Background info on Shadow Copy
Shadow copy on Windows Server 2008 allows your server to make snapshots of a selected drive as a way to protect you from any accidental data loss that may occur. In my experience it saves a lot of time if you have this feature enabled. You might want to consider a server that has quite a bit of space on it.
For example: A user deletes a file stored on a file server, this server must have the File Services Role installed so that it can serve files to the users on your network.
- If you don’t have shadow copy configured on the server, your only means of recovering that file would be to restore it from a backup image.
- If you do have the server configured with shadow copy then it’s easy and quite simple to restore that file from the properties menu in the affected folder.
I’ll be using Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition on a 64bit server, for this tutorial.
Lets begin by opening Control Panel –> Administrative Tools, open Computer Management in the right pane. On the left, expand the Storage branch, in there you’ll find Disk Management, click on it. In the middle pane you’ll have a list of drives. For this example I’ll be using C: drive.
Right click on the drive you wish to configure shadow copy on, in the menu that comes up, click properties. In the tabs you’ll find Shadow Copies, click it. You’ll end up at a window like this:
Click on C: drive then click settings.
Click the use limit radio button, I’m using 190GB for this example. Click Schedule and you’ll get the window below:
By default Windows will take two snapshots per day, 7AM and 12PM. I’ve decided to use this in my configuration because it’s during working hours so there will be a fresh snapshot of the files before the office opens and half way through the day during lunch. As another precaution for protecting your data from loss I would recommend running a nightly backup using the backup tool (Windows Server Backup) that comes with Windows Server 2008. I’ll post a tutorial about adding the Windows Server backup feature in my next post – it is not installed by default with a Windows Server 2008 installation.
Once you’ve configured the times that suit your needs you can click OK. Then you’ll end up back at the previous window and you’ll see an icon that looks like a clock next to the C: drive. Now all you need to do is click enable and the shadow copies will start at their scheduled time. You can close all the windows once you’ve enabled your shadow copy.
To check if it’s working you’ll need to check after the scheduled time or you can just go back to the Shadow Copy properties menu and make a manual shadow copy by clicking the Create Now button. Once all that is done open windows explorer and right click C: drive –> Properties there will now be a tab named Previous Versions, click it, and you should see a one or two previous copies to select from.
That’s it, you now have shadow copy configured on your server.
For info on how to use shadow copy in Windows, click Desktop-Support
Forum Discussion: Configuring Shadow Copy