Windows System Requirements


1. Background

This article discusses minimum Windows system requirements for protecting servers with Datto backup solutions. The Datto Windows Agent and the ShadowSnap backup agent protect Windows physical and virtual machines in conjunction with Datto's business continuity appliances: SIRIS and ALTO.

2. Requirements

2.1 Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 2000 (ShadowSnap only)
  • Windows XP (note: Microsoft no longer issues keys for Windows XP: you may not be able to re-activate installations that use OEM keys)
  • Windows Server 2003 (note: Microsoft no longer issues keys for Windows Server 2003: you may not be able to re-activate installations that use OEM keys)
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008 / R2
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2011
  • Windows 8 / 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 / R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows 10
  • Any of the above Windows installations running on Apple hardware via Boot Camp are supported for backup, virtualization, image export, and file restore. Due to dual-boot environment limitations, Bare Metal Restore is not supported, and only the Windows partition on Boot Camp installations will be backed up.
  • Software RAID is supported for backups, virtualizations, and file restores, but is incompatible with Bare Metal Restore.
Note: Scope of support for these operating systems includes 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

2.2. Supported Disk Volume Types

  • Basic volumes and disks
  • It is possible to back up Windows dynamic disks, but if a dynamic disk expands, the next backup will be a differential merge backup. Frequent differential merges may compromise your ability to keep a backup schedule at pre-defined intervals, and will greatly increase the window during which system resources are consumed by the backup agent.
  • NTFS filesystems
  • ShadowSnap does not support volumes with Windows deduplication enabled
  • Hardware and software-based arrays
  • Any size disk drive, including disks larger than 2TB in size
  • MBR / GPT
  • Virtual & physical disks
    • The Datto solution is capable of backing up multiple types of disk sector schemes. The process writes an image-based backup to a file which is 512 bytes per physical sector. While rare, certain software which relies on advanced formats, such as 4K, may have issues with the sector size change. Datto recommends performing regular DR tests to ensure that all required applications function as expected in our virtualized environments.

2.3. Minimum Resource Requirement

A minimum of 1 GB of free RAM is recommended for the backup agent. If the agent is reporting errors with less than 1 GB of RAM available, performance tuning or additional resources may be required by Support.

2.4. Available Space Of Each Protected Volume

Datto recommends maintaining at least 30% free space per protected volume. A minimum of 20% free space per protected volume must be available at all times on the production machine.

 Volume Utilization



0 – 70%


Utilization is good.

71 – 80%


Utilization is outside optimal limits. Monitor the volume growth and look at cleaning up unnecessary files and moving non-essential data to other storage.

81 – 100%


Volume is becoming critical. Snapshots will start to fail, disk queue lengths will increase. Create space.

2.5. Web Browser

The Datto web interface functions best with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers. Using Internet Explorer may compromise functionality.

Note: Review this article and network requirements to be sure your systems are ready to install the backup agent.

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