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Mapping a CIFS Pervious Versions as a Windows drive letter⚓︎


CIFS shares which support Previous Versions can be accessed via the built in Windows Previous Versions GUI interface. While the GUI may often be easier to use, sometimes long folder names may prevent you from being able to copy files. While Microsoft has registry keys to assist with long path names, you may still run in to issues. Once way around this is to map a drive letter to a path within the UNC Previous Version, allowing you to shorten the overall path length and copy files.

Previous Versions in Windows Explorer⚓︎

This interface utilizes a standardized UNC path to surface a GUI for drag and drop file restores. In order to get the path for mapping a drive letter start by opening a Previous Version, and then using that path to map a drive letter. Directions are below.

Drive Letters⚓︎

The benefit to mapping a Previous Version as a drive letter is that you can map a deeper directory as a single character, often avoiding, or working around long path name issues.


Obtain the Pervious Version UNC patch_storage⚓︎

  • Open Explorer
  • Browse to the root share UNC path you wnt to perform a restore from
  • Eg \\server\user_files
  • Open te Properties of the share by right click in the open area and select Properties, or by use the ribbon on top and select Properties
  • Select the Pervious Versions tab
  • Select the date you wish to restore from
  • Select Open
  • Copy the UNC path which is shown in the address bar
  • Eg \\server\user_files\@GMT-2023.05.03-17.05.02
  • Note, if you see a path like \\server\user_files\departments (Today, May 3, 2023, 36 minutes ago) you will need to go up in directories until you are are the root share with an @GTM path

Mapping the Pervious Version as a drive latter⚓︎

Once you have the Pervious Version UNC path from above you can use it to then map any directory within the path.

Text Only
net use z: "\\server\user_files\@GMT-2023.05.03-17.05.02\departments\Information Technology\shared\documents\shared documents"