Restoring a Previous Version from Vault

I know companies are hesitant to use Vault with Civil 3D.  We were when we got started and it was a big decision for us, but now, I don’t know how we would live without Vault.  From either working on projects from remote locations – which now is easily possible – or having to send out (or pull-up) old CAD drawings for whatever reason, it just gives such piece of mind and flexibility.  I can’t tell you how may times a client has called me and wanted AutoCAD drawings from 2-3 weeks ago – before we started the last set of revisions – because it matched the paper copies he/she sent out to bid (unknown to use; private work).  Before, they were out of luck OR it involved tracking down backups with our I.T. department; a timely process.  But now with Vault, we can quickly address their needs.

Also, sometimes you need to backtrack during the design process.  Maybe it is a client change that makes more sense to go back to last weeks file(s) and start from there or maybe you just need a couple of drawing objects from last weeks file(s).  Additionally – and I know this never happens at your firm – maybe someone inadvertently screws something up in “your” file or deleted something that was needed.  With Vault, no problem!  – just restore the Previous Version.

Learn how after the jump…

To restore a files previous version you need to use Vault Explorer.

Browse to the files folder in the left pane and select the file in the upper-right panel as show below.  After the file is highlighted look in the lower-right panel.  There you will find all the previous versions with dates and comments.  Find the dated, or commented, version you want to restore and right-click on the version and select "Get Previous Version…".

2009.11.02-Vault Explorer

You will be presented with the below dialog box.

1) Verify the version it is coping out is the correct version number.
2) Click "Settings…" and clear the check-box beside "Include Children".
3) Click "OK" and "OK" again…

2009.11.02-Get Previous

Next, verify the file in Vault Explorer now has a RED dot.  This indicates there is an old version now on you C: drive.  Which is exactly what we want.

2009.11.02-Old Version on C

Finally, in Civil 3D browse to the file in Prospector, right-click and hit "Check-out…".

1) In the check-out dialog, clear the check-box beside "Get Latest Version…".
2) Click "OK".

2009.11.02-Check-out Step

You will immediately be prompted with the below dialog.  Typically you would select yes, but in this case select "No".

2009.11.02-Check-out Prompt

The file that will be opened is now directly from your C: drive; which is the old version (version 19 in our example).  Make any changes and check-in the file.  Note, the version(s) you skipped over will still be in Vault if they are ever needed in the future.

THAT’S IT… hope this helps.


  1. Terry Laird says:

    Hi Mark
    Very interesting article, can you go into more detail on your commit “From either working on projects from remote locations – which now is easily possible”. I understand the restore previous versions, we use Avail software which allows me to restore to any previous version. How is vault helping you work from remote locations? and how are you setting it up.

  2. Whelp, with standard network practices (mapped network drives) if you connect to your companies network over a Virtual Private Network, or VPN connect, the connection is far too slow to open CAD files and work on them. You would have to do a lot of manual tricks to actually be able to work on projects. It involves a lot of copying, manual locking files on the company network when you have them copied down, setting up a mimic of the company network path on your laptop C: drive OR lots of xref re-pathing. All taking time and being a headache.

    With Vault, just connect to the VPN and check-out the files like you would at work. Since they check-out to the “C:\Civil 3D Projects” directory all the saves are to your C: drive (local). When you are done, simply check the files back in to Vault. Again, same as you do when at work. Simple and no real difference from being at work. We have folks that do work and live in other states now. Employee flexibility…

  3. Additionally, we have 9 offices all accessing one Vault. We use Riverbed. It is working “ok” – projects are getting done; large and small – but we are still trying to make it work better (faster). We are currently in the process of looking at C3D 2010. With the file format change – suppose to work better with Riverbed units – and the improvements in SP2 for 2010 we are hopeful it will be the fine piece to have it work really well. Not there yet…

  4. Vault wins again! Without goting into too much deal, I just go back from a site visit were I figured out we need a couple of plines for a shed that we deleted from the cad file a couple of days ago (thought it was removed – long story).

    With Vault I just call up a temp copy of the previous version, copy and past the shed back into the current plans. 1-minutes task… no big deal.