System Requirements for Windows-Based Backup Solutions



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


  • Datto Windows Agent
  • ShadowSnap Agent
  • Agentless Backups


The Datto Windows Agent, ShadowSnap backup agent, and Datto's agentless solution protect Windows physical and virtual machines in conjunction with Datto's business continuity appliances: SIRIS and ALTO.


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.

  • 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 10
Software RAID is supported for backups, virtualizations, and file restores, but 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, and Bare Metal Restore. However, file restores of deduplicated volumes are not possible.
  • 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.

Web Browser

The Datto appliance's GUI functions best with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers. Using Internet Explorer may compromise functionality.

Network Requirements

Review the SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS Networking & Bandwidth Requirements to ensure your systems are ready to install the backup agent.

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 the production machine.

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.


For Datto Windows Agent volume space requirements, Refer to the System Requirements section of this article.

Additional Resources

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