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Background

I've had Windows file history configured to backup to a network folder for the past couple of years.

I now need more space than the company NAS can supply so I

  1. told windows to stop using the network drive,
  2. moved the File History directory from my NAS to an external HD,
  3. and configured windows to use the external drive for file history.

When I use windows explorer to view the history of a folder, the earliest versions that show up are from when I reconfigured file history to use the new drive; versions that I copied from the network drive do not show up.

I've investigated and found that there are now two folders for my computer in the File History directory:

  • {My Ext HD}:\\FileHistory\{My username}\{My computer's name}\
  • {My Ext HD}:\\FileHistory\{My username}\{My computer's name} (2)\

Judging by the modification dates on these two folders, the current backups are all being stored in {My computer's name} (2)

How can I access my older backup revisions?

  • Can I simply merge these two folders, or will that mess up Windows?
  • If I can't fully merge them, is there at least a way I could access revisions from the old folder?

Notes

  • The old backups span Windows 8.1 and an upgrade to Windows 10
  • They are very large backups so I'd like to avoid the trial and error approach of creating a copy of the File History folder (which would take over a day) and trying to merge the folders to see what windows does.
  • To put it simply: You can't. – Ramhound Jan 12 '16 at 1:41
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I solved a similar issue by: Navigating to 'Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > File History > Select Drive'.

Selecting the drive in the list of available drives (this presented a further list of available back-ups).

Selecting the original backup from the list - i.e. {My Ext HD}:\FileHistory{My username}{My computer's name}.

This doesn't merge the multiple versions but did allow me to target the original one. I deleted the others.

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