Installing the Datto Windows Agent



This article describes the installation process for the Datto Windows Agent.


  • Datto Windows Agent



This article assumes that you have reviewed both the SIRIS, ALTO And DNAS Networking & Bandwidth Requirements article and the Getting Started with the Datto Windows Agent article, and that your production environment meets the configurations described in both resources.

Pre-Deployment Requirements

If you have not done so already, to ensure an issue-free setup experience, review the Windows Pre-Deployment Configurations and Best Practices guide before proceeding.

Acronis software can prevent installation of the Datto Windows Agent. For any machine that previously had an Acronis product installed, follow the steps in the Removing Acronis article to perform a system cleanup.


1. Navigate to and click the Windows icon in the Backup Agent Download category.

Figure 1: Backup Agent Download (click for larger image)

2. Launch the installer which downloads. You must have internet access both during the install and during the initial start of the agent so that the software can retrieve certificates.

4. When the installer completes, you must reboot the production machine to finalize installation of the agent.

5. After you reboot the production machine, pair the protected machine with your Datto appliance to begin taking backups. 

Verifying the Installation

The Datto Windows Agent does not have a GUI. Follow these steps to verify that the installation was successful:

  1. Make sure the production machine has been rebooted following the installation of the Datto Windows Agent.
  2. Check Programs and Features to ensure that Datto Windows Agent is listed as an installed program.
  3. Make sure that both essential services are present Datto Backup Agent Service and DattoProvider.  

Technical Notes

Setting Schedules / Initial Configurations

Items to consider when configuring the Datto Windows Agent:

  • Before setting a backup schedule, discuss with your client how far back you would ever need to go to retrieve data. Set the expectations with them and provide a schedule accordingly. Set the local data retention policies based on these conversations and expectations. Remember that long-running retention policies will require more disk space, and should be considered when sizing an appliance.
  • Consider the server’s application: while a file server may need to be backed up during business hours as files are in constant change, a terminal server that simply houses configurations may not require as many backups per day as there is little to no change provided. Backups are just like any other service on a server, they consume resources and take disk input / output. Consider this while setting a schedule.
  • The size of your server's backups can grow if you use Distributed File System (DFS) in your environment. See How Distributed File System (DFS) Interacts with the Datto Solution for more information.
  • Before you take the first backup, make sure that any volumes that you do not want to be backed up are excluded from the advanced options tab. Remember that any additional drive that is attached to the machine may attempt to be backed up (USB drive, additional storage drive, etc.)
For information on other Datto backup configurations, see Configuring Alerts and SpeedSync.

Local File Creation

When you install the Datto Windows Agent, it creates a DattoCTRL file and a DattoSNAP file on the protected server, in the root directory of each protected volume. You may need to select the Show hidden files and folders option or uncheck the Hide protected operating system files option in Windows to see them.

DattoCTRL is created at the start of the first backup, and contains the space for the Copy On Write (COW) information during the backup.

  • If a volume is selected for backup, 10% of the volume free space is required on that volume for the DattoCTRL file (up to 10 GB).
    • However, if the volume is large enough that 10 GB represents less than 10% of the total disk space, the percentage of the disk that represents 10 GB is required.
  • If the 10% number is larger than 10 GB, the file's size will be set at 1% of the total size of the protected volume.

To calculate the amount of space needed on your protected machine on a per-volume basis, use the size of the target volume and refer to the scenario matching your production environment. Refer to the Datto Windows Agent's storage space requirements for more information.

DattoSNAP is the file that the Datto Windows Agent writes the changed block information to, so that it knows what it need to move during each backup.

Additional Resources

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