Shadow Copy details, XP client

Posted on 2008-06-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I am running SBS 2003 and XP SP3.

A couple of questions came up as I was setting this up and reading about Shadow copy on this website:

1) Does SP3 already come with the shadow copy client?  I went to install the version of the client that I dled from microsoft, and it appeared to be already installed (gave me the option to uninstall)

2) On my XP machines, I am mounting a share at //Server/data where //Server is the server name and data is a share of a folder on the D: drive.  Is this going to cause problems as stated in the article?
The article states:
"Don't enable shadow copies on a volume that has mount points on it. A mount point (or mounted drive) is a special volume that is attached to an empty folder on an NTFS volume."  

3) I am using the server as it was formatted by Dell - a 25GB C drive for OS, ~690GB D for data.
How do I check and or change the cluster size so that it will not exhibit the problems listed in the traps section of this article?

"By default, on Windows Server 2003, any volumes larger than 2 GB will have a cluster size of only 4 KB, which is insufficient.
To solve this problem, when you format the volume, specify an allocation unit size of 16 KB instead using either Disk Management or the /a switch with the format command."

I've tested viewing old versions of a txt file on an XP box and so far so good...but I want 2 know if it will stay that way!

Question by:erkwong
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Expert Comment

ID: 21806800
1. Yes, VSS is a standard feature of all NT 5.1 installations
2. I don't believe so, the article is refering to having a drive partition mounted in a folder on another drive instead of it having it's own drive letter
3. You can check the cluster size by downloading this little applet from Microsoft called ntfsinfo, linked below. To change it, you would have to reformat your partitions.

ntfsinfo: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/fileanddisk/ntfsinfo.mspx

Expert Comment

ID: 21806815
Regarding ntfsinfo:

Extract it to a folder, say C:\Temp and run it with "ntfsinfo c:\"

It will spit out some information and what you are looking for of course is "bytes per cluster", the default for NTFS volumes, as mentioned by that article, is 4096.

Author Comment

ID: 21808615
OK, i will try that applet.
I suppose it still is up for debate whether this 'trap' of shadow copies disappearing after defrag really exists?  I suppose, if I do not defrag and I backup before defrag, I should be OK even if I don't reformat w/ 16KB cluster size.  
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Expert Comment

ID: 21811820
If it's a defrag they are worried about, schedule the defrag to happen at the system's lowest point of utilization. That will mitigate the risk of losing a shadow copy that needs to be restored.

Author Comment

ID: 21827146
How does one schedule the defrag times?
LVL 74

Accepted Solution

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 750 total points
ID: 22586062
I realize this question is quite old, but thought I'd provide an answer anyhow just in case you haven't found one elsewhere.

It's not necessary at all to install the shadow copy client on workstations in an SBS environment as long as you joined them to the domain using http://<servername>/connectcomputer as recommended in the SBS documentation.  This is because the client is automatically installed on workstations joined in this manner.  If you didn't join the workstations correctly, you can fix that by following the steps I've outlined here:  http://sbsurl.com/rejoin

Then, SBS automatically enables VSS on your data partition for all network shares configured on that partition.  There is no need at all to modify the cluster size.  I do realize that the article suggests that increasing it to 16KB will avoid shadow copies being deleted during disk defrag, but honestly, I've rarely seen that happen, and the trade-off is that files take up much more space on your drive and backups than necessary.


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