DISKSHADOW – Windows CMD Command

Volume Shadow Copy Service. By default, DiskShadow uses an interactive command interpreter similar to that of DiskRAID or DiskPart. DiskShadow also includes a scriptable mode.

DiskShadow.exe replaces vshadow in Windows Server 2008 onwards (vshadow is still available for backwards compatibility). DiskShadow is not supported on Windows Server 2003 or Vista.

A shadow copy allows you to take manual or automatic backup copies or snapshots of data at a specific point in time over regular intervals. Using a shadow copy avoids problems with file locking, by creating a read-only copy of the volume, backup programs are able to access every file with no other programs able to lock those same files, this simplifies the creation of the consistent backup.

A shadow copy is not created every time a file is changed; backup copies are created automatically once per day, or manually when triggered by a backup or installer application.

Persistent shadow copies can only be made for NTFS volumes.
Nonpersistent (volatile) shadow copies can be made for NTFS and non-NTFS volumes.

In Windows 8 the ability to create persistent shadow copies (Previous Versions) will be removed. The Shadow Copy service will only be able to create volatile shadow copies for backup purposes.

Shadow copies on an NTFS volume will be deleted if the NTFS volume is subsequently mounted on an older operating system, either by dual booting or by moving the hard drive.

Use DiskShadow to:

  • Create a hardware or software shadow copy that can be subsequently exposed as a read-only volume.
  • Create a hardware transportable shadow copy that can be imported on a different computer – used for backups or data mining.
  • Import a shadow copy created earlier to replace a volume that has become corrupt.
  • Convert a shadow copy into a read-write volume.

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