A. For a client to be able to view VSS snapshots (aka Shadow Copies) of a share and access previous states of the share, the client must be running the Shadow Copies of Shared Folders client software. The client must also be running Windows XP, Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later, or Windows 98 (the client software doesn't support Windows Me or Windows NT 4.0).

The client software is located in the \%systemroot%\system32\clients\twclient folder on the Windows Server 2003 machine. The client software is available for the x86, IA64, and AMD64 platforms; each client version resides in its own folder. (Depending on which version of Windows 2003 you're running, you might not see all the clients.) You'll want to create a network share that contains the client software so that users can connect to the share and install the software on their machines. To install the Shadow Copies of Shared Folders client software on a client PC, perform the following steps:

  1. Connect to the network share that contains the client software.
  2. Navigate to the appropriate client software folder, then execute the twcli32.msi file.
  3. Depending on which OS the PC is running, the system might warn you that the client software could cause harm because you're running a program from a network share. Disregard this warning and click Open.
  4. The installation will run. After installation is complete, click Finish.

After you install the client software, if you right-click a connection to a Shadow Copy-enabled share or any folder that's under the connection to such a share, then select Properties, you'll see a Previous Versions tab that provides details about the various folder versions available.

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If you click the View button, you'll see the folder in Windows Explorer as it existed at a previous point in time. You can copy files from the folder to another location or open them for viewing. The Copy button lets you copy the earlier version of the folder to a new location, and the Restore button restores the earlier version of the folder and its contents. The Shadow Copies of Shared Folders client software is available at the Microsoft Web site.