Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tips: How to manage the Volume Shadow Copy Service from the Vssadmin Command-Line

By using the Vssadmin command-line tool, you can easily manage the Volume Shadow Copy service. Make sure that you’re running command in the elevated command prompt. You can run the below mentioned commands by using this tool.

Vssadmin List ShadowStorage: You can use this command to list the volume shadow storage space currently in use. Moreover, you can check the space that is reserved for future use (labeled as allocated), and the maximum space that might be dedicated. If a shadow copy is active, this space will be used to store the changes.
The following is a sample output generated by using a computer that has about 3GB of files stored in a shadow copy, but that might allocate as much as 6.4GB.

Vssadmin List Providers: Using this command, you can list the registered Volume Shadow Copy providers. Remember Windows Vista comprises the Software Shadow Copy Provider 1.0 for you.

Vssadmin List Shadows: Using this, you can list the existing volume shadow copies, the time the shadow copy was created, and its location.

Vssadmin List Volumes: You can use this command to list the volumes that are eligible for shadow copies.
Vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage: This command is used to resize the Volume Shadow Copy storage. Moreover, you can use this command to increase the maximum space that might be used by Volume Shadow Copy. Typically, this is unnecessary. However, if you discover that backups are failing on a computer because of an extremely high volume of changes during a backup, and Vssadmin List ShadowStorage reveals that the used Shadow Copy Storage space is at the maximum, you might be able to resolve the problem by manually increasing the maximum size.

Vssadmin List Writers: This command is usually used to list the shadow copy writers, which support communicating with the Volume Shadow Copy service to ensure that files are captured in a consistent state. At the same time, the subscribed writers include an operating system writer, a registry writer, a WMI writer, and a search service writer, among others. SQL Server also provides a Volume Shadow Copy writer.
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