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Windows 2008 and Windows 7 had Previous Versions feature which consisted in keeping the previous versions of files and allowed the user to restore them or copy the previous versions to a different location.

Windows 8 introduces the File History feature which replaces, if I understand well, the Previous Versions feature of Windows 7. File History enables the user to keep track of files in libraries, desktop, contact and favorites.

What if I don't want to keep track of the files on my desktop, etc., but want to keep track of any file on a specific, non-OS, partition? Is it still possible, either by changing some hidden feature of File History, or by getting back the Previous Versions feature, or Microsoft broke it definitively?

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Would you be OK with keeping the files on your desktop, etc, AND one or more folders from a non-OS partition? If so, you can create a new Library, and add those specific folders to it, at which point they get automatically tracked by File History. You can also exclude folders that you don't want to be tracked/backed up. – PJC Nov 7 '12 at 11:07
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Apparently you're out of luck. According to Wikipedia:

Although Shadow Copy service will remain intact, the ability to create persistent shadow copies will be removed from the future versions of Windows, codenamed Windows 8 and Windows Server 8. Consequently, the Previous Versions feature which exposed this functionality will also be removed. Shadow Copy service will only be able to create volatile shadow copies for backup purposes. Microsoft says negative impact on performance and low usage is the reasons behind the removal of this feature. As for accessing older versions of the user file however, Microsoft will add a new component called File History to the aforementioned versions of Windows. This component will replace Backup and Restore.

However, I'd see if there's a way to play with Volume Shadow Copy command-line options (VSSAdmin). I don't have Windows 8 at hand, but it's worth a look.

Per TechNet:

VssAdmin is used to create, delete, and list information about shadow copies. It can also be used to resize the shadow copy storage area ("diff area").

VssAdmin includes commands such as the following:

create shadow: Creates a new shadow copy

delete shadows: Deletes shadow copies

list providers: Lists all registered VSS providers

list writers: Lists all subscribed VSS writers

resize shadowstorage: Changes the maximum size of the shadow copy storage area

VssAdmin can only be used to administer shadow copies that are created by the system software provider.

VssAdmin is available on Windows client and Windows Server operating system versions.

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In Explorer right click on Libraries >> New >> Library.

Right click on whatever you called it and click properties >> click add, and add your drive or folder you want to backup.

File history does backup other drives you just have to add them to your Libraries once this shortcut is made windows cares about the data there!

New Library

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