SBS 2011 Essentials – Can we disable ‘Shadow Copies’ on ‘C’ drive?

Our client is running Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials SP1 and is running low on disk space on drive ‘C’. Are we able to disable Shadow Copies on drive ‘C’ to free up disk space? User data is located on a different partition which has Shadow Copies enabled. Full backups to tape are carried out every night using Backup Exec 2012.

1) Will disabling Shadow Copies on drive ‘C’ impact other areas of SBS 2011 Essentials?

2) Will disabling Shadow Copies on drive ‘C’ have any impact on the overnight backup using Backup Exec 2012?

3) Out of curiosity, where are the Shadow Copies located?

4) If we decide to use Windows Backup in the future, will disabling Shadow Copies on drive ‘C’ impact on a successful backup?

I look forward to hearing from you.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You can disable them.  It's unwise, but you can do it.  Better is to move them - which does require disabling but then re-enabling.  Configure Shadow copies, then disable on the C: drive.  Then change the setting so it's stored on a different drive and re-enable.

Copies are stored in the system volume information but they are BLOCK level - meaning the "file" isn't copied but the block is.  So you're not going to "see" the copies unless you look at them through the interface.
LMG09Author Commented:
Thanks for your prompt response - Please could you expand on why 'it is unwise' ? Before I make any changes, I would like to better understand what implications this will have now and in the future.

Also, please could you clarify the following:

1) Will having 2 shadow copies on the 'D' drive i.e. 'C' drive points to 'D' and 'D' drive points to 'D' conflict?

I look forward to hearing from you.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
It's unwise because you're disabling a feature on the C: drive that has the potential to help you recover a setting or file if your system fails or has issues.

There is no conflict having both point to the same drive.  I normally point all copies from all drives to a single drive.  For performance, I would recommend staggering the time a little - when copies are created they CAN be disk intensive and typically all copies occur at the same time.  By staggering you ease up on the disk a little.

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If you are running out of disk space it would probably help running a cleanup. I'm not sure if SBS 2011 essentials includes the themes or desktop experience feature. Check in add/remove features whether it does, and if yes, install it. That should give you the cleanup wizard which helps you cleanup the disks.
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