Knowledgebase: Filesystem related
Using Virtual Shadow Copy Service on Windows
Posted by Sven Koester on 26 March 2008 10:26
When using the Virtual Shadow Copy Service (VSS) on Windows hosts, please be aware of the following limitations:
  • The VSS is always applied on the complete volume / drive. In case multiple jobs are reading from that drive, the same shadow copy is used. The first job, e.g. a sheduled backup, creates the shadow copy, which exists as long as the job is running. In case a second job attempts to read from the same drive while the first job is still running, it will access the same shadow copy. It will therefore read the same shadow copy, even if there are files on the disk that are newer, because they had changed since the shadow copy got created. To avoid reading a "stale" state of the file system, make sure there is only one job reading the file system at a time.
  • On Windows XP, there is an additional limitation: Windows XP allows only one shadow copy at a time. In case you would like to shadow copy multiple drives, make sure that there is only one drive being shadow copied at any given time.
The Virtual Shadow Copy Service (VSS) can be configured in the additional options of the corresponding client.
Please note that VSS can only be used on NTFS file systems, not on other file system types.
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