Functions of ShadowSnap on Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2000

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Topic

This article explains the ShadowSnap functionality on Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2000 machines. 

Environment

  • Datto SIRIS
  • Datto ALTO
  • ShadowSnap Agent

Answer

Windows 8 / Server 2012

ShadowSnap supports backup and restoration of Windows 8.1 / Server 2012 R2 machines.

There are some new features within Windows 8 / Server 2012 that are not yet supported.

Consider these features before deployment of ShadowSnap onto Windows 8 / Server 2012 machines.

Resilient File System

Resilient File System, also known as ReFS, is a new file system that Microsoft has introduced in Windows 8 / Server 2012 that has made some improvements to the standard NTFS file system.

For more information and ReFS, check out the following Microsoft article:

ShadowSnap does not support the backup of these volume types.

Data Deduplication

Microsoft has introduced a new data deduplication feature in Windows 8 / Server 2012. This allows for volumes to be deduplicated for easier restore.

For more information about these methods, check out the following Microsoft knowledge bases:

If you need to restore a volume with deduplication turned on, use the Direct Restore Utility.

VHDX

You can export ShadowSnap backups to either VHD or VHDX format for use with a Gen 1 Hyper-V VM. Gen 2 Hyper-V VMs must support EFI booting, and image exports are currently set up for MBR boot. A restore to a Gen 2 Hyper-V VM can be accomplished either by converting the image export to Gen 2-compatible VHDX files after the image export on the hypervisor itself, or by performing a BMR directly into the Gen 2 Hyper-V VM using the Datto Utilities ISO.

Windows Server 2000

  • ShadowSnap supports Windows Server 2000 machines, but due to their age, there are many variables to consider for installation.
  • Microsoft discontinued Windows Server 2000 support with Service Pack 4. Make sure that all protected machines have this service pack installed.
  • The Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) component should also be on the latest version: 2.8. Instructions and the service pack are here: Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.8 SP1
  • Update all optional Windows Server 2000 components to their latest versions, especially any .NET framework packages and C++ Redistributables.
  • The installer will install two of the three standard components of the ShadowSnap program: StorageCraft Raw Agent and ShadowProtect Service.
  • The StorageCraft Volume Shadow Copy will not appear, because the Volume Shadow Copy Service was not developed until the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2. ShadowSnap will only use the STC backup engine.
  • Even if the agent successfully installs, make sure that it is pairing to the Datto device without issue.
  • If the software doesn't contact the licensing server, check the registration page under ShadowProtect to see if a license has appeared. If it has not, you might need to manually activate the software.
  • Troubleshooting time might be longer due to the age of the operating system. Any system on Windows Server 2000 should consider an upgrade to Server 2003.

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