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Encyclopedia > Shadow Copy
Shadow Copy in Windows Vista

Shadow Copy (also called Volume Snapshot Service or VSS) is a feature in recent versions of Microsoft Windows that allows taking manual or automatic backup copies or snapshots of a file or folder on a specific volume at a specific point in time. It is used by NTBackup and the Volume Shadow Copy service to backup files. In Windows Vista, it is used by Windows Vista's backup utility, System Restore and the Previous Versions feature. Image File history File links Previous_Versions_Vista. ... Image File history File links Previous_Versions_Vista. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... In computer file systems, a snapshot is a copy of a set of files and directories as they were at a particular point in the past. ... Introduction and Definition In the context of computer operating systems, volume is the term used to describe a single accessible storage area with a single filesystem, typically (though not necessarily) resident on a single partition of a hard disk. ... NTBackup is Windows built-in backup software, introduced in Windows NT around 1997 and part of all subsequent versions up to and including Windows 2003 Server, including Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Backup Basics from Microsoft Website with general discussion and information to assist in the use of NTBackup Categories... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... System Restore is a component of Microsofts Windows Me and Windows XP operating systems that allows for the rolling back of system files, registry keys, installed programs, etc. ...

Contents

Overview

Snapshots have two primary purposes. They allow the creation of consistent backups of a volume, ensuring that the contents cannot change while the backup is being made, avoiding problems with file locking; because the backup software is using a read-only copy of the volume, it is able to access every file without interfering with other programs writing to those same files. Microsoft's NTBackup utility (included in Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional and MCE) makes use of this mechanism. Also, users can access their files as they existed at the time of the snapshot, thus retrieving an earlier version of a file or recovering a file deleted by mistake. File locking is a mechanism that enforces access to a computer file by only one user or process at any specific time. ... NTBackup is Windows built-in backup software, introduced in Windows NT around 1997 and part of all subsequent versions up to and including Windows 2003 Server, including Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Backup Basics from Microsoft Website with general discussion and information to assist in the use of NTBackup Categories... Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K) is a preemptible, interruptible, graphical and business-oriented operating system that was designed to work with either uniprocessor or symmetric multi-processor 32-bit Intel x86 computers. ... Windows XP is a line of proprietary operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... A typical Windows XP MCE 2005 Menu Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) was a version of Windows XP designed to serve as a home-entertainment hub. ...


The end result is similar to a versioning file system, allowing any file to be retrieved as it existed at the time any of the snapshots was made. Unlike a true versioning file system, however, users cannot trigger the creation of new versions of an individual file, only the entire volume. As a side-effect, where the owner of a file can create new versions in a versioning file system, only a system administrator or a backup operator can create new snapshots (or control when new snapshots are taken), because this requires control of the entire volume rather than an individual file. Also, many versioning file systems (such as the one in VMS) implicitly save a version of files each time they are changed; systems using a snapshotting approach like Windows Vista only capture the state periodically. A versioning file system is a file system which provides for the concurrent existence of several versions of a file. ... A system administrator, or sysadmin, is a person employed to maintain, and operate a computer system or network. ... OpenVMS[1] (Open Virtual Memory System or just VMS) is the name of a high-end computer server operating system that runs on the VAX[2] and Alpha[3] family of computers developed by Digital Equipment Corporation of Maynard, Massachusetts (DIGITAL was then purchased by Compaq, and is now owned... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ...


History

The snapshot facility was first added to Microsoft Windows in Windows XP; this version could only create non-persistent snapshots (a temporary snapshot, usually used for creating a backup). The creation of persistent snapshots (multiple snapshots which remain available until specifically deleted from the system) was added in Windows Server 2003, allowing up to 512 snapshots to exist simultaneously for the same volume, from which maximum 64 snapshots could be used for the Shadow copies for Shared Folders feature. The Shadow copies for Shared Folders feature automatically created incremental periodic snapshots or Deltas (differences) of changed files over time. This feature was however designed for a client-server model where the snapshots on a server could be remotely accessed over the network by the client, and doing so on client platforms earlier than Windows XP SP2 required the addition of client software. A copy of this software for 32-bit Windows platforms is available on the server. The client software is included in Windows XP Service Pack 2 by default. Windows XP is a line of proprietary operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Client/Server is a network application architecture which separates the client (usually the graphical user interface) from the server. ...


Windows Vista Shadow Copy

In Windows Vista, the rewritten backup utility also uses Shadow Copy to manually backup files. In addition, the Shadow Copy for Shared Folders feature is now called "Previous Versions" and has been enabled for files on standalone computers. It stores backup copies of files on local volumes using incremental snapshots and can restore them later. The backup copies are either automatically created over time or also created manually when the backup utility is used. The Previous versions feature is available in the Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions. [1] The Windows Vista version of System Restore is also now based on Shadow Copy. Prior to Windows Vista, System Restore was based on a file-based filter that watched changes for a certain set of file extensions, and then copied files before they were overwritten. [2] Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... System Restore is a component of Microsofts Windows Me and Windows XP operating systems that allows for the rolling back of system files, registry keys, installed programs, etc. ...


See also

The following is a list of Microsoft Windows components. ... File locking is a mechanism that enforces access to a computer file by only one user or process at any specific time. ... Time Machine is a backup utility announced and first demonstrated on August 7, 2006 at Apples Worldwide Developers Conference, and is scheduled to be included with the Mac OS X v10. ...

References

  1. ^ Volume Shadow Copy and 'Previous Versions' feature in Windows Vista
  2. ^ System Restore in Windows Vista and other backup features

External links

  • How to assign drive letters to VSS Shadow copies on Windows XP

Resources

  • How Volume Shadow Copy Service Works. TechNet. Microsoft (March 28, 2003). Retrieved on 2006-05-10.
  • Selected Scenarios for Maintaining Data Integrity with Windows Vista. TechNet. Microsoft. Retrieved on 2006-05-10.

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