Microsoft ShadowCopies

I have a server with shadow copies enabled on several drives, each with several shares.  We have configured the max size, which it has not reached on any volume, and of course a schedule which occurs weekly.  I searched the registry for the MaxShadowCopies registry key, but it was not found on this server.

Can you tell me why some volumes only have 2 days worth of shadow copies while others have over a months worth of shadow copies?  How can I make the retention of these shadow copies identical across the board...
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Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
It depends on how often you do the shadow copy in one day.

By default, shadow copy is carried out twice a day.

How many copies for a day do you see in the previous versiona of the shared drive which has only two days of shadow copies?
High disk IO can cause shadow copies to get deleted. Your shadow copy storage should be on a separate volume.
Jian An LimSolutions ArchitectCommented:
the maximum amount of storage available for shadow copies is around 5% of the logical disk.
so if you have too many stuff to protect, then it might have different days of copies.

Anyway, Shadow copies are not true snapshots. There is no guarantee that a suitable shadow copy will be there when you need it. Windows deletes old shadow copies without a warning as soon as it runs out of shadow storage. With a lot of disk activity, it may even run out of space for a single shadow copy.

Hence, it is recommended to have 3rd party application if you truely want something like this. Product like symantec Backup exec system recovery or storagecraft shadowprotect that able to perform a snapshot  every 15 minutes interval, and it could last as long as you have enough of disk space

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Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Have you tried to use the vssadmin.exe command in task scheduler to configure the shadow copy frequency?

Shadow copy can only retain the last 64 versions of a file.

jmachado81Author Commented:
We have multiple drives with varying storage limits and schedules...most are 2x a day but some are 3x a day.  All but one drive is on a separate VSS volume per best practices.  We also have a 3rd party solution for more long-term and stable/reliable backups.

What i can gather the number of shadow copies depends on the max size limit.  So to get an idea of what a snapshot takes you can set the limit to unlimited, take a snapshot to see the size and determine how many days of snapshots you'd like to have on hand.  assuming of course this is a new shadowcopy volume.
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