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Shadow Copies aren't working. >:-(

Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Our users have been noticing for the last few months that Shadow Copies on our server aren't working. I accidentally wrote over an important file a few minutes ago and checked the Shadow Copy client to restore it and... there was no previous version... >:-(

I then logged into the server to make sure Shadow Copies was setup right and it is fully configured and running. I have 150GB reserver for Shadow Copies but only 9GB is used, so it's not a space problem. I have Shadow Copies set to backup the whole drive (1.5TB)

I then checked the schedule and according to the file server console, the shadow copies that are scheduled have all been made.

I have it set to make 5 shadow copies every day during business hours. Since we are a web development firm, I don't think that's excesive - we need to make sure we have the latest working versions available in case something gets messed up.

The Shadow Copies clients are Vista machines, and a few XP ones. I'm running Vista Ultimate 32-bit on my machine.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
Watch Question


Any events in the server's event log when the scheduled shadow copies should take place?
Whats the "Last run" in Schedules Tasks? Status?


I just scoured the event viewer logs and there are no errors to be found.

The last run shows the last run that occured, which was at 7:00pm. The status box is blank.

Strange. Can you see informative events for shadow copy taking place every day?

What servicepack are you running? SP2?

Last resort: disable shadow copies completeley and re-enable them and check if that fixes the problem.


Oh yes, can you see more history while browsing the share directly on your server (remember, alway go via  the share!)


What do you mean can I see the informative events? Are there supposed to be some?

On Vista, I'm running the current version with all updates, on XP Pro it is SP2/all updates.

What do you mean always go via the share and see more history? Please explain.

No, I mean on the server.  Look at the System eventlog. You should see events 7036 from Service Control Manager starting Shadow Copy Service and stopping it after a few minutes when the shadow copy should happen.

Whats the servicepack on the server?

>What do you mean always go via the share and see more history? Please explain.
Log on to your server via RDP and browse to one of your shares on the server. Are you able to see more shadow copies here compared to the client?


vssadmin list shadows

on a command prompt on your server. can you see more shadow copies?


Sure enough... the shadow copies are being taken... 7036 is there like clockwork

Server is WS 2003 Standard 32bit SP2 all updates

As far as seeing more copies, what are you referring to? I have volume level shadow copies enabled in WS 2003. There is no Shadow Copies tab on the share properties. Does that mean I need to install the shadow copies client on the server?


However, when I put the

vssadmin list shadows

command into the command prompt, I get a response that says

No items found that satisfy the query.

What's that mean?

No, you don't need to install the shadow copy client on the server.
You need to access the files via the share, not directly via the drive-letter to get the Shadow Copy tab. So even while you're on the server, map a network drive to a server share.

Anyway,  I don't think its a problem of the shadow copy client but somethings messed up with your server.

vssadmin list writers
vssadmin list providers

Whats the result of these 2 commands?
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)


Aha! I believe it's possible that disabling it and re-enabling worked!

When I run vssadmin list shadows I get a list of entries.

However, to answe your previous question when I ran those (before disabling) I got a list of things saying Stable No Error. Additionally the provider was there too.

Shadow copies are now showing up on the clients again. Thank you so much!

If this happens again, is there any way to fix it without having to delete the current set of shadow copies?

Glad it helped!

> If this happens again, is there any way to fix it without having to delete the current set of shadow copies?
Sorry, I don't know. But I think when the shadow copy store gets corrupt, it doesn't matter if you loose the copies or not...


Shadow copies are working great THANKS SO MUCH!!! POINTS TO YOU!

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