Server 2012r2 Shadow Copies/Previous Version

Matthew Hinchliffe
Matthew Hinchliffe used Ask the Experts™

I want to reconfigure our shadow copies so that they are stored on a separate disk as they are currently being stored on the same disk as all the shares are on.  We have had a few issues with performance such as opening files taking a long time.  I have noticed that the shadow copies were running on the default schedule, which I have amended to run at a more convenient time, but I wanted to follow the recommended procedure.

Is it possible to reconfigure without losing the previous shadow copies ?  We do a nightly back up of the file server using Veeam.

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It is not possible to change the shadow copy location without loosing the existing snapshots.

 Caution: When you change the location of the shadow copy storage area, all previous shadow copies are deleted.

Note: To successfully create a shadow copy, at least one NTFS file system volume is required with at least 300 MB of free space. Do not store the volume shadow copy storage area on a storage device that can be easily removed from the computer. Do not store the volume shadow copy storage area on a storage device that may not be available to Windows until late in the system startup sequence. For example, a logical unit number (LUN) created on an Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage subsystem might not appear until a software initiator has started.

    Click Start, and then click Computer.
    Right-click any of the volumes listed, and then click Configure Shadow Copies.
    Click the volume that is currently used for the volume shadow copy storage area, and then click Settings.

    Note: If shadow copies of the volume are enabled, you must first disable them by clicking the volume, and then clicking Disable.
    Set the volume shadow copy area volume to a volume with more storage capacity by selecting the volume from the drop-down list under Storage area, and then click OK.
    Ensure that the volume is still selected, and click Enable. If you are asked to confirm that you want to enable shadow copies, click Yes.
    Click OK to exit.

Reference: Microsoft
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
You can't move shadowcopies.

I suggest you read over my article "A Guide to Volume Shadow Copy" -
Utshab MukherjeeSr.System Admin:Apps4Rent

To move vss shadow copies to another drive you need to move the VSS storage area (where the vss shadow copies are stored) to another drive.

To do this follow the below procedure.

•             Open CMD in Administrative mode.
•             Run the following commands.
•             vssadmin add shadowstorage /for=c: /on=d: /maxsize=50%

Note:- The above command is just an example. You need to select the drives as per your preference. Every drive has its own vss storage area. So you need to select the source and destination drives accordingly. You can also choose to change the maxsize as per your convenience.

Utshab Mukherjee
Matthew HinchliffeIT Engineer


Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the comments.  I just wanted to check whether it was possible to move the existing shadow copies from the current location to the new one that I have already prepared.  I didn't think it was possible, but I just wanted to double check.

Thanks again

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