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Volume Shadow Copy Service Technical Reference

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Volume Shadow Copy Service Technical Reference

The Volume Shadow Copy Service provides the backup infrastructure for the Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating systems, as well as a mechanism for creating consistent point-in-time copies of data known as shadow copies.

The Volume Shadow Copy Service can produce consistent shadow copies by coordinating with business applications, file-system services, backup applications, fast-recovery solutions, and storage hardware. Several features in the Windows Server 2003 operating systems use the Volume Shadow Copy Service, including Shadow Copies for Shared Folders and Backup.

Shadow copies can be used for a number of purposes such as:

  • Creating consistent backups of open files and applications

  • Creating shadow copies for shared folders

  • Quickly recovering and restoring files and data

  • Creating transportable shadow copies using a hardware provider — for backup, testing and data mining scenarios

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