure, but not exactly the cheapest option. It also seems to have an esoteric GUI, which may or may not work well in real-word usage. Windows Vista's alternative backup application is very similar, albeit without the over-the-top interface, and also comes with a Shadow Copy feature that's integrated into the normal file/folder menus, and has some interesting attributes of its own.
The Inquirer recently spoke to Dan Stevenson, Lead Program Manager from Microsoft's 'Windows Storage and File Systems Team', who is currently working on applications related to backup and data-restoration on Windows Vista.
Dan stated that the Shadow Copy feature in Vista doesn't create a completely new file every time a change is made, it only creates a backup of changes using a driver that tracks changes at the block level across the entire disk volume using a copy-on-write mechanism. These changes are captured in discrete shadow copies or 'snapshots', which are created more or less once a day. The total size taken up by the shadow copies is capped at 15% of the disk size - this will normally give you a month or so worth of shadow copies, depending on your I/O profile.
View: Full Article @ The Inquirer