Category: VSS

Windows Performance through VSS Cleanup and Preassociation
article #1004, updated 132 days ago

These steps can improve Windows performance a whole lot. It works because a vast array of different applications and services in Windows utilize VSS on their backends. Start an administrative CMD, and then…

Step 1:

First we run the following in an administrative CMD:

vssadmin Delete Shadows /All

If there are orphan shadows, you will be asked whether you want to delete them. If there are and you delete them, you will see immediate performance benefit. Reportedly, Windows autodeletes them only after there are 64 per volume. We prefer to see zero!

Step 2:

We now improve any existing preassociation of disk space for VSS. On some machines, this will increase performance very impressively, immediately. In general it keeps them smooth and stable and prevents hesitations. This does not reserve or take up the space, it just “associates” it, makes it ready for use, so that whenever Windows wants to do any of the bajillions of things it does with VSS, things ranging from tiny to enormous, it can skip that step.

It is worthwhile to know that C: on all workstation installs and many server installs, has a minimal preassociation already set up. So this first step is to resize the existing association.

Do the below in administrative CMD:

vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=20%

Do repeat for any other active hard drive partitions, D:, E:, et cetera. Don’t worry if you get an error, the next step covers it.

Step 3:

It may well throw an error, saying there is no such association. If this is a workstation OS, vssadmin lacks two commands on workstation OSes which we need to improve further, so in that case we are done. But on any Windows Server OS from 2003, if the error was thrown, we do an Add for every RAID volume:

vssadmin Add ShadowStorage /For=E: /On=E: /MaxSize=20%

Step 4:

And finally (server only), one more thing which can help if, for instance, C: is almost full but E: has plenty of space:

vssadmin Delete ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C:
vssadmin Add ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=E: /MaxSize=20%

This maximizes overall performance, and also prevents possible backup failures and other issues due to insufficient disk space on C:.

Note:

On some machines, the volumes do not have letters. For these you will need to use the volume GUID path. In vssadmin list shadowstorage, they look like this:

Shadow Copy Storage association
   For volume: (\\?\Volume{99ac05c7-c06b-11e0-b883-806e6f6e6963}\)\\?\Volume{99a
c05c7-c06b-11e0-b883-806e6f6e6963}\
   Shadow Copy Storage volume: (\\?\Volume{99ac05c7-c06b-11e0-b883-806e6f6e6963}
\)\\?\Volume{99ac05c7-c06b-11e0-b883-806e6f6e6963}\
   Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 0 B (0%)
   Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 0 B (0%)
   Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 32 MB (32%)

For such a situation, substitute \\?\Volume{99ac05c8-c06b-11e0-b883-806e6f6e6963} (the whole long string) for C: in the above command lines.

PowerShell will give GUI paths for all volumes thusly:

GWMI -namespace root\cimv2 -class win32_volume

References are here:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc788050.aspx

https://www.storagecraft.com/support/kb/article/289

http://backupchain.com/i/how-to-delete-all-vss-shadows-and-orphaned-shadows

http://www.tech-no.org/?p=898

Categories:   VSS   Performance

==============

Troubleshooting and Fixing Windows VSS
article #274, updated 300 days ago

Some very interesting info:

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/1b926c85-b866-464b-9590-70506ba9d8ce/vss-issue-event-id-22-12289-12293-error-0×8004230f-failed-to-retrieve-volumes-that-are-eligible?forum=windowsbackup

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb891959#mindiffareafilesize

Here are some steps and info:

http://www.storagecraft.com/support/kb/article/32

Here is a Fix-It from Microsoft for Server 2003, which runs quite a few steps automatically, and does not (this is new) necessarily require a reboot:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940184

And lastly, here is a patch from Microsoft which can help a lot in Server 2003, even on fully-updated machines:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;891957

Categories:   VSS   Windows OS-Level Issues

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Browse shadow copies (VSS)!
article #747, updated 981 days ago

From the amazing Matt Quick:

http://www.shadowexplorer.com/

Categories:   VSS   Tools

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VSS for Linux
article #363, updated 2079 days ago

Here is a product, free for commercial and non-profit use, which does the job of VSS under Linux:

http://www.r1soft.com/tools/linux-hot-copy/

Categories:   VSS   Linux OS-level Issues

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Windows Backup on Server 2008
article #319, updated 2204 days ago

Windows Backup on Server 2008, is very different than previous backup tools provided by Microsoft. It is block-level, meaning that it handles only whole volumes (drives) at once. But it works very well, it has much lower impact on resources. It uses VSS as its basis.

Data difficult to identify, but useful for setting up monitoring, follow.

Service name: Block Level Backup Engine Service
Executable (on 32-bit, default): “C:\Windows\system32\wbengine.exe”
Command-line utility (runs from elevated CMD): wbadmin

Categories:   Backup   VSS

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Free file synchronizer with VSS
article #212, updated 2239 days ago

Here is a very good file synchronizer, free of charge to all, which does Volume Shadow Copy for locked files:

http://freefilesync.sourceforge.net/index.php

Categories:   Backup   VSS

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VSS Resources Errors on Windows Server 2003
article #310, updated 2239 days ago

This page has lots of good steps to take:

http://www.storagecraft.com/kb/questions.php?questionid=244

Categories:   VSS   Backup