ALERT: Datto Drive Cloud service will no longer be available as of July 1, 2019. For more information, see our end-of-life article. If you'd like to migrate your data to Datto Workplace, see our migration guide.
To learn how to download your Datto Drive Cloud data, please visit this article.

System Requirements for Windows-Based Backup Solutions



This article discusses minimum Windows system requirements for protecting servers with agent-based Datto backup solutions. For pre-deployment requirements, see Windows Pre-Deployment And Ongoing Server Requirements.

For agentless system requirements, see Getting Started with Agentless Backups.


  • Datto Windows Agent
  • ShadowSnap Agent


The Datto Windows Agent and the ShadowSnap backup agent protect Windows physical and virtual machines in conjunction with Datto's business continuity appliances.


Compatibility of this backup solution with any hypervisor environment or operating system not listed in this article is untested and may yield unreliable results.

Supported Operating Systems

All operating systems shown include 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Except where noted, all operating systems listed are compatible with the Datto Windows Agent, ShadowSnap Agent, and Datto's Agentless solution. For further information on the supported operating systems, please visit the associated articles in the Additional Resources section of this article.

  • 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
    • Includes Windows Small Business Server 2011
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8 / 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 / R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019 (Datto Windows Agent and agentless only)
  • Windows 10
Software RAID is supported for backups, virtualizations, and file restores, but it is incompatible with the Datto Utilities Bare Metal Restore process.

Dual-boot environments

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.

Supported Disk Volume Types

  • Basic volumes and disks.
  • Windows dynamic disks.
    • Note that 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 (Datto Windows Agent and ShadowSnap Agent)
  • ReFS filesystems (Datto Windows Agent only, Version 2.1 or above)
    • FAT32 file systems are currently unsupported.
  • The Datto Windows Agent, ShadowSnap Agent, and agentless backup solutions are capable of restoring deduplicated volumes through:
    • Virtualization
    • Direct Restore
    • Bare Metal Restore 
      • However, file restores of deduplicated volumes are not possible.
      • Associated articles are mentioned in the Additional Resources section of this article. 
  • Hardware and software-based RAID implementations.
  • Any size disk drive, including disks larger than 2TB in size.
  • MBR boot sectors and GPT partition tables.
  • 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.
  • NOTE: All protected volumes must be Read/Write. Read-Only volumes cannot be backed up.

Web Browser

The Datto appliance's GUI is tested with the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers. Using Microsoft Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge may compromise functionality.

Network Requirements

Review the SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS Networking & Bandwidth Requirements article (mentioned in Additional Resources) to ensure your systems are ready to install the backup agent.

Minimum Resource Requirement

Datto recommends a minimum of 1 GB of free RAM 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 the production machine.

Available Space Of Each Protected Volume

Available space requirements vary by agent type.

  • For Datto Windows Agent volume space requirements, refer to the System Requirements section of our Getting Started With The Datto Windows Agent article in the Additional Resources section.
  • For systems protected by the ShadowSnap Agent, see the ShadowSnap Agent section of this article or the hyperlink in Additional Resources.

ShadowSnap Agent Only

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.

Shadow Copies

The Datto backup solution relies on shadow storage on the protected machine to complete the backup process successfully. Make sure to disable Shadow Copy processes that are not Datto-related, as these can conflict with Datto backups. Please visit the associated article in the Additional Resources section below. 

Additional Resources

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